Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar—a masterpiece of small town life, longing and the search for love—survived a challenge and will remain on the shelves at the school library in Rio Rancho, NM Betsy Gomez reports for the CBLDF.
The book was challenged a few weeks ago as “child porn” by a parent in a highly slanted scare TV report. A review committee has decided that the book can stay:
The Rio Rancho review committee agreed. By a 5-3 vote, the committee voted on March 16 to retain the book.
“We commend the Rio Rancho Public Schools for adhering to its challenge policy, and are pleased with the result that the review committee has retained this important book for the benefit of its student community,” says Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of KRRP sponsor organization Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
As NCAC’s original letter stated, a decision to keep Palomar would “demonstrate respect for your readers and their choices, for the professionalism of the librarians who serve the reading public, and for the First Amendment and its importance to a pluralistic, democratic society.”
5-3 is a little close, but the literary merit of Hernandez’s work is universally acknowledged and it’s a relief to see that the obvious scare quotes of the first TV report were not persuasive.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.