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Bestselling writer Jodi Picoult denounces Florida book ban

Author Jodi Picoult is blasting officials in a Florida county for pulling several of her books from school libraries, saying that prohibiting literature sows division.

“Martin County is the first to ban twenty of my books at once,” Picoult told The Washington Post in an op-ed published Friday.

The Sunshine State county released a list of more than 60 books this week that it said would be removed from the shelves at its public school libraries.

The move, the “Storyteller” author said, is “a shocking breach of freedom of speech and freedom of information.”

Additional books barred by the school district include titles by James Patterson, Toni Morrison and Judy Blume, among others.

“The Storyteller,” Picoult said, “is about the Holocaust and has never been banned before.”

Most of her books that were pulled, Picoult said, “do not even have a single kiss in them.”

“They do, however, include gay characters, and issues like racism, disability, abortion rights, gun control, and other topics that might make a kid think differently from their parents,” she said.

“Books bridge divides between people. Book bans create them,” Picoult told the Post.

Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed legislation requiring school libraries to seek community input on the materials they have available to students.

DeSantis also put his signature last March on the Parental Rights in Education bill — dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics. The law restricts classroom instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity in the state’s primary schools.

Tags Ron DeSantis

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