A Kanata children’s author has joined a protest over the awarding of a Governor General’s Literary Award to what critics are calling a “vulgar” and “gratuitous” book for young adults about gender identity issues in high school.
Kathy Clark says she is among 1,500 people across Canada petitioning the Canada Council to revoke the 2014 award because of graphic content in Raziel Reid’s debut novel When Everything Feels like the Movies.
The novel is inspired by the true story of an openly gay 15-year-old California boy who was shot to death in 2008 by a classmate he’d asked to be his Valentine. Its protagonist is a transgender male teen whose “sexual yearnings, masturbating, fantasizing (disturbingly, including sex with his father) and voyeurism constitute the bulk of the narrative,” Barbara Kay wrote in a National Post column.
Clark, author of two children’s books, says Reid’s use of language is inappropriate for a book recognized in the young adult classification (12 to 18) within the children’s literature category.