Friday, November 23, 2018

Highlighting An Open Letter to Abrams from the Asian Authors Alliance

On October 26, Abrams tweeted a sneak peak at their upcoming graphic novel for children, A Suicide Bomber Sits In the Library by Jack Gantos, ill. Dave McKean. Please take a moment to check out this Open Letter from the Asian Authors Alliance to Abrams regarding this book, and also check out some of the powerful responses on twitter here and here and here.  (Also, follow the Asian Authors Alliance on Twitter.)

As a former school librarian, I am horrified at the harm that this title could visit upon children. Imagine that you are a Muslim and/or Middle Eastern child (perhaps the only one) in your elementary school classroom, and your teacher or librarian holds up this book and reads the title. Imagine the looks from other children, the potential lunchtime or recess torture, that could result solely from the impact of the cover and title.

The Open Letter implores Abrams to do better; I join them in this ask.

UPDATE: In a statement this afternoon (Friday, November 23), Abrams wrote, "ABRAMS has decided to withdraw publication of the adult graphic novel, A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library, which was to be published on its Abrams ComicArts list in May 2019." The full statement can be found here; you can find responses to the book's cancellation on twitter here and here and here.

-Allie Jane Bruce