A young adult book titled “Prep” grabbed well more than 15 minutes of fame in East Penn School District when two parents came forward at the Sept. 10 meeting of the East Penn Board of School Directors to challenge the book -- a 9th-grade Emmaus High School summer reading selection -- due to what they called its “pornographic” content.
Soon after, the East Penn Patch editors put out an invitation to a “Prep” book discussion group, calling upon members of the community to read the Curtis Sittenfeld work along with us and then get together to talk about the book – the good, the bad and the potentially pornographic. Since then, a number of Patch readers expressed an interest in being a part of the Patch "Prep" conversation.
That conversation is now scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Zion's Lutheran Church and it’s not too late for other members of the community to join in, too. Especially now that you have another two whole weeks to read the book!
The session had been scheduled for Thursday (Oct. 11) but was rescheduled because of Thursday's vice presidential debate.
Please be aware that the East Penn Patch editors plan to write a story about the book discussion group for both the Emmaus and Lower Macungie Patch sites following the Oct. 25 session. If you are interested in participating, grab a copy of “Prep” and start reading.
Summer Reading List "Book Ban" Controversy Timeline
Sept. 10: Two East Penn parents address the East Penn Board of School Directors about the "pornographic" content in two Emmaus High School summer reading selections, "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld and Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."
Sept. 10: Board member Julian Stolz makes a motion to remove both "Prep" and "Acid Test" from the EHS summer reading list.
Sept. 14: The East Penn Patch editors invite Patch readers to read "Prep" along with them and weigh in on whether or not they deem its content to be “pornographic.”
Between Sept. 10 and Sept. 24: EHS students develop an online student petition against banning the book.
Sept. 24: About a dozen or so community members come forward at the School Board meeting to share their views on “Prep” and book banning with the board.
Sept. 24: Board President Charles Ballard voids Stolz’s "book ban" motion, because it hadn’t been touched off by a formal challenge to the book through an established district procedure known as Policy 109. He said moving forward with the motion could open East Penn up to potential lawsuits.
Sept. 24: East Penn School District receives a formal written challenge to both "Prep" and "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" via East Penn's Policy 109 prior to the school board meeting.
Ongoing: East Penn is pulling together committees made up of administrators, faculty, community members and school board members to read each book and come up with a recommendation for the board.
A Later Date: The school board will make a decision on the Policy 109 challenges to each book.
If you’d like to read “Prep” with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and include your name, the municipality in which you live, and whether or not you have children in East Penn School District (you don't have to). We'll choose people on a first-come, first-served basis.