Author Nic Stone discusses book being left off reading list

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Thursday, November 14, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Nic Stone, author of "Dear Martin," gave out free copies of the book and spoke to the community after her book was pulled from Columbia County Schools' recommended reading list.

It's something Stone never imagined doing when she wrote the book two years ago.

"No, not at all, especially with 'Dear Martin'," she said. "'Dear Martin' is a book that I wrote for my sons."

When she got the news the book had been removed from the reading list, she was shocked.

"I was like wait what?" she recalled. "It just blew me away."

At first, she joked she was in great company. Authors like J.K. Rowling and Mark Twain have had their books banned in schools. But those emotions quickly turned sour.

"It stung for me because of the message that it sends to kids like the ones in the book," she said.

It also stung for Columbia County parent Naomi Williams.

"I was at the board meeting when...the list was gonna be pulled," she said.

Dr. Sandra Carraway, Columbia County Superintendent, said the books were not selected because of vulgar language and profanity. Stone said kids hear and use that language every day, and her book is for those who usually don't get a voice.

"It is my aim with every book I write to show children of color, specifically African American children, as heroes of the stories they're a part of," she said.

Stone hopes by coming here and talking about the message behind the book, she can shed new light on the discussion.

"I also am glad for the opportunity to give a little bit of a different perspective to the crowd," she said.

After speaking to the crowd and answering questions, Stone signed free copies of her book for everyone in attendance.

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