Episode 18: Sexual Content in YA Books


In this episode of The Oral History Podcast, we discuss censorship issues surrounding content in young adult literature and how this affects librarians, editors, authors and teachers, as well as how people who support open fair access to all kinds of books can respond to book challenges and other kinds of content suppression. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Tell us what you think on Twitter @ChristaDesir, or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

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Our Current Reads

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour


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Some links regarding VOYA content warning: here, here, here, and here
School Library Journal’s series on libraries and censorship
A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
“Mom, what are Polekatz?”
At The Edge of The Universe by Shaun Hutchinson


“Whoa. That was a lot of opinions.  I have a lot of feelings about them. Think I’ll leave a comment here or email yall my thoughts: feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com”

Episode #6: The Greatest Love Of All

oral history podcast cover

Episode #6:  We discuss that most taboo sex act, the Greatest Love of All, masturbation.

Subscribe in iTunes here; listen via Stitcher here. 

Current Reads
– Christa: just finished The F-It List by Julie Halpern; now reading My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Various YA Authors
– Carrie: just finished The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith & The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson; now reading By Its Cover by Donna Leon 


Dahlia, the Twitter reference = Dahlia Adler, YA/NA Author
– Betty Dodson’s main site w/ Carlin Ross, plus their YouTube channel and the video Carrie referenced where Betty draws the internal clitoral structure
– Jaclyn Friedman’s main site and podcast “Fucking While Feminist” & book What You Really  Really Want: The Smart Girls Shame-Free Guide to Sex & Safety
Susie Bright’s podcast: “In Bed with Susie Bright” (free episodes via iTunes; subscribe via Audible)

A Few Other Smart Women Who Write About Sex
– Carol Queen
– Chelsea G Summers
– Tristan Taormino

On Euphemisms & Masturbation 
– Euphemism Generator site
– Some slang for masturbation (FYI, this is a Reddit thread)
– Beautiful Agony Tumblr (masturbation images from the neck up)

Books Mentioned
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Push by Sapphire
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

YA Books That Feature Masturbation
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia 
Deenie by Judy Blume
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
Wildlife by Fiona Wood
Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler
The F-It List by Julie Halpern
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Hello, Groin by Beth Goobie
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

dean flirting

That was pretty decent, huh? Tell us what you think! feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com