Sunday, June 1, 2014

‘Let’s put this in our library,’ said no librarian, ever

Book cover: "I Wish My Kids Had Cancer, A Family Surviving the Autism Epidemic" by Michael Alan
I would nominate I Wish My Kids Had Cancer: A Family Surviving the Autism Epidemic for “Awful Library Books,” but thankfully, this book appears in ZERO library collections among OCLC “WorldCat” member libraries.

What went through the head of the person responsible for selecting this offensive title?

Who minimizes the agony for everyone concerned when a child succumbs to cancer? Was this person really saying that living children with autism are worse than a child who is dead?

The publisher’s identity is key to the reason why this book was “allowed” to see print (in response to an reviewer who expressed surprise that this book exists and passed a publisher’s office).

PublishAmerica (renamed America Star Books) accepts manuscripts “for free” from anyone who wants his or her manuscript turned into a book. PublishAmerica actually boasts on its website that it has produced 50,000-plus titles “often written by authors that no other commercial publisher wanted to touch.”

If no publisher (and no library) wanted to touch this book, well, there’s a good reason for that, and it’s right on the book’s front cover.

Portions of this commentary were posted to

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