“Educational” Smut For Kids


Here`s a rich irony: I`m writing
today about a new children`s book, but I can`t describe
the plot in a family newspaper without warning you first
that it is entirely inappropriate for children.

The book is

"Rainbow Party,"
by
juvenile fiction author Paul Ruditis. The publisher is

Simon Pulse
, a kiddie lit division of the esteemed
Simon & Schuster. The cover of the book features the
title spelled out in fun, Crayola-bright font. Beneath
the title is an illustrated array of lipsticks in bold
colors.

The main characters in the book are
high school sophomores—supposedly typical 14- and
15-year-olds with names such as "Gin" and "Sandy." The
book opens with these two girls shopping for lipstick at
the mall in advance of a special party. The girls banter
as they hunt for lipsticks in

every color of the rainbow:

"Okay,
we`ve got red, orange, and purple," Gin said. "Now we
just need yellow, green, and blue."

"Don`t
forget indigo," Sandy said as she scanned the row of
lipstick tubes.

"What
are you talking about?"


"Indigo," Sandy repeated as if that explained
everything. "You know.
ROY G. BIV.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
indigo, violet."

"That`s
seven lipsticks. Only six girls are coming. We don`t
need it."

What kind of party do you imagine
they might be organizing? Perhaps a makeover party? With
moms and daughters sharing their best beauty secrets and
bonding in the process?

Alas, no. No parents are invited to
this get-together. A

"rainbow party,"
you see, is a gathering of boys and
girls for the purpose of engaging in group oral sex.
Each girl wears a different colored lipstick and leaves
a mark on each boy. At night`s end, the boys proudly
sport their own cosmetically sealed rainbow
you-know-where—bringing a whole new meaning to the
concept of "party favors."

In the end, the kids in the book
abandon plans for the event and news of an epidemic of

sexually transmitted diseases
rocks their school.
But the front cover and book marketing emphasize
titillation over education, overpowering any redeeming
value the book might have. Indeed, according to
Publisher`s Weekly,
the bound galleys sent to
booksellers carried the provocative tagline, "don`t
you want to know what really goes down?"

The author and publisher of the
book seem to have persuaded themselves that they are
doing families a favor. Simon & Schuster did not return
my call seeking comment, but Bethany Buck, Ruditis`
editor, told

USA Today
the intention was to "scare"
young readers (uh-huh), and Ruditis told Publisher`s
Weekly:

"Part
of me doesn`t understand why people don`t want to talk
about [oral sex]," he said. "Kids are having sex and
they are actively engaged in oral sex and

think
it`s not really sex. I raised questions in my
book and I hope that parents and children or teachers
and students can open a topic of conversation through
it. Rainbow parties are such an interesting topic. It`s
such a childlike way to look at such an adult
subject—with rainbow colors."[Raining
on the "Rainbow Party"
]

Teenage group orgies are "an
interesting topic"?
Is Ruditis out of his mind? We
can only pray Simon & Schuster keeps him away from the
preschool "Rubbadubbers" books.

In a small sign that decency and
common sense still survive in the marketplace, a number
of children`s book sellers are refusing to stock
"Rainbow Party." But as Ruditis` comments indicate, it`s
just a matter of time before the book ends up on public
school library shelves in the name of "educating"
children and helping them "deal with reality."
The teen lit market is now awash in sexually explicit
books that would require brown-paper wrapping if sold at
7-11; their authors are being hailed as
"edgy."

For once, radio shock jock Howard
Stern has my sympathy. When Oprah Winfrey aired a show
last year in which a guest joked bawdily about teenage
"rainbow parties" under the guise of
enlightening parents, Stern

pointed out
the

regulatory double standards.
Why should he be

punished for indecent broadcasts
while Oprah escaped
scrutiny for equally explicit—and exploitative—content?

Stern is in the wrong line of work.
If you want to peddle smut with society`s approval,
children`s books and

sex ed
is where it`s at.

Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores
.
Click

here
for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

here
for Michelle Malkin`s website.

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