A school-wide summer reading program at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida has been cancelled due to a complaint made against an English teacher’s chosen young adult novel, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother.
Little Brother is a dystopian thriller following teenage hacker Marcus and his friends as they attempt to work the system following a terrorist attack on San Francisco which transforms the city into a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist.
The principal’s decision to cancel the program followed a challenge put forward by a parent who argued that the book contained profanity which made it unsuitable for the reading group. The principle sided with the parent, also citing the book’s message of questioning authority as his reason for cancelling the program. In response, Doctorow’s publishers Tor Books have donated 200 copies of Little Brother to the students of Booker T. Washington High School. Doctorow has also expressed plans to arrange a videoconference with students who wish to discuss his book in the fall term.