Mother appalled 3rd grader brought home book about strippers - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Mother appalled 3rd grader brought home book about strippers

Bachert highlights a line from The Glass Cafe. Bachert highlights a line from The Glass Cafe.

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) – A mother in Carolina Beach is upset about a book her 8-year-old daughter was allowed to check out of her school's library.

Tabitha Bachert was shocked when she saw her third grader reading The Glass Café: Or the Stripper and the State by Gary Paulsen.

"It's not just about the 8 year old, because I read this book and I didn't like it either," she said. "It was offensive to me and I'm a 34-year-old woman."

Paulsen is a Newberry Award-winning author for some of his works, like Hatchet. This book, The Glass Cafe, is about a 12-year-old boy who goes to work with his mother, who is a stripper. The book's description reads:

Twelve-year-old Tony is a budding artist, inspired by backstage life at the club. When some of his drawings end up in an art show and catch the attention of the social services agency, Al and Tony find themselves in the middle of a legal wrangle and a media circus. Is Al a responsible mother? It's the case of the stripper vs. the state, and Al isn't giving Tony up without a fight.

The book wound up in Carolina Beach Elementary's library when the school reopened in 2007, according to a spokesperson for New Hanover County Schools. She said it was part of a bulk order of roughly 7,000 books.

Bachert said she was appalled to see the book has been checked out by 20 other students in its history at the school.

"It has not raised one single question from anyone," Bachert said.

Now she's the one asking the questions. Bachert is filing an official challenge to have the book removed from the school. Three copies are circulating through schools in the county, according to a spokesperson.

Until an advisory can make a decision on the book, it will remain off the shelves. Still, Bachert said the damage is done.

"You shouldn't have materials in your libraries that decides for a parent when you're going to take their child's innocence from them," she said.

Challenges to media are a rare occurrence, according to the school system's spokesperson.

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