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Texas teen literary festival canceled

HUMBLE, Texas, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A teen literary festival in Humble, Texas, was canceled after writers protested the removal of best-selling author Ellen Hopkins from the event.

"My books are in libraries and bookstores in Humble," Hopkins, who writes "graphic, young adult novels about meth addiction, teen prostitution and suicide," said. "They're not pulling the plug on my books, but on me. It's censorship when you don't let somebody give voice to their ideas."

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A librarian with the Humble Independent School District invited Hopkins to the event via e-mail but later told Hopkins the district had a "change of heart," the Houston Chronicle reported Saturday.

"A middle school librarian had issue with the content in the books," Hopkins said. "She got some parents involved, and they went to the school board and superintendent. He chose to remove me from the festival."

"To us, an invitation isn't extended until we have a contract in hand, and it never got to that point," Karen Collier, the district's public information director, told the Chronicle. "But there had been discussions on e-mail."

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