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School disinvites author after complaint

NORMAN, Okla., Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A parent's concerns about a book focusing on a teen drug addict prompted an Oklahoma school to cancel an appearance by the book's author, school officials said.

Best-selling author Ellen Hopkins had been scheduled to speak Tuesday to eighth-graders at Whittier Middle School in Norman, Okla., about her career and books, The Oklahoman reported.

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But the school canceled her visit because a parent requested a formal school review of her book "Glass," the second in a series about a teen struggling with drug addiction.

Hopkins says the novel was influenced by her experience dealing with her daughter, who was addicted to methamphetamine.

A committee made up of administrators, teachers and librarians will review "Glass."

"I made a decision that while it was under review, it wasn't appropriate for the author visit to continue," Superintendent Joe Siano said.

Hopkins noted her invitation was withdrawn just before the American Library Association's Banned Books Weeks, which begins Saturday.

"I've done hundreds of school visits, and I certainly have sensitivity to those audiences," Hopkins said. "I always focus on an anti-drug message. Instead of trying to shoot the messenger, why don't you open the book and look at the message?"

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