Sarah Dessen is well known for her Young Adult contemporary novels. This past summer she released her fourteenth novel, The Rest of the Story. All of her novels focus on a teen girl, so of course her key demographic is teen girls, but apparently Northern State University found her novels compelling enough to add to their “Common Read”, which is a book the entire university is asked to read. One of the students attending the school at the time decided to voice her opinion, in which she stated according to Newsweek, that Dessen is great for teens but is not up to the level of Common Read, so she worked closely with the program to stop them from choosing one of her books.
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Dessen then took it upon herself to post a screenshot of the comment, which then led to fans and authors rallying to her side. Authors such as Jodi Picoult, Angie Thomas, Jenny Han, Roxane Gay and many more.
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Then a couple days later, Dessen decided to apologize for the twitter outrage she caused and the attack on the student that made the comment.
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Other authors followed suit and even the school tweeted an apology. The girl however had to deactivate her social media accounts due to backlash from fans for her comment, which was made in 2016. She now studies languages with a focus on cyber harassment. According to her, she is using her experience as a guide to help her understand how language is used to express many different perspectives.
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