Statement regarding the true value of

Contact: Mark Gould

Director, ALA PIO

For Immediate Release

February 22, 2007

Statement regarding the true value of "Higher Power of Lucky"

CHICAGO - The following is a joint statement released by Kathleen T. Horning, president, Association for Library Service to Children, and Cyndi Phillip, president, American Association of School Librarians, regarding the "Higher Power of Lucky."

"Recent media coverage failed to discuss the true value of the 'Higher Power of Lucky,' by Susan Patron. The author’s use of one word should not prevent children from having free access to this remarkable piece of children’s literature. Children and their families should be given the opportunity to read this book and develop their opinions.

"The 'Higher Power of Lucky' is a perfectly nuanced blend of adventure and survival, both emotional and physical. It is a gently humorous character study, as well as a blueprint for a self-examined life. The book serves as a reminder that children support one another just as adults do.

"Libraries are about inclusion rather than exclusion. The freedom to read, speak, think and express ourselves is core to our American values. Part of living in a democracy means respecting each other’s differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read.

"Fortunately, most libraries do offer a full spectrum of resources and ideas from which our patrons can choose. Librarians understand that children mature at different rates and have different interests, reading abilities and life experiences. Decisions about what materials are suitable for particular children should be made by the people who know them best - their parents or guardians.

"We believe that every family should have the opportunity to read the 'Higher Power of Lucky' and that every public and school library should consider adding the book to their collections."