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Tanya Lee Stone

November 24th, 2006

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Tanya Lee Stone
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November 24th, 2006

Dear Librarians,

I hesitate to tell you this, but...People are writing in this book. With pencils, and pens, even.

But it's okay, really it is. 
In fact, it's FANTASTIC!

Please don't cringe, dear librarians. I love you. You know that I do. One of you even gave birth to me, so I am well-versed in the rules:

No running. No yelling. And absolutely NO writing in books. 
But this is different, really, I swear. 
Yes, I know, I’m to blame. I started it. And for that, I am sorry. 
(But to be perfectly honest, I’m not THAT sorry. And while I’m telling truths here, I suppose I should confess that it was me all those years ago, hiding behind a stack of Jane Austen and Flannery O'Connor books (which I also read, cross my heart) devouring a dog-eared copy of Valley of the Dolls I smuggled into my carrol.)  

And anyway, it’s not like it was ME who wrote in the blank pages. It was Josie. Well, I guess if you want to get technical, I sort of made her do it, being that she is a figment of imagination. That still doesn’t mean I have complete control over her. She’s Josie. She does what she does.
In her defense, she did do it in the name of sisterhood. In the name of empowerment. In the name of good triumphing over evil. (All right, so maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic.) 

And yes, I do know what will happen if you let one person bend the rules...Mayhem. 

Wonderful, unabashed, soul-cleansing mayhem! Because--as I had secretly hoped--Josie's act of defiance has caught on in the real world, as acts of defiance tend to do.  It's no longer just the fictional girls at P.B.H. who are writing in the blank pages.

Just yesterday, a flesh-and-blood girl wrote to tell me that Josie’s actions inspired her to take action, too. She got out the pen and got things off her chest—right in the blank pages of A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl.

Then she donated her book to the local library.

And another reader followed her example.

And so on, and so on, and so on...

Now again, sincere apologies to librarians everywhere, you are rock stars, all, but:

Bad Boy's once-empty bits are now filled with girls expressing themselves with writing implements. Telling it like it is. Sticking it to the man. (Okay, that's too dated, but you get the idea and I can't bring myself to delete it.)

And yes (sorry, Mom), rules or no rules, this makes me, in the words of Georgia Nicholson, vair vair HAPPY!

I might even run a victory lap around the library and yell one for the girls.

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