Akeiisa
Akeiisa asked:

Why is the giveaway for this book age restricted? This is the first giveaway I've come across with an age restriction. I haven't read the book and given the description assume there is some sexual content, but that doesn't necessarily warrant an age restriction.

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Scott Munden "Explicit scenes between gay men." Really? What a nonsense response. We are all entitled to our opinions, but this one crosses the border between opinion and censorship.

There should be no age restriction for this story. Its primary narrative is about a son's relationship with his single mother. It's beautiful and well-told. And, yes, the narrator also happens to be gay and part of the story is about a young boy/man (the narrator) discovering what it means to be gay and African American in a racist and homophobic world.

To reduce a beautifully written novel to "Explicit scenes between gay men" is to miss the point entirely and strikes me as old-fashioned homophobia. Shame.
Karissa Elise Having read the entire text (and LOVED IT) I'm in support of an age restriction, so long as the guidelines under which warrant the restriction are also extended to explicit sexual content between heterosexuals also...
The content was adult and graphic. I don't think a restriction is unreasonable so long as it is not founded under misguided homophobic intention. Not cool!
Angela This book contains explicit sex scenes between adults and also explicit sexual violence. I'm not sure what the exact age restriction on the giveaway was, but having some age restriction seems reasonable to me.

As a middle school teacher, I think it's completely reasonable to say that the average 12 year old should not just be handed this book. Some kids would be fine with it, a lot are not developmentally in a place where they are ready for it.

Obviously there is a long history of labeling LGBT+ content as inherently inappropriate for children/deviant/disgustingly sexual etc. that is harmful and rooted in bigotry. It is vital that children of all genders and orientations (particularly LGBT+ kids) see stories about those experiences. But there is a difference between age restricting all queer content and age restricting a giveaway with explicit sex.

Would the age restriction have still existed if Jones was straight and wrote in graphic detail about all the women he slept with? No idea. Double standards definitely do exist. But honestly I would hope so. There is A LOT of sex in this book, emotional abuse, and a murder attempt.

Also if you are looking for a book about queerness written by a Black writer for young people, I would recommend All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson. It's written explicitly for young people and when it handles sex and sexual violence it does so with a younger audience in mind. (I still wouldn't hand that book to all middle schoolers, but for several kids I know, it would be a good fit)

Edit: Johnson has since come out as nonbinary so I've updated this answer.
Akeiisa I've now read this book and still don't understand why the giveaway was age restricted. I'm pretty sure I read more explicit heterosexual sex scenes when I was in middle school. This smacks of censorship and I'm disappointed Goodreads began age restricting book giveaways since they merged with Amazon.
Sharon Amos Explicit scenes between gay men.
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by Saeed Jones (Goodreads Author)
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