Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has empowered state and local officials to remove classroom and library books that they deem offensive, and author Jodi Picoult was surprised to learn this week that her book about the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor was recently targeted for a ban in Florida.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Picoult called out Martin County, Florida for removing her book "The Storyteller," in which the aforementioned granddaughter of the Holocaust survivor meets with an elderly S.S. officer.
"Banning ‘The Storyteller’ is shocking, as it is about the Holocaust and has never been banned before," she tells the Post, and went on to describe the decision as "a shocking breach of freedom of speech and freedom of information."
She also chided Martin County for being "the first to ban twenty of my books at once."
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While DeSantis is not involved in choosing which books to remove, his Department of Education has issued guidance saying that schools should "err on the side of caution" and to remove books that they wouldn't feel "comfortable reading aloud."
This has been taken as a green light by many local officials to broadly censor books, even including a children's biography of late baseball great Roberto Clemente.
DeSantis said he was not in favor of censoring the Clemente book and baselessly suggested that teachers unions had pulled it as a political stunt.