Pamela S. Turner
Pamela S. Turner Always Evolving
“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of peo­ple run­ning about with lit matches.”
(Ray Brad­bury)

Becoming a Banned Author


I fig­ured it was only a mat­ter of time before I became a banned author, giv­en that How to Build a Human is about the touchy sub­ject of human evo­lu­tion. Nev­er in my wildest dreams did I imag­ine that I would get banned for Hachiko: The True Sto­ry of a Loy­al Dog

Duval Coun­ty Pub­lic Schools is one of the largest school dis­tricts in Flori­da, and 70% of their kids are minori­ties. To improve the diver­si­ty of their book col­lec­tion, they pur­chased books from an “Essen­tial Voic­es” col­lec­tion of 170+ titles, one of which was Hachiko. The books in the col­lec­tion are large­ly about peo­ple of col­or and LGQTQ+ top­ics. Duval Coun­ty has been tar­get­ed by the Orwellian-named group “Moms for Lib­er­ty,” and appar­ent­ly to head off any con­tro­ver­sies involv­ing the “Essen­tial Voic­es” books, the dis­trict admin­is­tra­tion pulled all the books off the shelves. Offi­cial­ly the books have been pulled for “review,” appar­ent­ly short­hand for “indef­i­nite pur­ga­to­ry so the Moms for Lib­er­ty won’t scream at us.”

Luck­i­ly, and We Need Diverse Books are help­ing us fight back. They orga­nized an open let­ter to the school board from authors, and three banned authors, includ­ing New­bery Medal win­ner Lin­da Sue Park, spoke at the Decem­ber 6th Duval Coun­ty Pub­lic Schools board meet­ing. Check out a local news report, as well as the full list of banned books. 

Human Lands on Multiple “Best of the Year” Lists

Remember Samurai Rising?

Samurai Rising

I recent­ly had the plea­sure of spend­ing sev­er­al weeks in Japan, includ­ing a hik­ing trip on a pil­grim­age route south of Kyoto. I got off the train in a lit­tle town called Tan­abe, and what do I see? A huge stat­ue of Yoshitsune’s side­kick, the indomitable Benkei. Tan­abe claims to be his birth­place. About a week lat­er I was at Kiy­omizu tem­ple in Kyoto, the site of a myth­i­cal bat­tle between Yoshit­sune and Benkei. Not sure how I missed this on ear­li­er vis­its, but you can try to lift a pair of Benkei’s san­dals (made of iron) and Benkei’s small staff or his large staff. It’s all good tourist fun. 

Raven and Raptor Chronicles

You knew there was going to be some­thing in here about wildlife rehab, right? I raised nine baby ravens this year. The four sib­lings that I raised were released in Marin, where they came from, and the rest I released in a park in the Oak­land Hills. They always have that hor­ri­fied first-day-of-mid­dle-school look when I let them go. One stuck around for a while and called to its friends—I hope they found each oth­er and found some old­er ravens to show them the ropes. God­speed, my lit­tle friends.

Not long after the ravens flew off into the sun­set, I was asked to take care of a kestrel. These beau­ti­ful lit­tle birds are the small­est bird of prey in North Amer­i­ca, and look some­thing like a minia­ture pere­grine. This kestrel had been brought to the wildlife hos­pi­tal with severe­ly dam­aged feath­ers on one wing. We hoped that after his fall molt he would grow nice new feath­ers, but alas, it seems his feath­er shafts were dam­aged. But there’s a hap­py end­ing: the lit­tle guy is going to be an edu­ca­tion bird at Curi­Odyssey in San Mateo, CA. 

If you have any ques­tions or com­ments, please con­nect with me via Insta­gramFace­book, or email

Pamela S Turner

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