Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls must only be sold to adults, government says
Turkey has ruled that the million-selling book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls should be partially banned and treated like pornography because it could have a “detrimental influence” on young people.
The book, which has been published in 47 languages, offers a series of inspiring stories about women from history for young children. But in a decision published last week, the Turkish government’s board for the protection of minors from obscene publications said: “Some of the writings in the book will have a detrimental influence on the minds of those under the age of 18.”
That means it can only be sold to adults and must be concealed from view in shops.
One of the authors, US-based Francesca Cavallo, said she was saddened by the decision. She said: “Girls deserve to grow up surrounded by more female role models. They deserve to grow up thinking that they can be anything they want.
“When a government is scared by a children’s book promoting equality, that means that promoting these messages through children’s literature can have and is having an impact, and it makes me even more motivated to keep fighting every day.”
The book has been a publishing phenomenon since emerging in 2016 from one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever, spawning sequels, spinoffs and many copycats. Cavallo said the only difficulty it had faced until now was Russia’s decision to censor the profile of a transgender girl in the book.
The Turkish publishers’ association released a statement this week, saying the government decision was “a danger from the perspective of freedoms of expression and press, and a threat to the principles of a democratic society”.
The book’s Turkish publisher said it was waiting for the decision to be officially communicated to it before commenting.