Georgia school ordered novel with gay characters hidden at book fair

File photo. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

ATHENS, Ga. — A North Georgia bookstore shut down its book fair at a private school after an administrator told store staffers to hide a book that has gay characters, according to a report.

Avid Bookshop of Athens said it was told to hide "The Best Man" by Richard Peck by an official with Athens Academy, the Banner-Herald reported.

“After the book was removed, we were told that it had to be completely hidden from view and placed back in a box so no child could accidentally discover it,” according to a Facebook post by the store.

John Thorsen, head of the school, sent a letter to Athens Academy parents and others calling what happened at the book fair, which was for children ages 3 to 9, “a deeply regrettable set of circumstances that is not consistent with our welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment.”

Several parents "raised concerns over a book that contained situations they were not yet prepared to discuss with their young children, and a decision was made to remove the book to a more discreet location," Thorsen said in the letter.

"The Best Man" is described as "a story of small-town life, gay marriage, and everyday heroes" on the Penguin Random House website. It is listed as a children's book.
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