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DAVID ROSE FOR TIME

CROSS PURPOSE: Blackman inverts the realities of racism

As the boundaries of acceptable public speech and behavior are pushed ever outward (nice job, Janet and Justin), it gets harder all the time to find the line between frankness and prurience — especially in young-adult literature. British novelist Melvin Burgess was clearly astride it last year with Doing It, an explicit (not to mention popular) story of schoolboy lust that he defended as realistic but many denounced as misogynistic pornography. And Burgess has plenty of company; in fact, with teen-fiction shelves groaning under the weight of cautionary tales about sex, drugs, divorce or delinquency, it's little wonder many young readers...

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