The Writer

The importance of sensitivity readers

When Hannah Grieco sat down to read to her 6-year-old daughter, she couldn’t believe the words that jumped out from the page of a popular middle-grade series.

“He must’ve thought we had just broken out of a mental hospital or something!”

Grieco, a writer and advocate, was truly disappointed that such a well-known book – one that her 9-year-old older daughter brought back home from her elementary school library – casually included such insensitive, damaging language.

Frustrated, Grieco immediately took to Twitter.

“Don’t publish words that hurt people, marginalize people – that teaches kids to hurt and marginalize people, too. Do better!” Grieco tweeted.

Afterward, she was even more surprised when a follower left a crass reply beneath the original comment. The follower, a fellow writer, argued that

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