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Q&A with teen who objected to racy book: She ignored reader comments




Last week, Marí Mercado became the center of some unwanted attention as she battled with her International Baccalaureate program at Gulf High School over the content of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a required reading she felt was too pornographic. Mari had threatened to drop out of the prestigious IB program if she was forced to read the book.

After a few days of publicity, the high school agreed to let the 16-year-old junior read something else.

Hundreds of comments were posted on's coverage of the case.  While some readers praised Mari for standing up for her beliefs, many others mocked her and called her immature.

Turns out, Mari wasn't bothered by any of the disparaging comments: She never read them. In a Q&A published Monday, St. Petersburg Times education writer Jeffrey S. Solochek asked Mari about her reaction to her case's publicity:

So you didn't see or hear what people were saying?

No. Well, kind of. My parents would say what some people would say in their comments. But I just tried not to give them too much attention.

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:57pm]


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