Northern apologizes to author whose work was criticized by former student

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Northern State has apologized to a young adult author whose work was criticized by a former student.

Northern tweeted an apology to author Sarah Dessen on Tuesday. That was the same day the Aberdeen American News published an article looking at the 10 years of the school’s Common Read program, in which every first-year student reads the same book.

The article quoted a 2017 graduate of Northern State who said she joined the program’s volunteer committee to make sure a book by Dessen would not be chosen.

The former student said Dessen “was fine for teen girls” but that her work was “definitely not up to the level of Common Read.”

Dessen, who is based in North Carolina, tweeted the quote, with the woman’s name redacted, and added, “Authors are real people.”

The Argus Leader reports other authors including Jodi Picoult and Angie Thomas tweeted support for Dessen.