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Mom Releases Hostage Books She Kept Since 2008

A Florida Mother checked out 4 Gossip-Girl inspired books from her local library and held them hostage for nearly 2 years .   She finally decided to return the books late last week after her story circulated the news media.  She now owes $85 in late fees, but is hoping that the library will waive the fine.
Tina Harden, who had withheld the books since the fall of 2008 to keep young readers from seeing them, said she returned them not because of criticism she received but because she had made people aware of the issue through media attention.“There was a certain amount of good that could come from me holding the books to make a statement, and I felt like that was achieved,” said Harden, who has three teenagers. “I feel like I had done my part to help focus attention on this.”

Now, she said, it’s up to the Seminole County library system to make sure that books with inappropriate material are not available to children.

After an article about Harden appeared in Thursday’s Orlando Sentinel, a man donated replacement books to the library and several others told the library they planned to send checks or books to replace the ones Harden was keeping. The library is no longer accepting donations of Gossip Girl books, which, like the television show, chronicle the scandalous lives of a group of wealthy teens.

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