Has anyone read Upstate?
It sounds like the grandmother who brought the challenge at least read the book, which is more than the Harry Potter lady did -- and it sounds like she was just taking an interest in her grandson's life, rather than just looking for something to complain about.
"There are loads of good books out there. Our kids don't need more raw language. Give them something that will nurture their spirit."
I'm so over that argument. No matter what, someone is going to disagree with the choice of novel. Different things nurture different spirits, "raw language" is a fact of life in many situations. Case in point: To Kill a Mockingbird was just challenged -- I'm really not sure if you can get much more spirit-nurturing than Harper Lee.
And in regards to the cussin', as the director of YALSA said:
In the case of "Upstate," Yoke noted that "the author used authentic language to make the characters believable."
Citing imprisoned Antonio, Yoke said "it would be ridiculous to think he says `gee, golly, gosh' in his letters."