“Does this book contain bad language?” is a frequently asked question at our Fiction desk. Many of our customers prefer not to read stories salted with vulgarities or swear words.
This was a difficult question for us to answer unless we ourselves had read the book and had remembered that particular feature of its content. Recently, however, one of our librarians discovered that the Amazon.com online catalog has every word of its books indexed so that they can be searched for offending words.
Read on to learn how you use it.
1. Go to http://www.amazon.com/  and enter the title you're interested in, into its main search box. I’m going to use Judy Blundell’s new Young Adult book, Strings Attached.
2. Click on the 'Look Inside' graphic on the top of the book cover. That will take you to a blown-up version of the book graphic. Click on the 'Look Inside' graphic again. That will open up a side-bar on the left.
3. At the bottom of the sidebar, under 'Search Inside this Book', type in the word you don't want to read in the book. The search will bring up any and all listings of that word, the page number where it's found, and the sentence in which it's used. This is a great feature for parents who want to monitor what their children read!