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House of Hades SPOILER parent warning


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If you have children reading House of Hades (the new Rick Riordan book, 4th in the Heroes of Olympus series), be aware that you should start a conversation about homosexuality. One of the gods and then one of the male characters comes out as having had a crush on a boy. There is discussion about him having the courage to accept who he is. I'm not done reading yet so there could be more. It's not explicit by any means, but if this is your child's first introduction to the idea of homosexuality you will probably want to initiate a discussion.

 

I don't want this to devolve into a discussion on gay rights or anything. I am surprised that Rick Riordan went this way in a book for middle schoolers and I think many parents will want to know.

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I read the entire book, it is well done. I was thrilled to read it and I feel Riordan did a wonderful job.

 

Absolutely!

 

I thought this was going to be a thread about how your bookworm will fall into a slobbing blob of slobbering tears.

 

PS  We know gay people. As one of mine said at age 6, "Why do people care who you love?"

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DS hasn't finished the audio book version yet, I have no clue how he will react. He was PISSED at the end of the last book. I even put off introducing him to the series until this summer because I knew he would be upset about having to wait. And he has to wait again.

:(

 

I went through this with my oldest. He read the first HP when the 2nd wasn't out. That was childhood misery. ;)

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Funny how it does come up these days!  My son (8) had a reading passage for school which described a rug as "gay."  We talked about that people used to use that word to mean happy or colorful.  He looked confused.  Then I said, now we also use it when two people who are the same gender are a couple - like the guys in Modern Family.  That he totally understood.  Then he asked about some line in a Transformers movie (which he must have seen years ago but stuck with him) where the character said "Oh you must be the gay one."  So I said, yes that is what it means.  Then I took the opportunity to say that sometimes people use the word "gay" in a negative way to hurt someone and that using the word like that would not be acceptable in our house and he should not let his friends use it in a negative way.  I told him that we have lots of gay friends who we love and that it would hurt their feelings to have the word used in a bad way.

 

End of conversation. 

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I'm the fan in our house, finished is just over a day. Loved it. I also think if a child is mature enough to be reading descriptions about the pits of Tartarus (which were gross), then a discussion on something a little more realistic, like homosexuality, is apropos. My reaction when I read it was, "Well who DIDN'T have a crush on (insert character name)." What about the budding relationship between a character and an immortal being? Is it not an issue because it's not a realistic scenario? 

 

Realistically, the characters are growing up. When the first book started Percy was 12. Even though the Heroes of Olympus series doesn't seem to be a chronological year between books, Percy and Annabeth have to be what, between 18 and 20? The other characters I'm not sure.  

 

Anyway, I think Riordan does a great job with this book. His writing has continued to improve, the character development is going deeper. We find out struggles of more than just the character dealing with being gay. It's not just fighting monsters, it's fighting for something like their futures. 

 

Honestly, my caution would be for some of the situations of peril. I'll have to go back and read book 3, but I think the scary situations are higher in number, or at least in intensity, in this book. 

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If you have children reading House of Hades (the new Rick Riordan book, 4th in the Heroes of Olympus series), be aware that you should start a conversation about homosexuality. One of the gods and then one of the male characters comes out as having had a crush on a boy. There is discussion about him having the courage to accept who he is. I'm not done reading yet so there could be more. It's not explicit by any means, but if this is your child's first introduction to the idea of homosexuality you will probably want to initiate a discussion.

 

I don't want this to devolve into a discussion on gay rights or anything. I am surprised that Rick Riordan went this way in a book for middle schoolers and I think many parents will want to know.

Since I don't pre-read much for Punk and Sister these days, I suppose it is good to know. My gut response to your post though is, "And?". The book is, by your own admittance, aimed at middle schoolers; I think mild sexual themes are appropriate for that age. In fact, I expect that most of the books the kids check out from the young adult section have some element of sexuality in them. I would expect any parent concerned about sexual themes to be cautious in wandering through that section.

 

As an aside, we also had a couple prolonged discussions about terminology and homeosexuality this past month. We have several couples in our lives that the kids know, love, and have spent time with for years, but we haven't discussed thier sex lives any more than we have discussed the sexual lives of our heterosexual friends. We've had plenty of talk about reproductive organs and the mechanics of things, puberty, etc.....it has just never come up. So, Punk and I had a conversation about terminology and how it can be used to hurt. His response was, "why would anyone care who someone else loves?"

 

I'm marking that in the parental win column. B)

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I can't understand why people would not let their kids read these books over something so small.  Geez.

 

I went back, read the other posts again and didn't see anyone suggesting that, so yeah, geez.

 

OP, thanks for the post.  My 9 yo devoured HOH in one day, so I appreciate knowing that the books are venturing into topics other than the usual good versus evil.  Note that this expression of appreciation is not quite the same as my saying, "I would never let my child read about homosexuality and would, in fact, encourage him to beat up any gay person he meets."  Just want to make that super-clear in case anyone is confused.

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I will say that anyone who has objections should read the book for themselves. It's handled well, it's not like throwing in the honeymoon scene from Twilight. Also, if you think about it, a lot of younger kids (as the confession comes from a previous book, when the characters were younger) have "crushes" on members of the same sex. I do believe it's part of the maturing and figuring out who you admire and dealing with reality if those feelings go beyond platonic admiration. 

 

Even if you (rhetorical) have a problem with homosexuality being discussed in a book for middle schoolers, it's a decent opening for a talking point (but you have to have read the book to real produce a decent conversation). Statistically (not sure what those numbers are) someone your children are growing up with is gay. They may or may not be aware of it, but part of the book is dealing with the emotions the gay child has when they feel ashamed or shunned because of feelings they probably haven't acted upon yet. There is not an agenda in the book about "accepting the gays", there is a compassionate exchange of helping another dealing with their orientation when they already feel different and shunned. It is dealt with compassionately, and really I hope my child grows to treat everyone with grace and compassion even if they don't agree with them on everything. 

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I finished the book last night, and I didn't find it upsetting in any way, violence-wise or homosexuality-wise. But in our house it merits a discussion. We haven't really talked to our children about this issue and I can imagine a child having questions after reading that. Parents ought to be aware so that discussion can happen. Parents who have a different point of view than me (yes, my imagination is robust enough that I can imagine parents that disagree with me) ought to have a heads up as well and use that information to raise their children in the way they see fit, as homeschoolers and parents-in-general do.

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I appreciate the heads-up for the sole reason of being able to have the conversation ourselves, rather than leaving it to others (authors, other children, etc.). One thing I always wanted for my children was a healthy, REAL understanding of s#x and s#xuality. Not some mangled misinformation they heard from tv, movies, books, or friends. I didn't hear anyone in the thread, including the OP, talking about not allowing their kids to read it. I have a child who hears/reads something and thinks it's the truth. She's very black and white. It helps to know these things in advance so we can discuss.

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People don't let their kids read The Berenstain Bears, Harry Potter, or Riordan books for smaller issues. I just don't understand how this is a big enough topic or controversial issue that it needs a parental warning. I guess I e never hidden homosexual relationships from my kids and they've seen them, so it's a total non-issue for my family. There is talk even on this thread about it being traumatic. A warning for the violence, etc.? Definitely. But a warning for this? I don't get that. But it is ideal to always pre-read books. I've made that mistake a few times and was horrified when I finally got around to reading them. Lol

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I appreciate the heads-up, OP. I've no problem with the topic being introduced, but I would definitely preread to be sure it's handled in a respectful, appropriate manner, and so that I can discuss as needed with my son(s) if they read this book. It's always nice to know when a book series one has already "vetted" introduces a new topic/subject matter, so that we can prepare accordingly, and my personal beliefs aside, I do appreciate the mention here. Thanks. 

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I don't think Sara is judging it, she's warning, which is fair. I do think some of us forget there are people who don't have openly gay friends or family in their lives.

That's how I read it too.

 

I come from midwestern small town of about 3,000. There are no gay pride marches here. I'm sure there are a few living here quietly (If you want to do anything quietly, this IS the place! lol!).

 

Other than a couple of teen boys holding hands at the 4th of July fireworks, it hasn't really come up often.

 

I *have* had discussions with them after references to homosexuality on TV shows. That's about all the opportunity I get. Oh... and my one gay FB friend whom I went to high school with recently got married. I guess there was that. But no one they know irl. I feel like when reading books in a series, you do kind of start feeling like you know the characters, so maybe a little discussion there would be a good thing.

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People don't let their kids read The Berenstain Bears, Harry Potter, or Riordan books for smaller issues. I just don't understand how this is a big enough topic or controversial issue that it needs a parental warning. I guess I e never hidden homosexual relationships from my kids and they've seen them, so it's a total non-issue for my family. There is talk even on this thread about it being traumatic. A warning for the violence, etc.? Definitely. But a warning for this? I don't get that. But it is ideal to always pre-read books. I've made that mistake a few times and was horrified when I finally got around to reading them. Lol

While pre-reading all my kids books is the ideal, it is totally impossible for me (3 avid readers who don't have to cook dinner, change diapers, etc.). I appreciate the heads up--homosexuality doesn't come up often (ever??) here in rural IN so my 5th grader is clueless (I'm okay with that). Thanks to the OP, I know to discuss it with her.

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Dd really enjoyed the book.

 

She was introduced to the idea of homosexuality because she had an effeminate friend in grade school. I don't think that is something that would be exclusive to larger towns. We spent quite a bit of time comforting her when she was crying because the other kids made fun of him. We kept her in public school longer than we intended because we did not want her friend to be alone. 

 

His family moved  after third grade and so that was her last year in public school.

 

My dd's experience was terribly sad, it probably made her a more compassionate person towards the issue.

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I'd rather get a warning along these lines: There's this guy in the books and he's knocked up a ton of women. So have some of his buddies. All their children get to come to this cool camp. Oh, and that guy is married to his sister. 

 

 

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

 

 

Warning: Olympians are whores

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Dd really enjoyed the book.

 

She was introduced to the idea of homosexuality because she had an effeminate friend in grade school. I don't think that is something that would be exclusive to larger towns. We spent quite a bit of time comforting her when she was crying because the other kids made fun of him. We kept her in public school longer than we intended because we did not want her friend to be alone. 

 

His family moved  after third grade and so that was her last year in public school.

 

My dd's experience was terribly sad, it probably made her a more compassionate person towards the issue.

Of course it's not exclusive to larger towns. It just comes up more often--especially for kids in public school.

 

In a book series, you come to feel like you know the characters. It might be the first time--especially for younger readers, they've really given it much thought.

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While pre-reading all my kids books is the ideal, it is totally impossible for me (3 avid readers who don't have to cook dinner, change diapers, etc.). I appreciate the heads up--homosexuality doesn't come up often (ever??) here in rural IN so my 5th grader is clueless (I'm okay with that). Thanks to the OP, I know to discuss it with her.

I have five about your age. :) We are in rural IL and it's come up several times.  Plus they read/watch movies.  My kids are still (thankfully) in the "boys/girls are gross" stage, so when they play Life, they pick the same gender spouse. :lol:  I can't always pre-read, either, like I said.  I will warn you that Mara, Daughter of the Nile is wayyyy more than you'll ever find in a Riordan book, and that's a Sonlight core book! 

 

For your future reference if you can't preread: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews

 

I can't imagine why homosexuality needs to be on the warnings, but there's a site for you (like IMDB's Parental warning area) if any of that is a consideration.

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Thanks for the information.  My kids LOOVE these books, but this is something that has given us pause in allowing them to read it.  We were made aware of this issue by a friend and chose to ask the kids not to continue reading it on the day it came out.  While some families consider homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle choice for Christian believers, we do not.  Therefore, we would not want them to read something that portrays this lifestyle sympathetically.  We would never condone unkindness to a gay person, but we don't want our kids to see homosexuality as something that is normal or the way that God intended for some relationships to be.  I know it is an unpopular stance, but it is what we believe and what lots of families believe.  I am surprised that there has not been more of a backlash against the books; but, I think that just shows how much of our society, and even the church, has embraced this issue.  

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Thanks for the information.  My kids LOOVE these books, but this is something that has given us pause in allowing them to read it.  We were made aware of this issue by a friend and chose to ask the kids not to continue reading it on the day it came out.  While some families consider homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle choice for Christian believers, we do not.  Therefore, we would not want them to read something that portrays this lifestyle sympathetically.  We would never condone unkindness to a gay person, but we don't want our kids to see homosexuality as something that is normal or the way that God intended for some relationships to be.  I know it is an unpopular stance, but it is what we believe and what lots of families believe.  I am surprised that there has not been more of a backlash against the books; but, I think that just shows how much of our society, and even the church, has embraced this issue.  

 

There isn't more of a backlash against the books because super conservatives are already NOT reading them because they are about gods and there is magic in them.

 

I know several people who were told they were going to hell for reading Harry Potter and there were not any gods in Harry Potter.

 

I won't debate what book choices people allow for their kids but IMHO there isn't a backlash on this issue because most those people were already not allowing them.

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Thanks for the information.  My kids LOOVE these books, but this is something that has given us pause in allowing them to read it.  We were made aware of this issue by a friend and chose to ask the kids not to continue reading it on the day it came out.  While some families consider homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle choice for Christian believers, we do not.  Therefore, we would not want them to read something that portrays this lifestyle sympathetically.  We would never condone unkindness to a gay person, but we don't want our kids to see homosexuality as something that is normal or the way that God intended for some relationships to be.  I know it is an unpopular stance, but it is what we believe and what lots of families believe.  I am surprised that there has not been more of a backlash against the books; but, I think that just shows how much of our society, and even the church, has embraced this issue.  

 

I really appreciate how you expressed this, gratefulmother.  It's pretty much exactly what I was thinking but wasn't sure how to say.  Thanks to the OP for giving a heads-up on the book.  I don't object to its introduction as a topic in middle school, probably, but I do want to be prepared to discuss it instead of having my children silently assimilate the author's POV.

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Thanks for the information. My kids LOOVE these books, but this is something that has given us pause in allowing them to read it. We were made aware of this issue by a friend and chose to ask the kids not to continue reading it on the day it came out. While some families consider homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle choice for Christian believers, we do not. Therefore, we would not want them to read something that portrays this lifestyle sympathetically. We would never condone unkindness to a gay person, but we don't want our kids to see homosexuality as something that is normal or the way that God intended for some relationships to be. I know it is an unpopular stance, but it is what we believe and what lots of families believe. I am surprised that there has not been more of a backlash against the books; but, I think that just shows how much of our society, and even the church, has embraced this issue.

Why would the homosexuality give you pause but not the promiscuity of the gods?

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Why would the homosexuality give you pause but not the promiscuity of the gods?

 

I'm not the PP but perhaps because the gods in the book are not necessarily role models? The characters rail against them and their faults - Luke and Hermes come to mind. Just a guess.  I agree that once you are reading those books you are already in for a world of, um, interesting discussions.  Mrs. Mungo outlined them colorfully above. :)

 

I appreciate the heads up.  We've already discussed the topic and live next to a wonderful gay couple so my kids are already aware. (Well as aware as middle school boys can be about anything other than food, sports and video games.)  However, I always want to know how authors are dealing with mature topics.  To  your point above, if Riordan went into explicit details and really focused on the exploits of the gods, or if he went into graphic detail about Percy and Annabeth going at it, I wouldn't let my middle schoolers read the books. 

 

 I love when parents help each other out.  Doesn't mean we'll always make the same choices, but the heads up gives everyone a chance to make a more informed decision.  Thank you to the PP who posted about the descriptions of Tartarus.  That is def. something I want to check out before my kids read it. 

 

Since this is a spoiler - is it Nico?  Crush on Percy?  Which god has a crush on someone?  This is just silly curiosity.  I don't want to read the reviews 'cause I want to read the book and don't want to ruin the surprise.

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Thanks for the information.  My kids LOOVE these books, but this is something that has given us pause in allowing them to read it.  We were made aware of this issue by a friend and chose to ask the kids not to continue reading it on the day it came out.  While some families consider homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle choice for Christian believers, we do not.  Therefore, we would not want them to read something that portrays this lifestyle sympathetically.  We would never condone unkindness to a gay person, but we don't want our kids to see homosexuality as something that is normal or the way that God intended for some relationships to be.  I know it is an unpopular stance, but it is what we believe and what lots of families believe.  I am surprised that there has not been more of a backlash against the books; but, I think that just shows how much of our society, and even the church, has embraced this issue.  

I encourage you to read the book. The character who has the crush is a very sad character, he is not held high or paraded around in celebration for his feelings. He was forced to confess his crush by a god. The young man is very sad and alone. The only other character to know is keeping the information secret.

 

If you are worried that the book promotes the gay agenda, you will be very surprised. I really encourage you to read the book.

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Even though the Heroes of Olympus series doesn't seem to be a chronological year between books, Percy and Annabeth have to be what, between 18 and 20? The other characters I'm not sure.  

 

 

In HoH, Annabeth says she is 17.

 

I finished it last night.  The revelation was a bit of a surprise and I had to put the book down for a couple of days and think about it.  In the end, I picked it back up and kept reading and I'm glad I did.  It's really a brief portion of the book.  The focus later on in the story is the character's sadness and confusion; it doesn't become the main part of the storyline.

 

My kids are way too young to read these books.  Our oldest is probably a good 5 or 6 years away from picking up the Lightning Thief.  I can't imagine him not being aware of the existence of people who have same-sex attraction by that time, especially since we have family members living the lifestyle.  I just hope the character in question continues to be developed as a whole person and not defined by one part of him.

 

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I still would love to know how traumatic is it for a sensitive kid. Any vivid scenes of death or torture?

 

If your dc has made it all the way through Mark of Athena, then House of Hades isn't going to be a problem.

 

 

 

My dd was VERY MAD about Nico. She was ready to throw R.R. into Tartarus. (And R.R. was already in hot water for leaving them "hanging" at the end of MOA.) Nico can NOT be gay, because dd has a major crush on him and that is just NOT going to work. :lol: 'Course she would never be able to decide between him and Percy and Leo...or the Doctor (10)....or Sherlock. :lol:

 

If you're worried about the fact that Nico turns out to be gay, what about Leo and Calypso? I mean, HOW old is Calypso???

And NONE of the main characters have reached 18 yet. (BTW, my dd totally "ships" Leo and Calypso. ;) )

 

I think Riordan has done a fantastic job do far, especially considering the content that comes w/ Greek & Roman mythology.

 

Seriously, dd loves being a fangirl and really gets into playing the part. BUT she explained to me that the biggest reason she doesn't like it because it doesn't fit with the persona that she had in mind for Nico. Nico did the things that he did, coming through for Percy and the others, because of his character. He was going to do what he thought was right. It was NOT because he had a crush on Percy. THAT'S the biggest issue that dd had. She read it like Nico only did what he did because he just couldn't say no to Percy, not because of his own standards.

 

I think Nico's only 12 and she should cut him some slack. ;) But dd has very high standards for *her* characters and *her* writers.

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:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

 

 

Warning: Olympians are whores

 

I was just having this conversation with my kids yesterday. During science. We were researching the names of the planets. They had watched Hercules with their dad and wanted a little genealogy lesson on Jupiter and Hercules.

Sheesh. That I was unprepared for.

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My kid has read all the books and so far I haven't seen any tears. I am worried about handing him a book that's going to send him crying for a week. Didn't somebody mentioned it was sad? I can't have a repeat of Where the Red Ferns Grow. I learned my lesson.

It's good to know it's not that different from previous ones.

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I encourage you to read the book. The character who has the crush is a very sad character, he is not held high or paraded around in celebration for his feelings. He was forced to confess his crush by a god. The young man is very sad and alone. The only other character to know is keeping the information secret.

 

If you are worried that the book promotes the gay agenda, you will be very surprised. I really encourage you to read the book.

 

As a mother, it just makes you want to hug the character. Can we just say Nico now? Seriously, the kid needs some TLC. 

 

 

Also, to address the idea that you don't want your kids to believe homosexuality is something God considers normal: This is a book about a pantheon of Greek and Roman gods. In the first book, The Lightning Thief, Riordan clearly states (via a conversation at Camp Half-Blood) that Big G - God is left of these books. These were not written for a christian audience. God does not sanction homosexuality in this book, because he is not present. So, honestly, if you want to continue to believe that homosexuality is not "normal", you could still believe that,  and read this book with a gay character. As others have pointed out this is a book about kids borne from the antics of many god and their "wanderings". Things die grotesque deaths, minors are constantly in peril, they deface property (if by accident), and gods try to kill children. So there is plenty of things to give a parent pause. 

 

For me, the books warrant a special place on my bookshelves, right next to my copies of The Iliad and The Odyssey. 

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My kid has read all the books and so far I haven't seen any tears. I am worried about handing him a book that's going to send him crying for a week. Didn't somebody mentioned it was sad? I can't have a repeat of Where the Red Ferns Grow. I learned my lesson.

It's good to know it's not that different from previous ones.

 

Oh, no, this isn't like that book. I refused to make ds read that one, it left me a mess and I read it in 4th grade. No, this book leaves us with some hope for humanity. 

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My kid has read all the books and so far I haven't seen any tears. I am worried about handing him a book that's going to send him crying for a week. Didn't somebody mentioned it was sad? I can't have a repeat of Where the Red Ferns Grow. I learned my lesson.

It's good to know it's not that different from previous ones.

 

 

Oh, no, this isn't like that book. I refused to make ds read that one, it left me a mess and I read it in 4th grade. No, this book leaves us with some hope for humanity. 

 

Where the Red Fern Grows the book that DS wouldn't finish, was up all night over and refused to speak to me for several days over, and he didn't get to the point where the dogs die. He was done in when the kid fell on the ax. I had completely forgotten that part.

 

 

House of Hades is not that traumatic. Not even close. 

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