September 23, 2016

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A Censorship Simulator and Lesson | “Westport Independent”

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For educators looking for a multimedia approach to teaching about censorship as Banned Books Week nears, Westport Independent may be just the platform.

When Book Sharing Backfires|Scales on Censorship

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A parent objects when a first grader shares “Captain Underpants”; contending with parents who say their children are gifted.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

When the censorship comes from within: Reflections on Kate Messner being dis-invited to a school

You may or may not have heard of the controversy surrounding Kate Messner’s book The Seventh Wish. If you haven’t, you can catch up with it on Kate’s blog. You should probably start with this post and work your way back. For those of you on a schedule, however, essentially Kate was uninvited (with less than […]

“This One Summer” Restored to Henning, MN, School District Library, with Restrictions

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The award-winning graphic novel This One Summer has come under fire again, this time in Henning, MN.

“Looking for Alaska” Stays in Curriculum in Lebanon, KY

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The controversial teen novel by John Green came under heavy fire in one high school—but in a victory for “freedom to read,” the merits of its use prevailed.

Courting Controversy? | Scales on Censorship

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Assigning a recently challenged book; teachers’ political views; classroom book selection policies.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Experts Focus on Censorship at Bank Street Conference

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At “Who Are You To Say?”, an event held in New York City on April 16, authors and kid lit experts weighed in on where to draw the line between being aware and censoring.

Virginia Bill Requires Educators to Offer Alternative Book Option Upon Request

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The protests of one mom, who didn’t want her son reading Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” led to legislation that would require an “opt-out” option for assigned literature.

Florida High Schools Restrict Access to “This One Summer”

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In response to a complaint from a parent of an elementary school student, three high school libraries in Florida have restricted access to the award-winning This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki.

Freeing writers AND readers

I agree with Allie Jane Bruce that “kids say this stuff” is a piss-poor reason for racist language in books for children. It’s a piss-poor reason generally, as the point of fiction has never been to mimic reality, which rarely makes nearly as much sense as even the most hackneyed novel. Fiction is always selecting: as Miss Binney explained to Ramona, […]

The post Freeing writers AND readers appeared first on The Horn Book.

Assessing Controversial Books | Scales on Censorship

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Should libraries that already purchased books based on their starred reviews keep or withdraw them because of subsequent controversies?

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

So People Disagree. Is This a Problem? | Up for Debate

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Withdrawing a book from circulation—which makes it disappear as effectively as burning—is a dangerous course. The book is gone. By the same logic, other books will also disappear, or never be written. But there’s another compelling cause for concern: Censorship often works against those who are the most marginalized—historically, women, minorities, and dissidents.

Whips AND chains

I’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is. As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday […]

The post Whips AND chains appeared first on The Horn Book.

“When I Was The Greatest” Book Cover Provokes Concern From Brooklyn Parents

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Despite complaints from a contingent of parents about a photo of a gun on the cover, the New York City Department of Education has no plans to remove Jason Reynolds’s YA novel from lists of suggested reading material for seventh and eighth graders.

Fresh Alternatives Build Engagement | Scales on Censorship

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Censorship expert Pat Scales offers guidance on helping competitive readers find their own thing, balancing the responsibility to protect privacy, and orienting new teachers to the role of the library.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Latest Tale of Captain Underpants Kept Out of School Book Fair

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The 12th “Captain Underpants” novel will only be available to school kids in Monroe, MI, if they specifically order it. It is not in the school library or at book fairs.

FL School District Lets Parents See What Kids Are Reading

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After book challenges by a local parents group this summer, a southern Florida school district gives parents online access to see what their children are checking out of the media center.

Facing Adversity: 72 Hours in the Life of a Librarian | Consider the Source

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In the library, adversity comes in many forms: a community persevering during unrest; a challenge to readers’ rights, and sometimes, in the form of bureaucracy.

Open Door Policy for All Students | Scales on Censorship

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The importance of providing student access to the library.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Beyond the Pluto Problem

Perusing Debbie’s Reese’s  provocative (to me, anyway!) and useful site American Indians in Children’s Literature, I came across a comment she made referencing and linking to the Texas State Library’s guide to weeding, CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries (link goes to a pdf). Last revised in 2012 by my most respected colleague and […]

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