Residents of North Carolina’s Watauga County have rallied in recent weeks in support of Isabel Allende’s acclaimed novel The House of the Spirits, which is being challenged by a local group. In an effort to keep the issue in the public eye ahead of book’s next review, advocates hosted a teach-in about the book last week at Appalachian State University.
Among the dozens of concurrent learning sessions at the American Association of School Librarians’ National Conference last month, a popular theme was that of intellectual freedom. “What Do I Do If? Intellectual Freedom Dilemmas in School Libraries” stood out for its scope and its round-robin style approach to problem-solving.
The Freedom to Read Foundation, joined by key library and learning advocates, filed an amicus brief November 25 with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that bans ethnic studies. The statute violates students’ First Amendment rights, Barbara M. Jones, FTRF’s executive director, says.
Sherman Alexie’s award-winning young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indiancan no longer be taught in classrooms at West Virginia’s Harpers Ferry Middle School, English teacher Dawn Welsh—who had assigned the book to approximately 120 eighth graders—tells SLJ. The often-challenged title was removed from the curriculum at Jefferson County Schools after parent Misty Frank objected to its profanity and sexual content.
Neil Gaiman‘s bestselling urban fantasy novel Neverwhere has been restored to the curriculum at New Mexico’s Alamogordo High School (AHS), ending a temporary suspension due to a parental challenge. The book remained available to students in the library, although it had been pulled from English classes for several weeks until a review committee found it to be suitable and age-appropriate for study.
A parent in Marietta, Georgia, has lodged a complaint with his local school board about the inclusion of Hena Khan’s picture book Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors at his daughter’s Scholastic Book Fair on October 17. Thomas Prisock claims that the book is “an indoctrination of Muslim culture,” according to the The Marietta Daily Journal.
The parent who objected to the use of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits in North Carolina’s Watauga High School vows she will appeal the decision of a school advisory committee, who voted unanimously last week to retain the book. Notably, however, the parent also says that the book should not be banned, only that it should not be required reading for students at the high school.
The People for the American Way Foundation (PFAW), a progressive advocacy and freedom of speech organization, have sent a letter to the Watauga County (NC) Board of Education urging it to retain the use of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits in the school’s English curriculum. The award-winning novel has been challenged by a parent, who is asking the board to consider its removal from the district.
The Tucson, Arizona, school board on Tuesday voted 3-2 to reintroduce seven books by Latino and Native American writers to the curriculum as supplementary classroom materials, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) announced today. The books had been removed from the curriculum two years ago when the district dissolved its acclaimed Mexican American Studies program.
A parent at Watauga High School in Boone, North Carolina, has challenged the use of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits (Knopf, 1982) in the school’s English curriculum and is asking the Board of Education to consider its removal from the district, local newspaper the Watauga Democrat has reported.
Neil Gaiman’s bestselling urban fantasy novel Neverwhere is still available to students at the library at New Mexico’s Alamogordo High School, despite recent news reports that it is “banned,” the school’s librarian and media specialist Vicki Bertolino tells SLJ. The district is currently accepting written public comments ahead of its planned review of the book’s literary merit.
Neil Gaiman’s dark urban fantasy novel Neverwhere has been removed from both the school library and the required reading list at Alamogordo (NM) High School this week following the complaint of one parent, who objected to its sexual innuendos and “harsh” language, according to a report by New Mexico’s local KRQE news station.
A group of Colorado parents are challenging the use of John Green’s award-winning young adult novel Looking for Alaska (Dutton, 2005) in 9th grade classrooms, the author wrote on his Tumblr-based blog yesterday. Green is urging supporters to write in solidarity with the teachers and librarians at the school, Fort Lupton Middle and High School, who he says are “heroically” standing by their choice.
Since 1982, Banned Books Week has been an annual opportunity during the last week of September for librarians and other freedom fighters around the country to celebrate banned and challenged books, shine a spotlight on censorship, and honor those heroes working for open access to materials and the right to read for all. This year’s campaign is proceeding in some unique and wonderful ways. How are you marking the occasion?