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Readers had their say about "Dictionaries on the Chopping Block," the latest Scales on Censorship column, and more.


Readers had their say about "Dictionaries on the Chopping Block," the latest Scales on Censorship column.

That’s the kid’s job! What fun it is to find saucy words and use them in a sentence! This is how we learn to best describe a book banner, killjoy, and pearl-clutcher!
—@alischilpp, Instagram

Banning the DICTIONARY is anti-education in 3 words. At this point the U.S. isn't even Orwellian, it's just a Monty Python sketch. Stay strong, library advocates!
—masonstott, Instagram

I’m sorry but this is hilarious.
—Alida Jane, commenting on Facebook

How many of the children in these schools where dictionaries are banned have cell phones and tablets with internet access?!
—@backroads_bird, Instagram

Shame on anyone who bends to this ridiculous garbage. Lines in the sand man. Don’t be scared, be mad.
—@cat.n.kid, Instagram


Parsing “Monster”

For Travis Jonker, "The Monster at the End of this Book," is a go-to readaloud.

"But I always have a moment where I think 'Okay, we’re all about to tell Grover to take his fears and shove ’em – because we’re going to keep turning pages,'" he writes in the "100 Scope Notes" post. 

"Is it weird that we torture Grover during the course of this book? Am I overthinking this?"

Readers responded.

Kids love when characters are tortured! See the Pigeon also! The mad power of making a fictional character stress out! They love it!
—Niki Ohs Barnes, Facebook

I think it's great that it's crossed your mind; it shows you care! However, there are plenty of book that address the fears in a more psychological way. Quite frankly, there are books about fear that seem scary to me but some kids love them. As with everything else in our library world, it's about balance. Read Grover, but maybe add another that addresses it differently. 🙂—Denise Chojnacki, Facebook

I never thought about it this way - whenever I read the book with kids, I feel like it's giving them practice encouraging and supporting someone through scary situations in an approachable way.
—Laura Maier, Facebook

One of the best examples of a book that breaks the 4th wall. This is a classic and beloved book that children find hysterical and shows that it’s ok to have fears and that it’s also important to face them. Grover cutely deflecting blame at the end “look at that, it wasn’t so bad (and you were so scared”) is funny and relatable to children everywhere.
— east_madamlibrarian, Instagram

This was one of my children’s favorite for years. I believe you are overthinking it. We read the Grover part as is he is playing with the reader. The same way parents play with their kids - can you help we lift this “heavy” box?
Children need to learn humor and how to laugh along with others. Feels like we could use a bit more laughter today.
But if you don’t like it or are not comfortable with it - choose another. Every book it’s reader and every reader their book.
—Andrea Berstler

As a kid I definitely had that thought. I had grownups who mocked and dismissed my concerns. But I also had adults who were encouraging. I saw our actions toward Grover as the second kind because we all knew that Grover was the monster at the end of the book so we were helping him get over that particular fear. I was a precocious little kid who would overthink everything

— Christine Reardon, Facebook

[To Christine Reardon;] Yes! It's all in *how* you read it. You can have the kids calmly encourage Grover throughout. You can read Grover's voice in a less dramatic, almost jokey way...like he's in on the joke. If you read the book like he's truly terrified and have everyone mock him then ,yeah...it's not going to be great.
—Rebecca Kerrigan

Jonker isn’t overthinking. This book (charming, hilarious, fun to read) is seriously bad at listening compassionately to Grover’s fears. It’s also a challenging book when it comes to conversations about consent.
—Elizabeth Wallace

—Laura Jensen Acosta


"Weaponizing ignorance"

This reader's situation in "Scales on Censorship" drew feedback.

Union up at your place of work.
—damij13, Instagram

One community member in my local area has made it their mission to wage war against lgbtq books. This violates my 14 amendment parent right to choose information access for my own kids. Why do certain citizens get to weaponize their ignorance to violate my rights?
—astronomicaltutor, Instagram



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