Aug 1, 2011

Banned Books Roundup - July 2011



I have been blogging for a little over two years now and this is a feature I have always wanted to do. Welcome to the first edition of Banned Books Roundup! At the end of every month I will feature stories that all have one thing in common, book censorship. Because I focus mainly on YA literature, these banned sightings will, you guessed it, spotlight children and young adult literature censorship. Over the past several weeks there have been an unfortunately large number of cases of challenged books. Below is a list with links to full articles. I encourage you to read these challenged books and decide for yourself.....

School Board Delays Vote On Challenged Book 7/15/201
The Albemarle School Board has deferred its vote on a parent's challenge that involves Sir Arthur Conan's book, "A Study in Scarlett" at Henley Middle School. A parent complained about the way Mormon's were portrayed. The board expects to vote on August 11th.

Richland Schools Rescind Ban of Sherman Alexie Novel 7/18/2011
The board of the Richland (Wash.) School District reversed its ban on Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The reconsideration came after the board learned that not all members of the district’s Instructional Materials Committee, recently established to review all books used in the schools, had read it. After personally reading the novel, Donahoe said he found it to be “outstanding.” He and Guay said that in the future they will read every book they are to vote on.

Republic School District Pulls 2 Books, Keeps 1 7/26/2011
Two books have been banned from the libraries and curriculum at Republic High School after a parent complained that their content taught principles contrary to the Bible. The district's school board voted Monday to remove Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" and Sarah Ockler's "Twenty Boy Summer," but to allow Laurie Halse Anderson's "Speak" to be used in the district's high school. "Speak," which is taught in English I and II courses, because although it had one short description of a rape, it had a strong message at the end. "Twenty Boy Summer" was said to "sensationalized sexual promiscuity."

Sarah Ockler wrote a wonderful response to the banning of her outstanding book. Read the full response HERE. Joe Hadsall with the Joplin Globe wrote a response to the banning HERE. Although he has respect for Wesley Scroggins (the thorn in everyone's side), he thinks the banning is a terrible decision. The banning even made the CBS news.

Banned Books Week Features YouTube Read-Out 7/29/2011
Publisher's Weekly announced that people may submit two minutes videos of themselves reading a challenged/banned book and those videos will be broadcast on YouTube in a partnership with ALA (American Library Association) and American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

I am happy to co-host the Banned Books Week Hop this year with Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. The hop runs September 24th-October 1st. For all the scoop, go HERE.


If you know of a story that I missed, feel free to share! Want more information about book censorship? Visit these amazing sites:

ALA - Office for Intellectual Freedom
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
Frequently Challenged Books listed at ALA
Banned Books Week info HERE and HERE

3 comments:

  1. Great round up! I am lucky to live in an area where reading books that have been banned in other areas is encouraged. When I was in middle school, we had a whole shelf dedicated to banned and challenged books. I have also been happy to find that a huge about of banned books have made our english classroom curriculums. Banning of books makes me so mad!! I'm glad I live in an area where all books are available to me.

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  2. Oh, I like this feature! Sad that there's still book banning in this day and age but I appreciate you shining a light on those who do. Thanks for putting this together.
    Mary @ Book Swarm

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  3. Britta - Your librarian was awesome to have a shelf dedicated to banned books! I hope there are more out there!

    Mary - Yes, sad that censorship still happens. It's time to get educated and face the facts that teens can handle real world issues.

    Thx for the comments!

    Jen

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