My publisher, Tor Books, is sending 200 free copies of the paperback of my novel Little Brother to Booker T Washington High School, because it's the first school where any of my novels has been challenged by the school administration. Little Brother had been selected and approved as the school's summer One School/One Book reading pick, and the school librarian Betsy Woolley had worked with Mary Kate Griffith from the English department to develop an excellent educational supplement for the students to use to launch their critical discussions in the fall. The whole project had been signed off on by the school administration and it was ready to go out to the students when the principal intervened and ordered them to change the title.
The book in question, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time,” was banned from the reading list at the board’s May 5 meeting and was removed from the possession of students soon after. However, the books were given back to students on the advice of school board attorney Mike Jennings due to a possible conflict with a board policy.
“The word ban was a bad choice of words. I wanted it removed from the reading list, but instead we go out and start removing books from libraries and kids arms and they couldn’t do reports. That was not the intent of that,” said board member Wayne McNeese, who made the original motion.
After going back and reading the previous articles multiple times, comparing McNeese's comments here to his comments a few weeks ago... I have written and erased so many snarky responses that I've lost track. Because it seems to me that he wants it both ways: for the book not to be in use at the school, AND for people to not see him as a censor.
I just figure if you're going to go for it, OWN IT.
Wood is disturbed by profanity and sexual references in the book, written from the perspective of a Native American teenager. She cites her religious beliefs and "good morals" as to why she wants it off library shelves and out of students' hands.
"I'm Christian, OK? This is disgusting to me. It's very undesirable for our children to be reading, much less being taught, this kind of thing in a classroom." Wood said. "We don't use these words in Christian homes. I object to these words. I object to the masturbation."
While she has no children of her own enrolled in the district, Wood asked, "Is not every adult on this Earth responsible for the souls of all our children?"
What she seems to be suggesting here is that everyone in the world should conform to her exact same value system and worldview.
Which, obviously, doesn't work for me.
She also seems to assume that she's speaking for all Christians, everywhere, which I'm pretty sure is inaccurate.
NORTH BEND — Students in a North Bend High AP history and literature class are frustrated and confused after school administrators pulled Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” from their classroom last week.
On May 9, Dustin Hood and Scott Peters’ American Connections class started learning about post-World War II America. The class pairs history with literature, following literary movements in different eras. Peters complemented the history lesson with an assignment in postmodern literature: Read the first 30 pages of “The Bluest Eye” over the weekend.
Peters prefaced the assignment by telling his class of 40 students about the controversial content. If they didn’t want to read it, they didn’t have to, he said. Six opted out and chose to read a different book.
But the following Monday, Principal Bill Lucero came to the class with a box and asked the rest of the students to hand over their copies of “The Bluest Eye.”
There's a lot of great quotes in the article—it's well worth clicking through for the whole story.
A panel of parents, teachers and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school officials voted unanimously Wednesday to keep a book that uses the word "retarded" in the libraries of nine district schools.
Jenna Boutain, a Farmington resident whose daughter attends a district school, requested in April that the book "Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You" by Barthe DeClements be removed from schools because it uses a derogatory term for students with special needs.