From the Des Moines Register:
Classroom copies of a novel about a 9-year-old boy whose father died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were removed last week from an Ankeny school following questions from a parent about the book’s content.
Assistant Superintendent Jill Urich said the novel was removed from ninth-grade classrooms at Northview Middle School because the title had not received school board approval for use in the district’s English curriculum.
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” published in 2005, continues to be available in the school library, she noted.
“It was not pulled for the content; it was pulled because it had not yet been board approved,” Urich said.
The district is in the process of developing a new curriculum approval process, she said. The earliest the book could go before the board for consideration would be in two months.
While the Assistant Superintendent made a point of stating that the book wasn't pulled for content, I do think it's interesting that it A) was pulled immediately after there was a complaint about content, B) was pulled in the middle of an assignment, forcing 60 students (not to mention their teacher/s) to pull up stakes and switch assignments mid-stream C) was pulled before a decision was made about whether or not it was deemed 'appropriate', which falls into 'guilty-until-proven-innocent' territory, D) was used in classrooms last year, presumably without any issue, despite the lack of board approval.
I hope every other book being used in classrooms at Northview Middle School has board approval, and I hope that they have a decent challenge policy in place after this. Otherwise, it could be a long, annoying ride for the students, the teachers, and the administration.