Censors and Schools: The Battle Over Children's Literature

A panel discussion on censorship of children's literature
6 – 8 pm Thursday, September 28, 2000
Freedom Forum
580 Madison Avenue between 56th & 57th Streets
New York City

Popular children's books—from Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter—are challenged every day and in communities all over the country, not simply to express different points of view, but to restrict access. Does this literature truly threaten mainstream religion, authority figures, cutural integrity, children's well-being? Or does it encourage reading, learning, creativity and tolerance? Ken Paulson, executive director of the First Amendment Center, will discuss restrictions being faced by writers, schools and libraries with the following panelists:


  • Judy Blume, author of several challenged novels about adolescence, among them Blubber, Tiger Eyes, Forever and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
  • Carolivia Herron, scholar and author of Nappy Hair, challenged in Brooklyn, NY
  • Cammie Mannino, Detroit-area bookseller who successfully reinstated Suzanne Staples' novel Shabanu, banned by the school board

This event will be a special taping of the First Amendment Center's television program "Speaking Freely," shown on MetroArts/Thirteen. It is co-hosted by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression as part of Banned Books Week 2000, the 19th annual celebration of the freedom to read, September 23 – 30.