The brother of an incoming senior in New Eagle, PA has formally requested the removal of the award-winning dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood from the Ringgold High School summer reading list, complaining about the novel’s “adult nature” and “grossly inappropriate conduct.”
The board’s vote to suspend the book was mitigated by the August 12 decision to rescind the book’s removal, although Handmaid is not an option to students who have not yet started to read the novel.
The book, first published in 1985, is now considered standard reading and has received numerous awards for its portrayal of an unnamed country following a terrorist attack. It is worth noting that the book is recommended by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is “relevant in countries worldwide and touches on issues that many people, including teenagers, are trying to understand themselves.”
The Kid’s Right to Read Project (KRRP) of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) sent the below letter, which explains the constitutional and educational reasons for retaining the book, to the Ringgold High School President and members of the Board of Education.
For more information, read the press release.