The news is blossoming today with book challenge-related stories, and we thought we’d take a moment to share.
1.) A teacher’s aide in Dubuque, Iowa was fired (though she apparently about to quit anyway) after disrupting classes by insisting that Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a racist book that shouldn’t be taught in schools. Afterward, a judge denied her request for unemployment and noted, “Of course it’s racist. Part of the idea was to point out, through that book, that it was racist. It’s about racism.” The aide in question was apparently also disturbed by historical discussions of the existence of the Ku Klux Klan.
2.) A news station in Greensboro, North Carolina did a run-down of what happens during a book challenge and found out that a challenge has more or less never been upheld in libraries there. Their most recent challenge was a mash-up book called Dick and Jane and Vampires (gotta get me a copy of this book). The story talks about the long list of classic and great banned literature and brings a healthcare professional in to talk about the (not) harmful effects of “prurient” literature.
3.) Still more Fifty Shades of Grey. Seriously, we thought this was over. The book doesn’t meet selection criteria in Mobile, Alabama, evidently, though everyone and their mom is talking about the book. The library did state they would consider changing their no-erotica-ever-not-even-a-little-bit-of-it policy if there was enough interest in the title from patrons. You will recall NCAC was instrumental in restoring Fifty Shades to libraries in Florida and spoke up against a more or less identical policy in Maryland.
4.) This is not recent, but just came across our news slush pile: a discussion of Fifty Shades from The View from back in May, at the height of the Florida controversy. And I quote: “What are horny octogenarians supposed to do in Florida? They need to read the book also!”
5.) Finally, for your summer reading lists: HuffPo compiled a slideshow of 16 Books Challenged for their Gay Content. We would, of course, add The Family Book by Todd Parr and In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco, recently challenged for their discussion of non-traditional families.
What banned books are on your summer reading lists?