Updated 11/23/2021: North Kansas City Schools will return Fun Home and All Boys Aren’t Blue to library shelves after removing them before formal reviews could take place.
Originally posted 11/10/2021:
North Kansas City Schools has removed two award-winning books, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, from school libraries pending the outcome of challenges against them. This violates the districts own regulations and threatens students’ rights. NCAC has written to the district to urge them to return the books to shelves pending review and to ensure that the review of these books is based on objective, literary criteria, not the personal viewpoints of those who challenged the books.
The district’s regulations state: “The work in question will remain on library shelves and in circulation until a formal decision is made.” It is obviously improper for the District to ignore duly adopted Board rules and regulations.
A library, including a school library, is meant to include a broad selection of books that provide value to students. These books do just that. The District’s mission statement calls on the district to “Inspire Lifelong Learning” and to “Embrace Inclusion,” and both of these books serve those missions.
All Boys Aren’t Blue was named a 2020 Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, and the New York and Chicago Public Libraries; it was also called the Best Book of the Summer by People magazine and was a Kids’ Book Choice Award Finalist. It has been recognized as a valuable resource for teaching about cultural representation in literature.
Fun Home was named one of the best books of 2006 by The New York Times, Amazon.com, The Times of London, New York magazine and Publishers Weekly. Entertainment Weekly called it the best nonfiction book of the year, and Time named it the best book of the year. In particular, Fun Home was lauded by critics for its groundbreaking innovations in two literary genres: the graphic novel and LGBTQ literature.
Read the full letter to the school district below. Click here for a full screen view: