“If your summer reading list includes historian Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and you’re planning to borrow it from the public library, get in line. Purdue University President Mitch Daniels’ alleged efforts to keep Zinn and his 1980 volume out of Indiana college classrooms has prompted a surge of interest in the book, and local libraries are purchasing additional copies to keep up with public demand. The book emphasizes violence against Native Americans and class inequality — presenting American history through the eyes of the common people rather than economic and political elites.” (via WWSBT-TV)
“School’s out for the summer, but there’s no vacation from book challenges. The Kids’ Right to Read Project is battling a handful of censorship cases…” (via NCAC)
“Rest assured, erotica lovers, the Toronto Public Library will not be reconsidering its collection of sexy literature, and there are still more than 250 copies of 50 Shades of Grey available (although the majority are currently out on loan). For a brief moment last year the genre faced a dilemma when one of its lesser-known works, the anthology Hard and Fast, was labelled as pornography by someone who wanted all seven copies removed from the library.” (via Toronto Star)
“The Chicago Public Schools ignited controversy this week by ordering that “Persepolis,” a critically acclaimed graphic novel about a girl growing up in Iran at the time of the Islamic revolution, be removed from some classrooms. CPS Chief Executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett said on Friday that the district was not banning the book, by Marjane Satrapi, but had decided that it was “not appropriate for general use” in the seventh grade curriculum.” (via Reuters)
“A Brazilian judge has ordered bookstores to ensure that the erotic trilogy ‘‘Fifty Shades of Grey’’ is out of the reach of minors. Judge Raphael Queiroz Campos issued the order Jan 14 after he saw children in one of city’s bookstores looking through erotic books, according to a statement issued by the Rio de Janeiro State Judiciary Department Thursday night.
Eleven copies of the ‘‘Grey’’ series were among 64 books taken from the shelves of two bookstores because their content was deemed improper for those under the age of 18.”
“The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah filed a lawsuit against the Davis School District after elementary schools in the district were instructed to remove a children’s book about a family with same-sex parents from library shelves. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a mother whose children attend one of the schools where the book was restricted. In Our Mothers’ House, by acclaimed children’s author Patricia Polacco, was initially placed in the Easy Reading section of Windridge Elementary School in Davis County. After a group of parents complained that the book “normalizes a lifestyle we don’t agree with,” the school district instructed librarians to place the book behind the library counter and to lend it only with written permission from a parent.”
“Think about Stephen King books with disturbing themes and the tale of the Overlook, a malevolent hotel, might come to mind, or Christine, a malevolent Plymouth. As a bestselling horror novelist, King made his bones and his fortune by frightening the wits out of readers. Yet it was his collection of non-horror novellas with themes more societal than scary that was briefly banned this month from a high school outside Sacramento.”
via LA Times.com
“A Fremont teacher’s request for a controversial story to be included in the list of acceptable texts for Advanced Placement English was rejected by Fremont Unified School District’s Board of Education in a 5-3 vote June 27. Teri Hu, a Washington High School AP English teacher, requested the use of “Bastard Out of Carolina” in 2009 and was rejected although books with similar subject matter such as “The Color Purple,” “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “We Were the Mulvaneys” were approved, according to Acacia O’Connor, a National Coalition Against Censorship project coordinator.”
“The highly politicized crackdown on America’s fat people hits Los Angeles today, with a motion from L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander to ban all soda vending machines on city-owned property.
Englander, a physically fit frat-bro type who is clearly trying to one-up New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his proposed ban on extra-large sodas, warns in his motion that… sugary drinks can “affect young people both mentally and physically” — even cause them “to be violent against peers and in dating relationships.”
via The Informer
“Patricia Polacco, whose children’s book In Our Mothers’ House got bounced from a Davis County elementary school library shelf to “behind the counter,” wants to make one thing clear: The book did not belong in the kindergarten-third grade section.
Rather, she says, it should have been on the fourth-grade-and-up shelves, where curious kids might read it and spark a good discussion with their families at the dining room table.”