“As subversive books go, many of the 49 children’s tales hardly seem seditious. There is the story of the male dog who aspired to be a ballerina. The one about the little boy who wanted to be a princess, and a princess who wanted to be a soccer player. The tale of the penguin egg hatched and adopted by two male penguins (based on a real story at the Central Park Zoo in New York). And another about a little boy who learns to live with a physical disability, metaphorically depicted as a little saucepan that bangs around in his wake.” (via NYT)
“It turns out at least one part of publishing has a diverse slate of authors: The books most likely to be pulled from school and library shelves. The American Library Association on Monday released its annual list of the 10 books receiving the most complaints from parents, educators and others in the local community. Sherman Alexie’s prize-winning, autobiographical novel of school life, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” ranked No. 1, followed by Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel “Persepolis” and the picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin, Peter Parnell’s and Justin Richardson’s “And Tango Makes Three.” (via AP)
“A concerned parent said a high school library book is pornographic and that it promotes prostitution and child abuse, but a school district committee voted to keep that controversial book in the library. “I just started going throughout the whole entire book, looking at it,” said Catrenna Lopez, mother of a freshman at Rio Rancho High School. Lopez took cellphone pictures after seeing the book her 15-year-old son brought home from the school library last month. “First thing I did was open up the book and come to a sex scene in the book,” Lopez said.” (via KRQE News 13)
“The Illinois Family Institute has long been listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so news that their “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins has said something incendiary about LGBTQ people is not a surprise. This time, however, the particular focus of her anti-gay rant is worth considering, if only because it partakes in the phenomenon of absurd conservative rhetoric sort of sounding good if you don’t think about it too hard.” (via Slate)
“Toronto Public Library occasionally gets requests from people who want a particular book, movie or audio recording removed from library shelves. Librarians dutifully review each complaint.
Sometimes the requests are reasonable. In 2012, for instance, a complaint led to the removal of an educational video that a library user thought reinforced racist stereotypes about date rape. The newly released list of removal requests for 2013, meanwhile, is just completely insane.
In March 2013, someone complained about Hop on Pop, a Dr. Suess book intended to teach phonics to young children, because it “encourages children to use violence against their fathers.” (via torontolife.com)