AP – “A state in western India banned Pulitzer-Prize winner Joseph Lelyveld’s new book about Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday after reviews saying it hints that the father of India’s independence had a homosexual relationship. The author says his work is being misinterpreted. More bans have been proposed in India, where homosexuality was illegal until 2009 and still carries social stigma.”
Crossville Chronicle – “A motion to remove the novel The Catcher in the Rye from the school system failed to pass the Cumberland County Board of Education after the motion’s support was removed.
Jim Blalock, 8th District representative, said, “We have a book that is offensive that may or may not be used in our school system named ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’ I would like to have that book removed from the Cumberland County School System and it not be used.”
ABC Action News – “After weeks of a review process, the Hillsborough County Public Library System has ruled that a controversial kids book will stay on public library shelves.
The book is called My Mom’s Having a Baby by an author named Dori Butler based in Iowa. The book was published in 2005. As the story line goes, a little girl named Elizabeth is curious about how her mother became pregnant and childbirth. Throughout the book’s 30 pages, little Elizabeth learns about these topics in great detail.” (via)
Fairbanks Daily News – “A school district committee has recommended that high school libraries continue to offer the book “Betrayed.” The book has been under evaluation by the committee and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for the past few months. “Betrayed” is part two of the “House of Night” series by P.C. and Kristin Cast. The committee held a public hearing Tuesday night, the second step in the process that followed a request for reevaluation of the book.”
Andrea Cremer – “At age 32, I was sent to the principal’s office for the first time. Already possessing a butterfly-filled stomach in anticipation of my debut appearance as a school speaker, being lead into the administrator’s office only to have the door soundly closed was hardly the welcome I’d hoped for. I’d been pulled aside prior to my presentation because a parent had objected to my visit, citing the inappropriate content of my novel, “Nightshade.” Surprising news given the book wouldn’t be published for another three weeks.”
NYTimes – “Perhaps you’ve heard: It’s Banned Books Week, and across the country, libraries, bookstores, teachers and countless readers are celebrating “the freedom to read.” For an event like this, it never hurts to have a cause célèbre, and this year, organizers needn’t have gone very far in search of one. They just had to turn to Twitter, where people have been rallying behind the young-adult author Laurie Halse Anderson, whose best-selling 1999 novel, “Speak,” has found itself at the center of a heated censorship debate.
NYTimes – “Held annually during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of intellectual freedom and draws attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States, including books commonly taught in secondary schools. Here are ideas for celebrating Banned Books Week.”
Houston Chronicle – “When books are banned in schools, it’s usually because of sex. But profanity, violence, religion, politics, race — they get their face time, too. The same issues that spark hot tempers and raised voices between friends also pit First Amendment devotees against protective parents. Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, begins Saturday. And for the 14th year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has compiled a report on books challenged and banned across the state.”
Courier-Post – “A gay-themed book, which was pulled from a local high school’s library after a resident objected to its content, has also been yanked from Burlington County’s library system. The county system’s decision to remove “Revolutionary Voices,” an anthology of first-person works by gay youths, was made quietly in the spring. But it’s now stirring an online furor with the release of e-mails on the issue by the county’s library director, Gail Sweet. “How can we grab the books so that they never, ever get back into circulation?” Sweet asked in one e-mail to a library employee. “Copies need to totally disappear (as in not a good idea to send copies to the book sale).” And when another librarian asked why the award-winning book was being removed, Sweet responded with two words: “Child pornography.”