“When we quietly censor books that deal with tough issues like heroin addiction or books like Alex Gino’s GEORGE, which is a wonderful story about a transgender fourth grader, we are hurting kids. Because no matter where we teach, we have students who are living these stories. When we say, “This book is inappropriate,” we’re telling those children, “Your situation…your family…your life is inappropriate.” This is harmful. It directly hurts children. And that’s not what we do.”
Dear Round Rock ISD, You recently disinvited author Phil Bildner from speaking to your schools about children’s books that promote tolerance, compassion, empathy, and friendship. Your administrators say it was because of a comment Phil made during several presentations he gave to your students last year.
As authors, librarians, teachers, and parents talk about cancelled school visits, there has been a lot of speculation and very few answers. This post includes the official statement from the Round Rock Independent School District and Phil’s response to the statement with his account of the details and staff comments leading up to his disinvitation.
There’s an empathy portion of my school visit presentations. We talk about characters who are different than us. Look different. Believe different things. Dress differently. Because when we read, we develop a better understanding of the human experience. I booktalked George to fourth graders at six schools and to a combined assembly of third and fifth graders at another. I shared with the kids the book’s most basic and beautiful message. Be who you are.
By: Ken Sawdon Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel was number 7 on the list of top ten most challenged books of 2015. It was most often challenged […]
Author and journalist, Cory Doctorow writes in his review on BoingBoing, “This One Summer is one of those books with the power to change young peoples’ lives, to become a guidebook and a touchstone through adolescent turbulence. It’s wonderful.”
In Kentucky, readers rejoice. At tonight’s open reconsideration committee meeting, Emily Veatch defended the right for her students to read Looking for Alaska by John Green. She was supported by librarians all over the country and right there in Lebanon. Marion County Public Librarians attended the meeting with buttons, t-shirts, and signs opposing the censorship of this book in the entire high school. And they succeeded!
By: Naomi Bates It has happened to me in the library…coming in fresh from another library or just being a new librarian, you may experience the same thing I have. […]
Nerdfighters Unite! Author, John Green, has put out a call for action against censorship. On Friday, April 1st he alerted his huge fan base on social media to a challenge at Marion County High School in Kentucky.
“If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.”–Neil Gaiman