When Jay Asher is approached by librarians, educators and others fighting censorship of his book, he shares emails from readers expressing what they gained from reading the book.
Legislation just proposed in Arkansas this week would ban books by or about Howard Zinn from all public schools in the state. The bill, submitted by Representative Kim Hendren, would prohibit any public school district or charter school from including anything written by the controversial Boston University professor between 1959 and his death in 2010.
Far more than just “keepers of the printed book” (our original job description), we are now, perhaps more than ever, guardians of our teens’ emotional as well as intellectual needs. A large part of our job responsibility is to provide a safe space, a blanket of warmth and comfort, a plethora of intellectual and emotional resources to the young adults we serve.
Our handy bookmark checklist for the 2017 Banned Book Reading Challenge will move you beyond the goal of simply reading more, to reading more of “the good stuff;” the good stuff being those books that have been deemed controversial enough to contain hidden nuggets of imagination, inventiveness, and revelation about life and the human condition.