Photo of Barbara Park and her dog, Maggie.

Happy Birthday Barbara Park!

We are used to seeing censorship attempts for heavy, controversial topics: drugs, LGBTQ+ themes, sexual content, religion, death, ect. But the Junie B. Jones series is aimed at young readers. She’s a kindergartener, worried about riding the bus on her first day of school and getting up to hilarious, albeit a bit questionable, antics. To what, exactly, are people objecting in these books?

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Challenge to Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: Q&A with Aidan Larson

Recently, I was able to speak to Ms. Larson regarding this situation. Her commitment to intellectual freedom and dedication to fostering an antiracist learning environment for her students is evident in her discussion of the challenge to Stamped. Not every educator is in the position to fight back against a challenge: it can be a risk to their professional reputation or even their job security. But if they’re able to do so, it always makes a difference, even if censorship prevails in that particular incident. As Ms. Larson states below: “Fight for the kids. They will know. They always know.”

Roald Dahl

Condemning without Cancelling: A Response to Roald Dahl Family’s Apology for His Anti-Semitic Comments

In early December 2020, news outlets reported on a statement made by the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC). At some point, Roald Dahl’s family quietly issued an apology on the official Roald Dahl website, denouncing the famous children’s author’s anti-Semitic views and statements. They made it clear they do not condone Dahl’s views, and they lament the “lasting and understanding hurt” these comments may have caused the Jewish community. The official statement also implies that his prejudicial comments were not in keeping with the beloved man they knew, even though Dahl’s comments were made very publicly and with no remorse, even towards the end of his life.

Christmas lights wrapped around a stack of books

Bah Humbug: a List of Censored Christmas Stories

There will always be silly reasons for attempting to ban a book, but I would have thought that there wasn’t anything to challenge about holiday books. I mean, Santa, reindeer, twinkly lights, Hallmark movies, present exchanges, good will towards men? What is there to object? However, as it turns out, I was wrong; there are attempts to challenge books about the most wonderful time of the year.

gavel

Stanley v. Georgia, Fifty Years Later

Why is this case still worth our attention? It’s been 50 years. Private freedoms are viewed as a necessary pillar of our society. As Americans, we have the right to privately read and view whatever information or material we wish. It is unconstitutional for the government to come in and try to police the content of the media we’re consuming. Right?