Jamaica Kincaid

Banned Author Highlight: Jamaica Kincaid

When I was researching more about Lucy and Kincaid’s other works, I was struck by the number of criticisms that labeled her work as “angry”. Considering her childhood trauma and that many of her works contain autobiographical elements, it is not surprising that her characters are angry, or experience passionate feelings. That is true of many coming of age stories or memoirs.

Image of the book cover for Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books on a teal background with the words “Book Review” in orange to the right of the book cover image.

Book Review: Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books

Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books by Pat R. Scales features 33 books for youth that have been challenged since 2015. The book is a great primer for those looking to learn more about challenges to children’s literature. The book also includes a lot of further reading materials and backmatter that is a great jumping off point for researchers to learn more about issues of censorship.

Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard

“Divisive” Books Help Children Experiencing Trauma: An interview with the authors of Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice

The authors of challenged book Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice discuss censorship, how racism affects children’s health, and how anti-racist literature benefits society.

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?

Image includes the book cover of Call Me Max and The Murray School District logo with the words “LGBTQIA+ book challenge to the right of the images.

Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water: Challenges to Call Me Max and Equity Book Bundles in Murray School District

A challenge to the book Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff, a picture book about a transgender child, led to the Murray School District in Murray Utah temporarily suspending their equity book bundle program. The equity book bundle program is a program to help provide teachers with more diverse titles, particularly racially diverse titles, to add to their curriculum. Call Me Max is not part of the equity book bundle program, which has led to many questioning why the school district made the decision to put the program on hold in light of the challenge.

Pen and publishing contract

From Zora Neale Hurston’s “What White Publishers Won’t Print” (1950) TO #PublishingPaid Me (2020)

Hurston wrote “What White Publishers Won’t Print” in 1950. Seventy years later, #PublishingPaidMe exposed what we now know as the disparity of publishers’ pay advances to Black writers compared to White writers. There is a historical notion that Black books won’t appeal to a broad audience that has long been discredited through the success of many Black books. Hurston’s use of African-American Vernacular (AAV), her portrayal of black women, and Black cultural traditions were used to center Black lives in her stories. Because the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 are primarily of diverse people and topics, it is imperative to continue supporting and making opportunities equitable for Black writers.