Stick by Andrew Smith

The “Uncompromising” Compromise of Beaverton School District’s Book Ban

Beaverton School District is creating quite a buzz but for all the wrong reasons. Parents and teachers recently received notice that the school’s superintendent decided to ban Andrew Smith’s young adult novel, Stick, from the majority of its students. Read the letter from ALA and the Oregon Library Association.

Book Challenges and Authors Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Book Challenges and Authors Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Indeed, however difficult it might be to differentiate the men who authored these books from their words on the page, it is vital to our First Amendment rights and the promotion of intellectual freedom that we do not let that difficulty interfere with our duties as librarians. Patrons possess, and should continue to hold, the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to read these materials.

New Jim Crow Tim Bonnemann

Reading as a Mirror: Banning the New Jim Crow in New Jersey Prisons

On January 10th, the New Jersey prisons reversed a ban on Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, after a letter from the New Jersey ACLU challenged the ban. With a little reflection, it isn’t hard to see the bitter irony of banning prisoners from reading a book like The New Jim Crow, a book that argues that mass incarceration targets African-Americans in order to keep them in an inferior position both socially and economically. These men and women are made “socially dead,” to borrow a phrase from famed sociologist Orlando Patterson.

The Hate She Received: Why the Banning of Angie Thomas’ Book was an Insult to the Black Lives Matter Movement

By: guest blogger Andrea Jamison. The banning of Angie Thomas’s New York Times bestselling book, The Hate U Give, is another stark reminder that the message behind the Black Lives Matter movement has indeed fallen on deaf ears. Although officials from the Katy Independent School District in Texas affirm that the book is not technically banned but is under a “standard” procedural review, it is clear that the district circumvented their policies by removing copies of the book during this “review” process.

Cover image Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, paperback edition, 1998.

‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ Celebrates 80 Years!

Hurston’s book was the first novel published by an African-American woman, and her story of the search for love and self-identity is one that we can all relate to. As historical fiction with a specific setting, “The novel provides a rare glimpse into life as it was for some African Americans living in the Florida in the early 1900s, post-slavery.”