Photo is of author Robin Stevenson signing books at The Bookstore, downtown Glen Ellyn. Julia Nephew took the photo.

Author Robin Stevenson Returns to Speak in Community Where She Was Uninvited for LGBTQ+ Content

By: guest contributor Julia A. Nephew. “To me this has been a reminder of how invisible LGBTQ people in history still are in many school curriculum,” author Robin Stevenson said of District 200 canceling her Oct. 2 talk. “And it does make me feel like it’s important that all kids are aware of the really significant contributions of LGBTQ people throughout history, and it’s important that LGBTQ kids and teens in particular see their own lives and identities reflected in the books they read.”

Magnifying glasses, book, calligraphy

Omission or censorship? Meta-outrage overlooks legitimate controversy

Outrage tends to oversimplify. Outrage over outrage tends exacerbate this, and shift focus away from the situation at hand. In a recent emblematic example, the author of an editorial who is fatigued by “ban worries” over school library books strives to differentiate between omission and censorship. This side-debate, albeit valuable, misdirects from actual censorship occurring within the confines of the original controversy. Go figure.

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time–Banned for Being Unethical?

As we were selecting the book, I came across a news article sent to me by Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director of OIF about a school in Oregon that had banned the book along with nine other titles, including the dictionary, during the 2015-2016 school year https://theroguenews.com/19251/arts-enter/banned-books-at-ashland-high-school/

The reason listed next to Hawkins’ A Brief History of Time was “unethical context.”

The First Amendment

Teens and Teaching the First Amendment

Students do not necessarily jump for joy if you tell them they will be learning about intellectual freedom and the First Amendment. However, many of these concepts are included in national and state-level learning and library standards and are important for them to learn about as citizens and future voters. Read more for ideas on how school librarians and teachers can actively engage teen learners in the critical thinking necessary to reach these learning goals.

Unpresidented: a Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough

Moving Post- Post-Truth in a Trump Biography for Young Readers by Martha Brockenbrough

Living in a post-truth political climate can make it difficult for teachers and school librarians to select reading materials while also appearing neutral. Read excerpts of an interview with Martha Brockenbrough, author of Unpresidented: a Biography of Donald Trump, to learn more about how she approached writing a biography on the 45th president for young readers, challenges to herself and the book, and what she hopes young readers will take away after reading.

To Kill a Mockingbird cover art

Banned Book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is America’s ‘Best-Loved’ Novel

Part of the reason that the novel is so well loved, I think, is because it challenged so many of us to think about difficult issues. Whether we continue to teach Mockingbird or choose to move on to another, more modern book, one important lesson from Mockingbird will live on – we will continue to read, and love, our banned books.