In Common Sense Media’s reviews, conflating the the amount of “inappropriate” content and the value of the messages within the same five-star rating system does a disservice to parents, youth, and art as a whole.
Euphoria recognizes that progress and growth don’t happen in a straight line. Works of art are not simply vehicles for morals and “positive messages,” and Common Sense Media’s rating system over-simplifies the relationship between art and virtue.
When faced with challenges to freedom of expression or limitations on access to information, teens require caring support and reliable information.
Youth need a space where they feel accepted, and the library can be that space.
Maurice Sendak’s 1970 book In the Night Kitchen is a dreamy book about a naked little boy named Mickey working to keep from getting baked in a cake. But from the moment the book was published and continuing into the 21st century, Mickey’s nudity has unsettled reviewers, parents and even some librarians.
Last month, as Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker celebrated the 50th anniversary of their landmark legal win on behalf of students’ First Amendment rights, they make connections to today’s student activists and the issues students and citizens of all ages are moved to protest.
Parents in Mahwah, NJ are expressing distress that the school district has, in their view, reduced student access to books in the school libraries.
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.
The adult services staff received a package in the mail presented as if it were an ILL. Upon opening it, Jamie Dacyczyn found a paperback book, cataloged in the Teen Comics section, wrapped in white bandage tape with the words “filthy” and “not suited for children” and “18+” written on the tape. It also came with a 4”x 6” lined unsigned post-it note explaining how this books was found at a camp for children and it is totally inappropriate for teens, etc.
With the major success of science fiction and fantasy films based on novels recently including The Hunger Games (not published by Tor) and Ender’s Game (published by Tor), I have long thought that science fiction and fantasy was a great “gate way” genre for reluctant teen readers in particular. Therefore, as a librarian and a buyer of Tor’s books myself I would add my voice to those asking Tor and Macmillan to reconsider this embargo.