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.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 5/28/2021

The ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT), the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) iSchool invite library professionals and the public to a free virtual celebration for their intellectual freedom award winners on Thursday, June 24th 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CT.

Julius C. Jefferson Jr., ALA President and former FTRF President, will open the celebration with a talk highlighting the value of intellectual freedom awards in the profession and in our culture.

Following the presentations, award-winning banned author Kyle Lukoff will present a celebratory keynote speech. Lukoff is a children’s book author, school librarian, and former bookseller.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 5/21/2021

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones and Isabel Wilkerson announced as ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition featured speakers: “Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative reporter who covers civil rights and racial injustice for the New York Times Magazine. She was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for The 1619 Project, The New York Times Magazine’s groundbreaking exploration of the legacy of Black Americans starting with the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in 1619. It has been read by millions, studied in classrooms all across the country, and invoked by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Its central argument, that so many aspects of contemporary American life have their roots in the system of slavery out of which the country grew, has sparked intense debate in the two years since it was published.”

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.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 5/14/2021

Each year the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) distributes grants to support activities that raise awareness of intellectual freedom and censorship issues during the annual Banned Books Week celebration. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Banned Books Week runs from Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2021 and the grants of $1,000 or $2,500 are offered through the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund. Visit the Freedom to Read Foundation online to apply and learn more about past recipients and their projects. Deadline: June 4, 2021.