By taking a look at Mat-Su’s recent censorship controversy, I consider why challenges to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and other books that address rape are so common—and how we might address concerns about sexual trauma in literature without banning or unfairly labeling books.
The protests of 2020 and the tragic and painful hindsight of 20/20 make March a compelling, tragic, and inspiring read as we follow the renewed/continued/ever-more-urgent calls for racial justice in this country and around the world. Telling the story of John Lewis’s unparalleled life as a civil rights activist, March narrates Lewis’s and the U.S. history with the fierce urgency of today.
Like all readers, teachers and librarians develop intimate relationships with books, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the books teachers and librarians choose to offer our students are intimately tied with who we are, what we care about, and what is happening in our lives at any given historical moment.
Sometimes, institutions respond to book challenges by following their policies as they should. These examples of calm, reasonable adherence to establish policies and procedures really make my day, and I’d like to share them with you.
Sometimes stories of extreme attempts at censorship like those in Missouri and Florida seem ridiculous, appalling, or impossible, but as someone who reads the news frequently, I can attest that they happen with alarming frequency. If you can take the time to take one small step, we can all work together to take small steps toward increased intellectual freedom.
Dear Jacqueline Woodson, I’m so happy to celebrate your birthday with you today, and so are my two kids, my students, and my colleagues in the worlds of children’s, young adult, and adult literature! Thank you for your books, your voice, and all the ways that you elevate the experiences of youth, particularly youth of color.
The Trump administration is considering issuing an executive order requiring that all scientific research funded by federal grants be immediately published via open access. Publishers aren’t happy, but open access advocates are celebrating.
My goal is to share my story and shake off a little of that remaining fear, and to encourage others in my position to keep moving forward in support of the intellectual freedom rights of all members of a school community. I have a right to tell my story, and you have a right to tell yours.
Atwood’s sequel, set fifteen years after Offred’s step into the darkness, or else the light, at the end of the original novel, brings us new mediations on the power of reading, the strength of the mind, and women and literacy.
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.