Pounce and The Right to Read
DK is Pouncing to Taj Mahal
Celebrating the Freedom to Read
Did you know September 27th is the first day of Banned Book Week? From the ALA – “BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.”
Books that people have tried to ban or have been banned this year include:
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Challenged at the Newton, Iowa High School (2007) because of concerns about profanity and the portrayal of Jesus Christ. Newton High School has required students to read the book since at least the early 1980s. In neighboring Des Moines, it is on the recommended reading list for ninth-grade English, and it is used for some special education students in the eleventh and twelfth grades. Retained in the Olathe, Kans. ninth grade curriculum (2007) despite a parent calling the novel a “worthless, profanity-riddled book” which is “derogatory towards African Americans, women, and the developmentally disabled.”
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner.Challenged as appropriate study in tenth-grade honors English class at Freedom High School in Morganton, N.C. (2008) because the novel depicts a sodomy rape in graphic detail and uses vulgar language.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. Pulled from the senior Advanced Placement (AP) English class at Eastern High School in Louisville, Ky. (2007) because two parents complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted the inappropriate topics of bestiality, racism, and sex. The principal ordered teachers to start over with the The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in preparation for upcoming AP exams. Challenged in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho School District (2007). Some parents say the book, along with five others, should require parental permission for students to read them.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Retained in the English curriculum by the Cherry Hill, N.J. Board of Education (2007). A resident had objected to the novel’s depiction of how blacks are treated by members of a racist white community in an Alabama town during the Depression. The resident feared the book would upset black children reading it.
Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars. Challenged in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho School District (2007). Some parents say the book, along with five others, should require parental permission for students to read them.