Banned Books in the News
Well, if you haven’t realized yet, it is Banned Books Week, and a couple of challenges to books and authors recently have popped up in the news.
Laurie Halse Anderson – one of your favorite authors (to clarify, I am not generalizing here – when I go to the shelf for one of her books, they are checked out, which allows me to make the assumption that you enjoy reading her work) – recently has faced challenges toward two of her books.
One challenge was against award-winning Speak in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. The discussion of Speak in California even brought about the involvement of the Kids Right to Read Project. The school board allowed Speak (with a 4-1 vote ) to remain as an option for teachers to use as part of their curriculum in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. While a parent that was involved with the challenge thought that Speak was “smutty,” the director of the school board believes that Speak possesses literary value in addition to providing students with assigned reading that they could relate to.
The other challenges were against Twisted in the Downington Area School District in Pennsylvania and at Montgomery High School in Kentucky. The Downington Area School District has agreed to keep Twisted on a reading list; however, the superintendent for Montgomery High School continues to feel that Twisted lacks literary qualities. Anderson has asked fans and educators for their support in speaking up for the importance Twisted in the classroom.
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