You Can’t Read That!

You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post featuring banned book news and reviews.

Photo © Warwa on Flickr

“The purpose of our elementary schools is to teach writing, reading and arithmetic, not to encourage boys to wear dresses.” “Jacob’s New Dress” pulled from 1st grade curriculum in North Carolina after teacher complains to state legislators.

Arizona school district pulls “The Kite Runner” from high school English curriculum, disallows it as optional independent reading. School district insists it’s not a ban, oddly replaces it with another frequently-challenged book, “Of Mice and Men.” Or not so oddly … no Muslims, no rape scene in Steinbeck’s book.

Full text of American Library Association’s “State of America’s Libraries Report 2017,” which includes the “Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2016” list (in line with a trend often commented on here, the first five books on the list have LGBT characters).

Librarian speaks about attempts to ban Allison Bechdel’s graphic novel “Fun Home” and Craig Thompson’s “Blankets” from a Missouri library ten years ago, and how it impacted her career. That seems baitish, so I’ll save you the click by telling you here it didn’t.

Here we go again. Wisconsin parents challenge Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” One complaint: “Unfortunately the message of this hope is literally drowned out by the shocking words of profanity, sexual innuendo and violence.” Uh huh.

Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” repeatedly banned and challenged since its original publication in 1985, has emerged as the unofficial dystopian novel of Americans fearful of the direction things may take under Trump. Note to self: re-read and review in a future YCRT! column.

“Florida lawmakers want to make it easier for parents and residents to challenge school textbooks. Depending on who you ask, the bill is a slippery slope towards book burning, or a step towards community control.” Has anyone considered the fact that many conservatives view book burning and community control are one and the same?

Study of Texas teens finds no connection between reading banned or challenged books and mental health issues or delinquent behavior.

A Canadian school has forbidden students to talk about the Netflix TV series “13 Reasons Why.” A Colorado school district banned the book outright. Note to self: add to Netflix watch list.

If a white artist paints a dead black boy, is she merely profiting off black suffering? What’s behind calls for an artist to not only remove but destroy her painting of Emmett Till.

Disinvited speaker writes about the cancellation of his scheduled speech on censorship to students at an upstate New York high school.

University of Alaska Anchorage resists community pressure, refuses to remove painting of Captain America holding severed head of Donald Trump from public display.

American University gets out ahead of potential complaints by warning fraternity not to “appropriate culture” by holding a “Bad(minton) and Boujee” party.

“Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech.” Are students at Wellesley College no longer taught logic or English?


One thought on “You Can’t Read That!

  • Again an interesting insight in a world that seems very strange to me. Small groups of people deciding what other people should read. Based on personal political prejudices, opinions and what not. The closest l can relate to is the small village where I grew up. 3000 people or so. Learned to read at 7 and ate books at a rate of several per week. I even read encyclopedias. Local library open once a week. Two libraries… One for kids an one for 16 years or older. I got special permission to enter the grown up library at 12. Nagged a lot I am sure… Now the point; I did read all kinds of books. But I was refused by the librarian to borrow one book once. I still remember the name of the book; Ewald. He didn’t tell me the reason. I do remember not liking the feeling of someone else deciding for me though.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge