You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post about book banning. YCRT! features news and opinion roundups, commentary, and reviews.
YCRT! Banned Book Review News
I read and review banned and challenged books that appear in YCRT! news roundups and to date have published nearly 70 reviews. I really should build an index with links to each review, but until I do, my “banned book” shelf at Goodreads will serve as one. — Paul
YCRT! News & Opinion Roundup
If this Twitter thread doesn’t get you out of your chair and into the narrow dusty aisles of your local independent book store, you’re dead inside.
Okay WOW. Just WOW.
My 19yo daughter found it. She found the labyrinthine magical bookstore that you thought only existed in stories. This place is WILD and clearly chock full of forbidden tomes that open portals to other worlds.
Get cozy and come with me on a magical journey. pic.twitter.com/DFS1n2Sv9z
— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) September 27, 2022
Sometimes all it takes to reduce a school board to sniveling submissiveness is a single complaint.
Stop & consider what’s happening in Escambia, FL.
116 books are being “restricted” in libraries just b/c one person threw them on a list, parlayed from online reviews.
ZERO due process. No one even READ the books first. ? https://t.co/o41AJuXt9Y
— Jonathan Friedman ? (@jonfreadom) October 1, 2022
Guess I know which banned book I’m going to read & review next!
Vicki Baggett has been teaching for 31 years, 20 in Florida and 11 in Alabama. She said she received a classroom novel set that came to her class before the school year ended last year. The set was Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. “It was a book that I had never heard of before,” said Baggett. “When I preread this book, I found that it was full of questionable, age-inappropriate material, including a lot of oral sex, bestiality and things of that nature.”
Great investigative work by a humble blogger (like me!), detailing a local hate group’s campaign to whip up a book-banning frenzy in a Texas school district.
35 Books in Conroe ISD (Frankstrong Blog)
I’ve seen enough to know that the goings-on around book challenges in Conroe ISD can tell us a lot about the methods and motivations that characterize pro-censorship groups, and the collaboration between the members of these groups, local right-wing media, elected officials, and current candidates for school board positions.
Minding what’s going on in my own back yard.
… during a March Senate Education Committee meeting, Hoffman cited the availability of materials that had drawings of male and female organs and “hundreds of reference materials provided to Arizona children directing them to resources like, and I’m quoting, dry humping saves lives, it’s OK to have sex with a lot of people, how to view porn and other equally concerning topics.”
Fantastical allegations about sex education in a teabagger screed, with nary a link or citation by way of proof.
“I Will Not Embrace the Chaos”: a Letter from a Former Wauwatosa Teacher (Wisconsin Right Now)
“Sixth-graders would define different types of sexual activity, “vaginal, oral, and anal sex and other forms of sexual (masturbation).” The same grade would learn about “a range of identities related to sexual orientation (e.g. heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, two-spirit, asexual. Pansexual).”
Nice to see a school board follow established procedure instead of immediately caving to public pressure.
School Board Bans Public Review of ‘Banned Books’ Display (Westport Journal)
The Board of Education refused Monday to publicly discuss a “banned books” display in the Staples High School library that several members of the public charge was inappropriate and dangerous.
That was yesterday’s Supreme Court. Pretty sure today’s Supreme Court will ignore precedent when it takes up one of these porno-in-our-schools cases.
Did You Ever Think You Would See Book Bans in 21st Century America? (Missouri Independent)
In 1982, the Supreme Court weighed in on the issue of students’ right to read when they ruled on a case in New York brought by students when their school board banned books it deemed anti-American, anti-Christian or in other ways thought objectionable. The Supreme Court explicitly ruled: “Local school boards may not remove books from school libraries simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books,” citing students’ First Amendment rights.”
The Stupids want to pull us all down to their level.
A small Michigan town is locked in a war over words. The battle in Jamestown Township is over five books with LGBTQ+ themes. The books include “The Breakaways,” two books from the “Heartstopper” series, “Kiss Number 8” and “Spinning.” A group called the Jamestown Conservatives recently led a successful drive to essentially defund the town’s library and remove the books from shelves.
In 2021 a South Carolina police union called for the banning of The Hate U Give in schools, and this year there’ve been reports of cops showing up at public libraries to investigate reports of pornography on the shelves. Is it any wonder when I see stuff like this in a law enforcement newsletter I get concerned?
Library Group Whines about “Book Banning” While They Support Explicit Books in School Libraries (Law Enforcement Today)
This year is the second year in a row where parents, seeing enough of what they feel is brainwashing or indoctrination of their kids have sought a record number of books to be banned. The ALA said last year, “729 attempts were made that targeted 1,597 book titles,” which they said was a “record.”
Authors targeted by book banners may have the clearest understanding of what’s going on.
Perez said that she has looked at Facebook pages of groups that have contested her young adult novel “Out of Darkness” and has been shocked to see members tell others to “not talk about race” or bring up homosexuality when trying to push for a ban and instead “just talk about sex and curse words.” To her, comments like that reveal that targeting specific themes in books is just a pretext for targeting specific books that promote the inclusion of people of different races and sexual identities. “These groups know they cannot send parents to school board meetings to say I don’t want queer kids in my kid’s school. I don’t want them sitting next to a Black kid,” said Perez. “They can’t say those things in 2022 but they can hold up a copy of ‘Out of Darkness’ with the Black and Mexican main characters on the front and say this is filth.”