Posts Tagged ‘banned books week’

Are Penguins Really That Subversive?

September 29th, 2010 2 comments

512GipBF4qL._SL160_In recognition of Banned Books Week, the Los Angeles Times published a list of the top 10 most-challenged books of 2009 and the highly acclaimed children’s book And Tango Makes Three garnered a spot near the top of the list, yet again. Authors Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell tell the touching true story of two male penguins in New York City’s Central Park Zoo who nurture an adopted egg and hatch their little daughter Tango. This picture book, aimed at preschool–2nd grade age children has oft been maligned as promoting a gay agenda, which is the reason for the challenges. In an age where “family values” are constantly decried, it is disappointing that some would want to deprive children of an uplifting story about a loving family because of outdated prejudices. Read more…


Stockton Book Ban Evokes Criticism

September 24th, 2010 No comments

518bFu3S5KL._SL160_Earlier this month, the Stockton school board in Missouri ruled in favor of upholding their April decision to ban a book from the 9-12 grade curriculum. The book in question, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, is about the experiences of a teenage boy living on a Native American reservation and attending a primarily white high school. The book has themes of hope and survival, touches on violence and racism, and also contains sexual references and profanity. It is these latter elements that have some parents and school board members up in arms, forcing the ban, despite objections from faculty, students and the community at large. A series of articles on the News-Leader website do an admirable job of condemning the ban, highlighting the school board’s shortsightedness and emphasizing the freedom to read. Despite (or perhaps because of) the controversy, the book has obviously struck a chord with young readers. “This book in a nutshell is my hope,” states Stockton senior Dakota Freeze at the recent hearing. “It’s not about giving up. It’s about not letting people tell you you’re not worth it.” Read more…