Banned Books Week: Our right to read, September 24-30, 2017

Maggie Jacoby's blog

Banned Books Week Spotlights Diversity in 2016

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 10:29 -- Maggie Jacoby

Why are so many diverse books banned? The 2016 celebration of Banned Books Week will examine this important question as part of its thematic focus on diversity, the event's national coalition announced today. Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will run from September 25−October 1, 2016, and will be observed in thousands of libraries, schools, bookstores and other community settings across the nation and the world.

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Case Study: Persepolis

Sun, 09/27/2015 - 14:38 -- Maggie Jacoby

For Banned Books Week, we are featuring case studies of banned and challenged Young Adult books. The first in this series is of the graphic novel, Persepolis. This case study first appeared on our sponsor, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's, website. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir of growing up during the Iranian Revolution, has received international acclaim since its initial publication in French. When it was released in English in 2003, both Time Magazine and the New York Times recognized it as one of the best books of the year. In 2007 it was adapted as an animated film, which was nominated for an Oscar and won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize and a French César. Although it was certainly controversial in the Middle East, there were no publicly reported challenges or bans of the book in U.S. schools or libraries until March 2013, when Chicago Public Schools administrators abruptly pulled it from some classrooms.

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Tennessee Parent: Acclaimed Medical History Book is 'Pornographic'

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 07:30 -- Maggie Jacoby

Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an award-winning account of science, ethics and medical history. It tells the riveting story of how one woman's cancerous cells were taken without her permission, and became an essential medical research breakthrough linked to an array of projects, including the polio vaccine.

One parent in Tennessee has another word for it: Pornography.

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‘Curious' Censorship in Tallahassee High School

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 10:22 -- Maggie Jacoby

This post originally appeared on Banned Books Week sponsor National Coalition Against Censorship's blog.

Students at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee were all assigned an award-winning book to read over the summer, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. As the school explained it, reading a "common text… allows us to bring our many perspectives to one collection of ideas and, by listening to each other, to strengthen our understanding of ourselves and our world."

But after some parents objected to profanity in the book, the assignment was quickly scuttled.

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