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18 March 2014 @ 11:33 am
SpeakLoudly  
How ironic that as I was completing my first column on censorship for The ALAN Review new pieces on censorship began to pour in to my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Here is the latest: http://www.mommabears.org/1/post/2014/03/alert-is-this-in-your-childs-library-at-school.html. The piece is entitled: ALERT! IS THIS IN YOUR CHILD'S LIBRARY AT SCHOOL? and comes from a blog called Momma Bears who bill themselves as: "Just some regular moms who realize their children's wonderful public school systems in TN, as well as public schools across the country, have major threats to their survival."

Sigh.

In this post, they are calling out a GN that has content to which they object. Interestingly enough, they have screen shots of several of those pages within the blog and then a photo of all the pages they objected to flagged in the book. It makes for quite a festive sight. Of course, they objected, the principal removed the book and was going to "speak" to the librarian. They even wrote to AR when they discovered this book had a reading level of 3.0.

Horrors.

Look, I would agree that this book is probably not one for an elementary library. It has an older audience (yes, I have read the book in question though Momma Bears did not read it as much as skim it for the bad stuff). But I would be more bent about the fact that my kid was forced to pick books using the AR system in the first place. I might have even suggested the librarian (because my first step is NOT to go to an administrator) send it along to another school with older kids (unless this elementary school has a wider grade range than K-5). I would not have gone to the principal first. I would have returned the book through my child maybe even with a note about it being better suited to older readers. I might have suggested some other books for my own child. My first instinct is NOT to remove the book from the collection. My responsibility is NOT to remove the book so that other readers cannot access it. And I definitely would NOT have written AR asking the book be removed from its system.

Are you kidding me? Seriously?

The one and only point of agreement for me appears toward the end of the blog where parents are advised to know what their kids are reading. For me, it was not so that I could swoop into the school and challenge a book. I wanted to know what my kids were reading so that we could talk about the book, so that I might have some idea of what books to recommend next and after that. I wanted to know what kids thought about the books they were reading. I wanted to know which books resonated and which did not. Was paranormal romance so last year? Who were the popular authors? What books were flying off the shelves.

I guess I am not cut out to be a Momma Bear.
 
 
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