Book in Question: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2008)
Complaint: According to Doctorow, it’s “the book’s positive view of questioning authority, lauding “hacker culture”, and discussing sex and sexuality in passing.”
Result: The principal of Booker T Washington High in Pensacola, Florida cancelled the school’s One School/One Book summer reading program featuring Little Brother.
Author response: “I think that the role of an educator is to encourage critical thinking and debate, and that this is a totally inappropriate way to address ‘controversial’ material in schools.” Also, the publisher, Tor Books, is sending 200 free copies of the paperback to the high school.
You can listen to Doctorow’s full reponse here:
UPDATE: 5/12: We are happy to report that the Wilson County school district has restored “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” to its student readings lists! (read the story here, via The Tennessean)
Editorial in The Tennessean titled “Banning Books is Never the Answer”
Book in Question: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003)
Complaint: Offensive language
The Wilson County School District in Tennnessee banned The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time from its reading list for ninth-graders taking honors-level English classes. “The F-bomb is pretty common in that book, and that’s what I have a problem with,” said board member Wayne McNeese. “I’m not dumb enough to think students don’t hear that language, but it doesn’t mean we should promote it.” (h/t The Tennessean)
Remembering Maurice Sendak, who died on this day, May 8, in 2012.
“Education is not simply to learn to read and write. It’s emancipation. It makes you free.” -Ziauddin Yousafzai
The Kentucky Derby, “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” is this Saturday, May 3rd. If you read anything this weekend, let it be this essay by Hunter S. Thompson, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved”, sketched by Ralph Steadman, 1970 (via Grantland and brianb.freeshell.org).
Free Comic Book Day – Saturday, May 3
— Free Comic Book Day (@Freecomicbook) May 2, 2014
California Bookstore Day – Saturday, May 3
— Bookstore Day (@BookstoreDay) May 2, 2014
Complaint: Encourages children to use violence against their fathers
Suggested: Remove from Toronto library collection, issue an apology to fathers in the GTA (Greater Toronto area) and pay for damages resulting from the book.
Findings: The children are actually told not to hop on pop. “STOP You must not hop on Pop.”
George Washington’s personal recipe for “small beer,” which appears in the notebook dating from 1757 that Washington kept while he served as a colonel in the Virginia militia.
To make Small Beer
Take a large Sifter full of Bran Hops to your Taste. “” Boil these 3 hours. Then strain out 30 Gallons into a Cooler, put in 3 Gallons Molasses while the Beer is scalding hot or rather drain the molasses into the Cooler & strain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. Let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm. Then put in a quart of Yeast if the weather is very cold, cover it over with a Blanket & let it work in the Cooler 24 hours. Then put it into the Cask “” leave the Bung[hole] open till it is almost done working “” Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.
During National Library Week, we are donating a portion of our sales to Public School 244 (Pre-K to 3rd grade) in Queens, New York to help them get a fully functional library.
On our visit to the school last week, we asked the students about their favorite books, characters and what they loved about libraries.
Here are some of their responses!
P.S. 244 (The Active Learning Elementary School “TALES”) is an early childhood public school (Pre-K to 3rd grade) located in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York. The majority of students do not speak English at home and qualify for subsidized meal plans, yet at TALES they thrive. A model for public schools at both the national and state level, P.S. 244 has been recognized for its focus on health and nutrition and ranks among the healthiest schools in the country. In 2013, P.S. 244 also ranked 11th in the state for test scores and has been heralded for its innovative curriculum and extremely hard working staff.
With all of these strengths, they also have challenges. The school’s current library has no formal checkout system and relies on volunteer staff. The result? The space serves more like a reading room than a true library. Students aren’t able to check out and read these books at home, families miss out on sharing the joy of reading with their kids and the school is unable to implement a summer reading program to enhance student reading skills during off-school periods.
Help us to give this school and its students the library they deserve. During National Library Week (April 13-20), we are donating a portion of our sales to purchase and implement a scanning system for P.S. 244 and to train staff to manage it. We will post updates after the donation and share stories from students and teachers about the impact of this new system.
We will be expressing our love for libraries all week with quotes, fun facts and other surprises so please share and help us spread the word!
Samuel L. Jackson performs slam poem about “Boy Meets World” on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, 2014. (h/t GalleyCat)
Tom Hanks performs slam poem about “Full House” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 2012. (h/t GalleyCat)