CA Students should be able to read book unedited, panel says

East Union High School students should be allowed to read the original version of the controversial autobiography "Kaffir Boy" in a senior English class, a Manteca Unified School District instructional material review committee decided Tuesday.

The committee's recommendation will go before the school board next month, along with an admonishment that the board didn't follow the district's complaint policy when asking the committee to determine if the original edition of the book was appropriate for the English class. An alternative, the author-edited version of the book, contains two paragraphs intentionally altered to make a the original version's depiction of child prostitution less graphic

DK's formula for science success

Pete writes: Publisher Dorling Kindersley's astounding streak of prize winning publications is profiled in this BBC story.

Publisher Dorling Kindersley (DK) appears to be on a winning streak when it comes to the Aventis Junior Prize for science books. The annual award marks the very best in popular science writing for children under the age of 14 - and DK has managed to grab the top prize an unprecedented five times in the last six years. Miriam Farbey is children's publisher at DK and has been responsible for commissioning and publishing all of the winning books. She believes the answer lies in the books' visual-appeal: "DK children's books started in about 1987, and its aim was, and still is, to show you things that other books only tell you."

11-year-old raises $70,000 for Coast's damaged libraries - Biloxi,MS: There are no strings attached to the $70,000 11-year-old Kelsie Buckley of Morton will present to Coast libraries starting today at 2:30 p.m. during the Gulfport City Council meeting. She is scheduled to present $50,000 to representatives of five libraries destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina in Harrison and Jackson counties.

The fundraising drive began with a goal of $3,000 to $10,000 that Kelsie hoped to raise with a trail ride from Morton to Gulfport, which culminated March 11 at the Gulfport Sportsplex. It got a huge shot of adrenaline after Kelsie's story was picked up by "CBS Evening News" and she appeared on correspondent Steve Hartman's featurette, "Assignment America," then subsequently did an interview via satellite truck with "CBS Evening News" anchor Bob Schieffer.

How do children get the book bug?

One From The UK: 30 years of books for children divide Ion and Lusa Thomas from their children. In some respects the children's choice of stories is similar to that of their parents - right down to the titles in the case of Asterix and Tintin.

But generally today's children have a much broader range of books and authors to choose from. The subjects covered are more diverse than in the early 1970s, when adventure books were the staple fare for young readers.

Great Canadian Writing Contest

Attention teachers and kids...if you're a Canadian student, if you're in fifth or sixth grade and you like to's a great contest for you!. It's the General Motors GREAT CANADIAN WRITING CONTEST...and you have until May 8th to enter.

Check out their website for writing tips, rules and an entry blank. Good luck!!

Students replace bloodied books

Here's A Strange One from Montana. Students in Jodee Patrick's second-grade class at Boulder Elementary cleaned out their bookshelves at home last week to help replace almost 250 books destroyed at the Bighorn County Library in Hardin last month.

The Hardin books were damaged by an intruder who broke into the library's children's section, hurt himself and got blood on numerous books.

<i>Reading Rainbow</i> to receive funding, facelift

zanne writes: "I don't remember seeing this update on LISNews and can't find anything related to it by searching the site, so I hope I'm not repeating content previously submitted."

Educate Inc., the publicly traded company that tutors thousands of schoolchildren through its Sylvan Learning Centers and sells Hooked on Phonics curricular materials to consumers, recently acquired Reading Rainbow, the PBS children's literacy series that has languished for lack of funding.

Within a year the company plans to give PBS a proposal for revamping the series and making it with a new creative team, said Jinny Goldstein, former PBS senior v.p. of education and recently named v.p. of education and strategy for Educate Products Division.

Florida district plans to yank book about Cuban children

News From where A children's book may be removed from dozens of elementary school libraries throughout the district because it contains themes from Cuba's communist regime.

The book, Vamos a Cuba (A Visit to Cuba), is available at 33 schools, district officials say.

In a memo sent Tuesday to board members, Superintendent Rudy Crew outlined his concerns: "The book has content and pictures that are reflective of the current Communist regime. Staff is following approved School Board rules to remove the book from all libraries."

Truant kids in the library

Here's A Neat LibraryLaw Blog Post on those darn kinds that keep hanging around. The question arose whether public libraries have a responsibility to report kids in the library in the daytime who they suspect are truant.
The answer seems to be Essentially, public librarians are not in loco parentis and have no duty to report suspected truancy.

Oklahoma House Votes 60-33 to Segregate Books

As reported in the Daily Oklahoman [free registration required], The Oklahoma House of Representatives has approved HB2158, which will require all Oklahoma libraries to pull books with "homosexual" and "sexually explicit" subject matter from the children's and young adult collections. I've reported on this before [2/10, 3/11, 3/11, 3/15]. For a sense of what the debate looks like, this is a quote from the sponsor of the bill:

"Libraries and librarians should not be usurping the role of parents," Kern said. "You can't sell toothpaste without sex. Our society is obsessed with sex. And I will tell you this, the American Library Association is out to sexualize our children."

And here's another opinion:

Rep. Glen Bud Smithson, D-Sallisaw, opposed the bill because it doesn't give libraries an appeals process to fight a loss of funding. He likened the bill to legislation Osama bin Laden likely would support, saying "that is the way they do it over there. They teach them what they want to teach them and nothing else."

The bill goes on to the Senate now.


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