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Well, after almost 15 years of having the store, it has happened. A customer asked me to remove a book from my shelves.
This has never happened before. We’ve had people move books they thought were objectionable, but never has someone looked me in the eye and said, “Are you the owner? I want you to remove this book because it makes fun of childhood sexual abuse.” I apologized that she found the book objectionable and gave her a refund.
The book in question is My First Dictionary: Corrupting Young Minds OneWord at a Time by Ross Horsley. Does this book cross the line of good taste? Sometimes, sure it does. But honestly, so do lots of humor books. Parts of the book are laugh-out-loud funny, and parts of it made me cringe. I try to warn customers that sometimes it’s a little bleak. There are some letters about abandonment and parental drinking that seem particularly cruel.
A Paradise Valley, AZ mother is upset that her daughter was subjected to Lovingly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
"If you looked on the cover, it's just a very young cute girl on the cover," Lockhart said. "My (incoming) second-grader can pick this book up and think, 'This is a cute book.' There needs to be some sort of warning label."
Officials with the Paradise Valley Unified School District have pulled the book from their shelves.
An Oak Harbor mom is upset with a book her fifth-grade daughter brought home from school.
It's called "What's the Big Secret" and is available at many public schools.
"I can't even stand that she had already read this without me even knowing," said Jennifer Swedeoson.
Swedeoson had planned to have "the birds and the bees" talk with her 10-year-old daughter Kaleigh when she reached middle school. But that timeline changed when Kaleigh brought the book home from school yesterday.
"I start flipping through, this is all right, but then it starts talking more about sex and I get into it and it's completely too graphic for her."
"What's the Big Secret" shows how boys and girls are physically different, offers a lesson in reproduction and talks about "different types of touching."
"This is one of the first that definitely caught my eye, talking about masturbation when you are 10 years old," Swedeoson said. "What do you need to read that for? I'm not so upset about the book itself. I think they should be sending home permission slips, making sure parents are aware that the book is there.”
The Library of the Future
"What does the future of the library look like? It depends on you."
She's right. I couldn't have said it better myself. It doesn't matter if she's talking to kids, adults, patrons, politicians, or librarians. We all need to keep working, keep advocating, keep changing, keep growing. We need to work together to bring libraries into the future.
The co-founders of Michigan Open Carry Inc. a gun-rights group currently challenging a Capital Area District Library policy that bans guns from the library, have written a children's book titled, "My Parents Open Carry" published by White Feather Press of Hamilton.
Brian Jeffs, a state geologist from Bath Township, and Nathan Nephew, a software developer from DeWitt, told columnist John Schneider the book's message is: "You can't rely on others to protect you. You have a natural right to self-defense. The cops do the best they can, but can't be there all the time."
In Spokane, WA a group of civic and literary minded folks are planning a fundraiser to pay off the fines and fees on children's library cards so they can use them again. The local libraries block cards from use if they carry a balance of $10 or more. By paying off these fines, the group raises money for the library and opens up blocked cards so kids can once again borrow books.
From the NYT
Brian Jacques, Writer of Redwall Series, Dies at 71
By MARGALIT FOX
Published: February 9, 2011
He was a longshoreman and a long-haul trucker; a merchant mariner and a railway fireman; a boxer, a bus driver and a British bobby. But it wasn’t until he became a milkman that Brian Jacques found his métier.......Read more here
Attention children's book fans and amateur filmmakers: Can you make a video that compresses the story of a Newbery Award-winning book into 90 seconds or less?
Author James Kennedy and the New York Public Library are co-sponsoring the 90-Second Newbery Video Contest, which will culminate in "a star-studded 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the New York Public Library in Fall of 2011," Kennedy wrote on his website. For an entertaining sample, check out the abbreviated version of Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time on the website.
From the LA Times/ Jacket Copy Blog: The American Library Assn. presented its top honors for books for children and young adults at a ceremony in San Diego Monday morning. The highest award, the Newbery Medal, is awarded each year to the most distinguished book for children; it went to "Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool. The Caldecott Medal, the top award for illustration, went to the book "A Sick Day for Amos McGee," illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead.
The ALA award medallions, which can be found on the covers of later editions of the winning books, not only signify excellence, they also can mean a longer commercial life for the books, as well as assure they find a place in libraries. Finalists also receive the medallions.
The hour-long ceremony, which began at 7:45 a.m., included the announcement of dozens of awards and finalists before an audience attending the ALA's midwinter conference. The roster of winners was too long to invite the authors, illustrators or publishers to the podium to accept their awards.
The story goes back 35 years. In the 1980s, I had a gruesome copy-editing job at E. P. Dutton, the American publishers of the “Winnie-the-Pooh” books. One of my colleagues was a crusty septuagenarian named Elliot Graham, whose title was director of publicity emeritus. Elliot was the shepherd of the original Pooh stuffed animals — Pooh, Tigger, Kanga, Piglet and Eeyore — which were kept in a glass case in the Dutton lobby on 2 Park Avenue.