Censorship

Texas Teen Lit Festival Will Be Minus Several Authors

UPDATE According to the Houston Observer, the scheduled festival has BEEN CANCELLED in its entirely, due to the number of participants who have chosen not to attend.
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The Teen Lit Fest in Humble is a huge deal for renowned writers of young adult fiction and the kids they're writing for. Which is why it's a huge deal that half of the authors have dropped out of the January 2011 festival.

It all started when an Humble ISD librarian complained to some influential parents about New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, who was scheduled to appear at the festival. (Hopkins writes about cheery subjects like drug addiction, suicide, and religious intolerance.) Houston Press reports.

Those parents then allegedly bent the ear of Superintendent Guy Sconzo, who ordered another librarian to uninvite Hopkins -- even though she had already appeared at two of the festivals Humble-area high schools, without causing any of the teenagers to slit their wrists, become pregnant, or turn to prostitution to subsidize chronic substance-abuse problems.

When fellow writer and invitee Pete Hautman heard about it, he decided to drop out of the festival, and, according to his blog three more writers have dropped out -- Melissa de la Cruz, Tara Lynn Childs and Matt de la Pena. -- Read More

Banned Book To Be Read at Show in New Jersey

Critics of a decision to pull a gay-themed book from two local libraries will stage a protest this weekend -- by reading aloud from the controversial work.

Sunday's free show at a Cinnaminson theater marks the South Jersey debut of a theater group that supports the book, "Revolutionary Voices" an anthology of first-person pieces by gay youths.

Brandon Monokian, a 23-year-old actor-director from Passaic County, formed the group after the book was ordered removed in May from the library at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly. That decision followed a citizen's complaint over the book's sexual content. "Revolutionary Voices," which won an award when it was published in 1990, also was removed this spring from the Burlington County Library.

"This book is a valuable resource to youths who might have questions about their lives, and the fact that a small group of people could have it banned is upsetting," said Monokian, a Lumberton native and a 2005 graduate of Rancocas Valley.

Here's an editorial from the South Brunswick Post in response to the book having been removed from both school and public libraries.

Google Search Engine Is Blocked in China

Google said it was the first time the site had been blocked since March.

Full story in the NYT:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/google-search-engine-is-blocked-in-china/?ref=techn...

New Jersey ACLU open records requests show book removal decisions history

New Jersey ACLU open records requests show book removal decisions history
The New Jersey ACLU filed an open records request and uncovered some email documents at libraries that have removed Revolutionary Voices from their shelves.

An active censorship campaign is underway in New Jersey, to remove a book entitled Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie, an anthology of literature and art recommended by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Alliance. A conservative group told the Philadelphia Inquirer l that the book, which contains some sexually explicit material, is "pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate.”

Would Kagan Ban Books?

The NY Sun's air tight legal analysis says books no, but, pamphlets yes... "Let us just say that these columns have been covering the courts since 1933, and it’s hard to recall an exchange before the high bench more unsettling in respect of our basic liberty to conduct a free and robust election debate."

Libraries Fight Challenges to Graphic Novels

At the recent Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, a librarian from Jessamine County, Kentucky, spoke firsthand about dealing with calls for censorship in his library, and an expert from the American Library Association discussed how to handle challenges to graphic novels at the panel titled "Burn It, Hide It, Misshelve It, Steal It, Ban It! Dealing with Graphic Novel Censorship in Your Library."

Full article at Publisher's Weekly

The Perils of Automatic Copyright Protection

A cautionary tale about copyright, and the automated systems that enforce it.

If you post a video on YouTube, using one of their very own video creation tools, don't you expect it to go up and be viewable without any problems? Because of YouTube's Content ID system, it might not be so easy ...

Read the full story here.

South Park: Banned Books

"Catcher in the Rye" is passed out in class on South Park. You can watch the full episode here. This is South Park. If you click on the link expect to hear profanity.

Parent Has a Problem with "Pants" Books for Teens

A citizen of the Fond du Lac School District has added more books to a list she wants banned from the schools.

The school district has scheduled a reconsideration hearing for 6:30 p.m. today at Fond du Lac High School to hear public comment on Ann Wentworth's request to have the book "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies" by Sonya Sones taken off the shelves of Fond du Lac school libraries.

The popular young adult book is being challenged by Wentworth as inappropriate for students of middle school age. In addition, Wentworth is asking the district to review the following six library books at Theisen Middle School:

# "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares.
# "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Girls in Pants "The Third Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Get Well Soon" by Julie Halpern.
# "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones.

Several interested persons have signed up to speak at Thursday's hearing. The district reconsideration committee will be asked to begin scheduling dates to review the other six books in question. Each book will be considered individually, according to the Fond du Lac School District.

Fond du Lac Reporter has the story.

Dousing Firewalls

Click on "Read More" to see the column as well as to get to the download link for the PDF version. -- Read More

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