Spider-Man Faces Being Banned In Nebraska Public School

Follow-up blog entry at Comicbook.com to this story.

After watching the news story on Omaha’s KETV Channel 7 website, I did some research into the title of the book, since it’s never mentioned but the cover appears on air. The graphic novel is Spider-man Volume 2: Revelations. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, with luscious curves provided by John Romita, Jr., Revelations was published in 2002 in hardback. Both Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the Marvel Comics website do not list the book as having been published within the last 6 years, so I don’t know why the book was reported as being new, other than the fact that it was apparently new to that library’s collection.

Now here’s where the school district might have dropped the ball in a big time way. On the copies I have been able to find, the book says in big white letters “Rated PG, Ages 12+.” This book would have been fine in middle or high school, just not in the hands of a 6-year old! Whoever reviewed this book didn’t do their job. Mrs. Svendsen has a right to complain.

Full blog entry here.

Twilight book missing after parent complains

A parent's complaint over sexual content in the Mormon author's fourth novel, Breaking Dawn, coincided with the book's temporary absence from the library at Brockbank Junior High in Utah.

Officials at the Magna school purchased copies of the book some time ago, but as of Wednesday hadn't placed them on library shelves. Principal Terri Van Winkle would not say whether the delay stemmed from a parent's complaint about a honeymoon scene in which sex is implied between the central characters Bella and Edward. But Granite School District officials confirm a complaint was voiced.

Meanwhile, the school has ignored repeated complaints from another parent "appalled" by the "censorship" of a book she says promotes chastity and tolerance.

Let Censorship Flow Forth! New Developments Down Under

First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, posted to his group blog The Volokh Conspiracy about an attempt by the Australian government to ban an anti-abortion website. Professor Volokh also links to the site of Mike Meloni, who has been featured in the past couple months on LISTen, who also speaks to the matter.

Banning books: keeping our children safe from the perils of free thinking

Burning books is not funny. Neither is banning them, or challenging their right to sit on a library shelf. That being said, sometimes people find reasons to hate books that are so absurd, Meghara Eichhorn-Hicks can’t help laughing. It is in this spirit of mocking exasperation that she presents a list of books that have been banned, burned or challenged for totally ridiculous reasons.

Ongoing challenge of homosexual themed books in West Bend, WI

Recent challenges to West Bend Public Library's (West Bend, WI) selection of materials for the children's and young adult collections.


School removes book over its portrayal of logging

Here's a new twist on book challenges: A book about saving forests has been removed from first-grade classes in the Grants Pass School District after complaints about the way loggers are portrayed.

School officials say the decision was made after complaints over material in "Help the Forest" by Rita Crosby.

Public library board in Kansas votes to restrict books

David Lee King helped created a trend on Twitter today with tweets over a book restriction action by his employer. Four books were proposed to be restricted from access by children: Sex for Busy People, The Lesbian Kama Sutra, The Joy of Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex. Local station KTKA has more. A quick scrape in Google News led to a letter to the editor of the Topeka Capital-Journal against the restrictions.

A Lesson From My Father About Objectionable Books

Letter to the editor in the New York Times.

First Banned, Then Unbanned in North Dakota

How often do you think of North Dakota? I'll confess, I haven't thought about it since the primaries....

But author John Berendt, the author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" a book banned for four days from the Beulah High School library, said the incident made him think about North Dakota for the first time.

Berendt followed every word in Bismarck Tribune news stories and every word posted by the hundreds of people reacting to the story this week.

His 1994 nonfiction book, described as Southern gothic in tone, details a murder in Savannah, Ga. It has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide, remained on the New York Times' Bestseller List for four years and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

It was banned at the request of Beulah parents who, after reading parts of it when their son brought it home in an accelerated reading program, found it pornographic and at odds with what the school promotes for kids.

Berendt said he was as surprised by the accusation of pornography as he was impressed by the "spirited defense," not only of his book, but in opposition to book banning in general, posted by blog contributors and the Beulah High School librarian.

China closes 90 websites as internet crackdown intensifies

China closes 90 websites as internet crackdown intensifies: Nervous Beijing 'determined to quell online dissent' as economic gloom deepens and sensitive anniversaries loom. Some have read that as a shot across their bows, intended to encourage them to take more care in censoring content in general over the year ahead. This year sees the 20th anniversary of the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests, the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising in Tibet which led to the Dalai Lama fleeing to India, and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

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