Children

Children

Writers Write About Censorship

Excerpt from "Places I Never Meant To Be" Original Stories By Censored Writers; Edited and Introduction by Judy Blume. Blume tells the story of how she circumnavigated the naysayers to read her first book by John O'Hara. Not a new title (2001), but definitely one worth reading.

From the Introduction: When I was growing up I’d heard that if a movie or book was “Banned in Boston” everybody wanted to see it or read it right away. My older brother, for example, went to see such a movie -- The Outlaw, starring Jane Russell -- and I wasn’t supposed to tell my mother. I begged him to share what he saw, but he wouldn’t. I was intensely curious about the adult world and hated the secrets my parents, and now my brother, kept from me.

A few years later, when I was in fifth grade, my mother was reading a novel called A Rage to Live, by John O’Hara, and for the first time (and, as it turned out, the only time) in my life, she told me I was never to look at that book, at least not until I was much older. Once I knew my mother didn’t want me to read it, I figured it must be really interesting!

Darkness Too Visible

Piece in the WSJ: Darkness Too Visible - Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?

Response at EarlyWord: There they go again

Closing School Libraries

It's all part of a whole. Cut libraries and librarians at schools, and children will be less comfortable utilizing their local public libraries. Cut libraries and librarians in the public library system, and children and parents will be less likely to use and support their school and community libraries. And so on and so on....

Here's a letter to the editor from a public librarian in Ontario, Canada that sums up the issues:

Closing a school library is not just an issue for schools. Library programs at schools foster a love of reading, and develop information, research literacy and critical thinking skills. They allow kids to learn about their world, and to explore and develop their own interests. The lack of these skills among students will have a big impact on both the public and academic library, as well as on society.

A major Canadian study from People for Education and Queen’s University has found that having a school library improves test scores, and schools with teacher librarians have more positive attitudes toward reading; while schools with no professional librarian have lower reading scores. As school libraries and librarians become fewer, the impact on public libraries and society as a whole will grow.

We will be raising a generation of children who don’t read, leading to a generation of adults who won’t read, and who won’t know how to find information or critically evaluate the information that they do find.

A Censorship Issue


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.

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No Love for "Lovingly Alice" as School District Removes Book

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.

More from AZCentral.

Oak Harbor mom upset over book

From q13fox: 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.” Full story

How a kid's essay contest on "The Future Library" showed me that maybe we AREN'T doomed after all

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.

Teaching the Next Generation

Following up on our story about the injunction against carrying guns in Lansing (MI) Libraries:

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."

Fundraiser to Pay Children's Fines

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.

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Writer of Redwall Series, Dies at 71

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

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Calling All Filmmakers

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.

Newbery & Caldecott Medals Awarded at ALA Midwinter

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 Library at Pooh Corner

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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/opinion/22boylan.html

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Better Together...Cats and Christmas Trees

If you're craving a dose of Dewey...you've got it in the bag! New from Hachette/Little Brown is Vicki Myron's sequel about the beloved library feline "Dewey's Christmas at the Library". From the publisher: The holiday season is in full swing in Spencer (IA) -- the lights are twinkling, the wreaths are hung, and Christmas bells are ringing. Inside the library, Dewey longs to be part of the holiday fun and after a series of silly misadventures, Dewey finds a way to add his own special touch to his beloved Christmas tree -- and the results are Dew-rific! A wonderful way to celebrate the season with everyone's favorite library cat. On the other hand, if you would enjoy a NON-library cat's Christmas tree investigation (from Simon's Cat)...check this out: And then there's the cat named Shadow over at Erie Looking Productions: Hiding Kitty #1

New Kids Books for Connecticut Library

County Times GOSHEN, CT—The Goshen Public Library has received a grant from the Libri Foundation of Eugene, Ore., a nonprofit organization that donates new children’s books to small public libraries across the country through its Books to Children program.

The Libri Foundation has been serving public libraries for 18 years, and supports the concept that children who learn to enjoy reading at an early age continue to read throughout their lives, according to a press release from the library.

Library Director Barker Steinmayer said the foundation contacted the library because it had received a grant three years ago, and libraries are eligible for the grants every three years.

“When I approached the [Friends of the Library] to see if they were going to match the grant, they were excited about doing that, and we have a number of excellent nonfiction and fiction books that have been circulating,” said Ms. Barker Steinmayer.

According to the release, the library received 83 books worth more than $1,400. The library’s friends group contributed $300.

Don't Cut Our School Librarians!

Article from Scholastic.com by Carole Ashbridge, who has been a school librarian for 35 years and is active in state and national library associations.

Super Public/Middle School Librarian

<a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/1206/Super-librarian-figures-out-secret-to-getting-kids-to-read">Super-librarian' figures out secret to getting kids to read</a> Librarian Cynthia Dobrez uses e-readers, bibliotherapy, and her own intuition in her middle school library in Michigan.

Your Baby Can Read? That's Nice, But It's Not What Toddler Story Time Should Be About

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-new-york-public-library/your-baby-can-read-thats_b_791605.html

Beautiful New Brooklyn School Library, With No Librarian

From the NYTimes: The shelves were stocked with books. The maple benches were grouped like shin-high honeycombs across the beeswax-colored floor. The Book Hive at P.S. 9 and M.S. 571’s joint facility on Underhill Avenue seemed to have everything. Everything, that is, except a librarian.

After years of planning, The Book Hive opened on Nov. 12, only to promptly shut its doors. The library, which services two Prospect Heights schools sharing the same building, will remain inactive until the schools hire a librarian, a daunting task in the age of slashed budgets and shared services.

“That’s what is so surprising about this whole thing,” said parent Karen Fein, 42. “I mean they were willing to get a half a million dollars to construct this library and outfit it beautifully, and now we don’t have a librarian.”

The Book Hive was constructed with $500,000 in city funding obtained through the offices of Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilwoman Letitia James. The staff went to work, converting a neglected temporary classroom back into a library.

New Stonewall Award for Childrens Books

The American Library Association on Monday announced it has added another prize to its Stonewall Book Awards.

The Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award will recognize an English-language children's book “of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.”

“Children's books regarding the LGBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance and the importance of diversity,” Roberta Stevens, president of ALA, said in a statement.

“Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles and it is important for parents, educators and librarians to have access to quality children's books that represent a spectrum of cultures,” she added.

In making its announcement, the group cited figures by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that show 14 million children are being raised by a gay or lesbian parent and the latest Census data which estimates that more than 56 percent of gay households have at least one child under the age of 18.

Additional coverage in the NYTimes.

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