Cause to celebrate?

stormcenter

If it’s time for Banned Books Week it’s also time for my annual bucket ‘o scorn for ALA’s  cynical exercise in spin. Like Bette Davis in Storm Center, “I’m tired. I’m tired and beaten. There’s no use pretending.” Now Davis, playing a beleaguered librarian trying to uphold the freedom to read in McCarthy’s America, was […]

Banned Books Week 2014

banned books week 2014

It’s Banned Books Week! From The American Library Association’s website: “Each year, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.” Based on 307 […]

Thanks for Annie, Nancy.

AnnieOnMyMind

I was very sorry to read that Nancy Garden died on Monday. While she wrote in just about every children’s-book genre there is, it’s Annie on My Mind that made her immortal, and led to her parallel, equally admirable, career as a defender of intellectual freedom in libraries and communities across the nation. The first […]

This is not just about opera

from the English National Opera production of The Death of Klinghoffer

The Metropolitan Opera’s cancellation of the announced HD broadcast of The Death of Klinghoffer is galling for a number of reasons. The Met’s decision to stage the opera (albeit with a note in the program by Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters, who have condemned the work as anti-Semitic)  but not broadcast it will please nobody. It is […]

Moving moment No. 6

Jake

Ooh, who remembers this one? In 1982, the library systems of Chicago, Milwaukee, and San Francisco banned Margot Zemach’s Jake and Honeybunch Go to Heaven from their collections (Chicago, from where I followed the whole story avidly, did include it in its two regional research libraries). Unlike the headlines, still popular today, that too-loosely use […]

Now you’re telling us?

fragile flower

While Gary Soto seems a bit of a fragile flower in this essay about why he’s been scared off writing for children, I have sympathy for him. If your book is sexy or foul-mouthed or anti-authority, you have no better friends than the American Library Association and its adjacent professions. They will–and they should–stick up […]

O Come All Ye Faithful?

choir

Don’t miss Leonard Marcus’s latest column about picture book covers, and speaking of that, SLJ stalwart Rocco Staino reports on a gallery of ‘em that would make Judy Blume blush. Or would they? The pictures were created by several well-known picture book artists in service of raising money for the National Coalition Against Censorship. They […]

When librarians do stupid things

JandH

Sometimes we really are our own worst enemy. Somebody take away this lady’s library card. And has anyone read these Fifty Shades of Grey? How is it?

Don’t shoot the messengers

Deenie

Richard just sent me a link to Julie Bosman’s report in the NYT Arts Blog about the digitalization of Judy Blume: “Beginning on Mar. 21, 13 of Ms. Blume’s books, including “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” “Blubber” and “Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself,” will go on sale, published by Random House Children’s […]

>Come to the movies

>On June 25th at 8:00PM at the ALA conference in New Orleans, ALSC is presenting a free screening of The Library of the Early Mind, a documentary about contemporary children’s literature including interviews with many authors and illustrators. I think my favorite segment is the coverage of an attempt to ban Annie on My Mind, […]