>Presto, change-o

>Collecting Children’s Books has had a couple of interesting posts about books such as They Were Strong and Good and The Rooster Crows, which have been bowdlerized to reflect changing standards of “appropriateness” in regard to depictions of nonwhite characters. Those are two among several if not many; Mary Poppins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory […]

>Put It Where You Want It

>Debra Lau Whelan’s SLJ article on where librarians are shelving The Graveyard Book is classic shit-stirring. The article’s lead asks a question (“Where does the book belong—in the children’s area or in the teen section?”) and then goes on to give selective anecdotal evidence to conclude that any decision to put the book in YA […]

Cuba Libro Prohibito

Vamos a Cuba is back in the news. I’m glad that the Dade County schools are in such great shape that people can expend their energy on this.

>Philip Gets His Groove Back

>After his unusual demureness in face of the star-making machinery, I’m pleased to see Philip Pullman recovering his characteristic pugnacity to defend his dark materials from the interference of the interfering Faithful: “Religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel […]

>Well, that’s one way around it.

>Jezebel has a post up about the recent challenge to Of Mice and Men at a Kansas City high school for use of the word nigger. I liked this comment from “Miss Scarlet in the hall with a . . .”:In middle school I knew a girl who “objected” to Huckleberry Finn because of the […]

>Urban legend alert

>If one more person sends me that list of books Sarah Palin tried to ban from the library I’m gonna vote for Nader.

>The Invigilator Strikes

>A complaint from an “exams invigilator” has caused Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “Education for Leisure” to be removed from the U.K.’s GCSE curriculum. Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen is quoted being sensible (“Of course we want children to be talking about knife crime and poems like these are a terrific way of helping that happen. Blanket […]

>There’s a thousand library trustees just like her.

>I wouldn’t elect Sarah Palin to anything, but this old censorship charge is really reaching. As far as we know, as mayor of Wasilla she asked the public library director three times about the possibility of removing “objectionable” books from the collection. Three times the director said no. (Positively biblical!) Then Palin tried to fire […]


>Liz B. pointed me toward this PW essay on the thin line between reader’s advisory work and putting limitations on library access for kids. It gives me the willies. Is it right for me to discourage a kid’s reading choice? No. But is it right for me to give a kid a book that I […]

>It’s not a word to throw around lightly

>Poets are supposed to choose their words very carefully. This one doesn’t. But a poet standing up to a bookstore does demonstrate chutzpah, I’ll give her that. Thanks to Shelf Awareness for the link.