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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Censorship, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 353
1. Egyptian Author Jailed for Sexual Content in Book

lifelifelifeEgyptian author Ahmed Naji will serve two years in prison for writing “sexually explicit” content in his book, Using Life.

The sentence comes after the novelist was found guilty of violating public modesty laws when an excerpt from his book was published in a magazine. CNN has the scoop:

A man had complained that Naji’s writings caused him heart palpitations, sickness and a drop in blood pressure. Prosecutors took the case to court, arguing that Naji’s use of “vulgar” phrases to describe genitals and sexual intercourse constituted a “disease destroying social values.”

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2. Whips AND chains

story-of-oI’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is.

As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday Cake for George Washington is not about censorship. People talking about what’s wrong with the book are not censors; people saying it will damage children are not censors; Scholastic deciding to cease the book’s distribution is not censorship. Hell, somebody buying a copy of the book only in order to consign it to a bonfire is not censorship. (I think I told you guys I did this once, with a Sidney Sheldon book whose utter disregard for logical plot construction and consistent characterization caused me to pitch it into the fireplace by which I was reading. It felt naughty.)

Censorship happens when the government–and this includes public libraries–gets into the business of restricting access to information. As far as A Birthday Cake for George Washington is concerned, it would be censorship if a library that held a copy decided to restrict readership to adults, for example, or removed it from the collection on the basis of its being “offensive” or “harmful to children.” It is also censorship if a public library decided not to purchase the book on the grounds that it is offensive or harmful, or if the library thinks it will get into trouble with those who find it so. This is of course very tricky–libraries don’t purchase more books than they do, and it’s rarely one criterion that guides that decision. Here is where we have to trust in the librarian’s integrity and the library’s book selection policy and adherence to ALA’s Library Bill of Rights. I know I’ve told the story here before about the librarian I knew who didn’t purchase a sex ed book for children on the grounds that it didn’t have an index. Yes, it did not have an index–but that wasn’t the reason she didn’t buy it.

I bring all this up because of an interesting exchange I had on Twitter last week with YA novelist Daniel José Older. Reacting in a subtweet to my post about A Fine Dessert and A Birthday Cake, Older wrote “Ah here’s the Horn/Sutton tut tutting on why Scholastic should’ve let kids read that book,” with a screenshot of part of the post. I replied–or barged in, depending on your views about subtweeting–that I and the Horn believe kids should be allowed to read any book they wish. Then he asked me if I was cool with kids reading Little Black Sambo, Mein Kampf and The Story of O. (I think he dated us both with that last example.) Although I’m aware that this was intended as a sort of gotcha rhetorical question, it made me realize that Mr. Older is probably not familiar with the way librarians think. I said I was perfectly fine with kids reading any or all of those three books.

A bias toward believing that people, kids included, should be able to read whatever they want is so ingrained in librarianship that we can forget that it seems like a radical stance to civilians. And as discussions about children’s books have moved, via social media, beyond the usual suspects of teachers, librarians, and publishers, it would be good for all concerned to remember that our assumptions are not necessarily shared.

The post Whips AND chains appeared first on The Horn Book.

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3. Borderlife Novel Gets Banned by the Israeli Ministry of Education

Israel’s Ministry of Education has prohibited Dorit Rabinyan’s Gader Haya (which translates to Borderlife in English) from being used in the curriculum of Hebrew high schools. This novel features a love story shared between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Several bookstores said they had sold out of the novel, which tells the story of an Israeli woman from Tel Aviv who falls in love with a Palestinian born in the West Bank city of Hebron after a chance encounter in New York. Ms. Rabinyan, the author, said that the book was not meant to be provocative…The book, she said, was ‘only a mirror’ of the complexity of life in Israel.”

BuzzFeed reports that TimeOut Tel Aviv has created a video to protest this act of censorship. The piece (embedded above) features six couples (comprised of Jewish and Arab people) kissing. Thus far, it has drawn more than 123,000 views on YouTube. (via The Telegraph)

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4. Hong Kong Booksellers Go Missing

Hong Kong legislator Albert Ho believes that Chinese security officers kidnapped five publishing company/book store employees in an attempt to censor their work.

In a press conference over the weekend, Ho said that he believes that the five missing book professionals from the Mighty Current publishing house were taken for working on books critical of the Chinese government. The latest project to come under scrutiny is a book about the former love life of President Xi Jinping. Yahoo News has the scoop:

The disappearances add to growing unease that freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese city are being eroded.

Under Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, it enjoys freedom of speech and Chinese law enforcers have no right to operate in the city.

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5. Wisconsin School Board Member Tries to Ban Muppets Book

A Wisconsin school board member is hoping to remove, For Every Child a Better World by Jim Henson, from it kindergarten class’ reading list.

Marshfield School Board member Mary Carney thinks that the content is inappropriate for the age of the children. In the book Kermit the Frog teaches young readers that some other young children lack basic necessities such as housing, water, food, and medical care. The Marshfield Herald has more:

“I just have concerns that it’s too graphic, even though these are Muppets characters,” Carney said. “Unfortunately in this world there is a lot of war and strife and poverty; I understand that. I just don’t know how appropriate that is to be teaching that to 5-year-olds.”

Carney hopes the school board will remove the title from the 2016 curriculum. School Board vice president Amber Leifheit, the person in charge of the School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee, thinks that the book teaches compassion.

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6. Red Carpet | National Coalition Against Censorship 2015

National Coalition Against Censorship 2015 Red Carpet

On November 3rd, KidLit TV was invited to the National Coalition Against Censorship to interview NCAC board members, artists, authors, and experts about up and coming books that celebrate diversity and free speech advocacy. NCAC’s mission is to promote freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression and oppose censorship in all its forms.

NCAC celebrated another year of free speech advocacy and saluted Lois Lowry, Larry Siems, Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, and Henry Cole as 2015 Free Speech Defenders. The evening raised funds from generous sponsors, led by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, to support NCAC’s mission, and featured performances from Fun Home, a tribute by Alison Bechdel, and inspiring words from each of our honorees. A special thanks to comedian Jena Friedman, who kept the audience laughing through the night as our master of ceremonies.

Interviews

  • Robie Harris (00:18)
  • Sheryl Oring (01:19)
  • Leonard Marcus (01:48)
  • Paul Zelinsky (02:49)
  • Lois Lowry (03:34)
  • Tim Federle (05:10)


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Red Carpet
Host: Rocco Staino
Executive Producer: Julie Gribble

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The post Red Carpet | National Coalition Against Censorship 2015 appeared first on KidLit.TV.

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7. Chapel Hill Public Library Celebrates Banned Books Week With Trading Cards

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8. South Carolina Public Library Fights Against the Censorship of ‘Some Girls Are’

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9. Parents in Florida School Push to Ban Certain Books

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10. Comic books and censorship in the 1940s

Comic books have long purveyed action, action, and still more action. Their plot lines do not simply progress, they are raging torrents of emotion, violence, and drama. They were a part of the mass commercialization of leisure during the twentieth century.

The post Comic books and censorship in the 1940s appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Comic books and censorship in the 1940s as of 3/24/2015 7:57:00 AM
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11. Texas School District Settles Battle Over Book Censorship

A Texas school district has changed its policy on selecting books taught in schools after a months long battle over David K. Shipler’s The Working Poor: Invisible in America.

The Highland Park school district has revised its policy how both how books are chosen, as well as how parent concerns are addressed. The Dallas Morning News has more:

Under the revised policy, staff members are required to ensure that books \"are evaluated as a whole and selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.\" Selections \"shall not contain excessive or gratuitous explicit sexuality, excessive or gratuitous profanity, or excessive or gratuitous graphic violence.\"

The new policy also limits how parent complaints are handled. The district will now consolidate complaints about the same work into one review. In addition, once a complaint is reviewed, the same book cannot be challenged for another three years.

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12. Literary Community Speaks Out Against the Attacks on ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Je Suis CharlieThe Satanic Verses novelist Salman Rushdie has issued a statement about the attacks on the Paris-based offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper. It was originally publicized on the English PEN website, but it has since been taken down. The Wall Street Journal has re-posted it in its entirety; here’s an excerpt:

“I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”

Rushdie has not been the only member of the literary community to speak out on this issue. Last night, American Gods novelist Neil Gaiman revealed on Facebook that he agrees with the sentiments of Rushdie’s piece. On that same night, The Day The Crayons Quit illustrator Oliver Jeffers and Maus creator Art Spiegelman participated in a vigil in the Union Square area of New York City. (via The Huffington Post)

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13. Banned Books Through History: INFOGRAPHIC

forbiddenprintPrinterinks.com has created an infographic exploring “Banned Books Though History,” which highlights famous banned books throughout history.

The graphic spans from The Bible to The Da Vinci Code, revealing where and when each of the books on the list was banned.

We’ve embedded the full infographic after the jump. (Via Electric Literature).

(more…)

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14. PEN American Center Posts Letter Advocating For Free Speech to Sony Pictures CEO

PENThe hackers behind The Interview incident have elicited both anger and fear throughout the country. The PEN American Center has sent a letter addressed to the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Michael Lynton, to protest against this act of censorship. The organization has posted the full piece on its website.

Besides various PEN executives and trustees, several high profile writers have also signed this note. Some of the participants include PEN president emeritus Salman Rushdie, novelist Neil Gaiman, children’s books illustrator Jules Feiffer, poet John Ashbery, and playwright Tony Kushner. Here’s an excerpt:

“PEN is appalled at the intrusive, criminal and profoundly menacing reprisals and threats that Sony Pictures has endured as a result of producing and planning to distribute The Interview. PEN has long stood with writers and creators who have suffered assaults aimed to suppress the dissemination of their ideas. We believe firmly that violence is never justified as a reaction to speech, no matter how offensive that speech may be to some.”

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15. George R.R. Martin Wants to Showcase The Interview at His Movie Theater

George R.R. Martin PhotoThe hackers behind the Interview incident have elicited both anger and fear from American moviegoers. A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin (pictured, via) has publicly expressed great fury towards Sony for pulling the film from theaters.

Here’s an excerpt from Martin’s blog post: “I haven’t seen The Interview. I have no idea how good or bad a film it is…That’s not the point, though. Whether it’s the next Citizen Kane or the next Plan 9 From Outer Space, it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers.”

Should The Interview ever become available, Martin has offered to showcase it at his own independent theater. Martin owns the Jean Cocteau Cinema which is based in Santa Fe, NM. What do you think? (via comicbook.com)

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16. Ban on Sending Books to Prisoners in England Ruled Unlawful

bookstack304A government ban on which prohibited prisoners in England and Wales from having family and friends send them books, has been ruled unlawful.

BBC News has more: “Mr Justice Collins said he could see “no good reason” to restrict access to books for prisoners.The Prison Service said it was a surprising judgement, and would look at how it would deal with the ruling. The legal challenge was brought by inmate Barbara Gordon-Jones, who is serving part of her life sentence at Send prison near Woking in Surrey.”

The ban began last November. Supporters of the law argued that prisoners can earn the right to buy books through the prison’s book selling program through a new ”incentives and earned privileges” regime. Authors spoke out against the ban calling it “loathsome,” and launching a Change.org petition to overturn the ban.

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17. Small Town Council in Poland Bans ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ From Playground

Winnie the Pooh 200The town council of Tuszyn, Poland have banned Winnie-the-Pooh from a local playground. The politicians who made this censorious decree first examined A.A. Milne’s famous bear when they were trying to appoint a famous character as the face of this public space.

This group found Pooh’s lack of pants and questionable gender to be offensive and “wholly inappropriate for children.” All four Winnie-the-Pooh short story collections feature illustrations by artist E. H. Shepard; Shepard’s artwork consistently depicts Pooh not wearing pants.

Here’s more from the The Independent: “The meeting of officials was sneakily recorded a councillor and leaked to local press, according to The Croatian Times. One unnamed councillor can be heard discussing Pooh’s sexuality, arguing that ‘it doesn’t wear underpants because it doesn’t have a sex’ before another, Hanna Jachimska starts criticising Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne.” (via Jezebel)

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18. ABA to Take On the Operations of the ABFFE

abfe logoThe American Booksellers Association (ABA) will handle the operations of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

Here’s more from the press release: “As was the case when the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) voted to become part of ABA in 2010 as the ABC Children’s Group, ABFFE will become a distinct group within ABA, the American Booksellers for Free Expression Group at ABA (ABFE), beginning January 1. The ABFFE board will be reconstituted as the ABFE Advisory Council.”

According to this new agreement, ABFFE President Chris Finan will be appointed group director for the ABFE. The ABA has designated all of its members as official supporters of the ABFE. Every single indie bookstore with an ABA membership will receive a sticker advocating for free speech and a subscription to a new monthly newsletter called “Free Speech Report.”

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19. Jeff Smith Talks About Book Banning in a Reading Rainbow Guest Post

Jeff SmithHow did comics creator Jeff Smith react when he found out the Bone series made it to the Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books?

Smith wrote about his feelings on the censorship in a guest post the Reading Rainbow website. He also talks about how much of a positive impact that reading has had on him. Here’s an excerpt:

“The worst part about my book being banned is that I hate to think of what would have happened if those Peanuts books that inspired me to become a cartoonist were taken away from me when I was a kid. I’m so grateful to have been inspired by those comics, and I’m so very lucky that I’ve had the chance to inspire other young people to try making comics of their own too.”

 

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20. Josh Funk Endorses Band Books & Banned Books

Children’s books author Josh Funk wants to celebrated Banned Books Week by speaking out against censorship. In the video embedded above, Funk (pictured, via) endorses both “band books” and “banned books.” What are your favorite books that have received either challenges or bannings?

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21. ‘#TeachBannedBooks’ Hashtag Sweeps Twitter

twitterOver the last few days, the #TeachBannedBooks hashtag has swept Twitter. In honor of Banned Books Week, The Huffington Post asked educators to explain why they introduce their students to certain banned books using the social media platform.

Some of the titles mentioned include The Hunger GamesThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (embedded below), and The Giver. What do you think?

@HuffPostEdu ATDPI is the only book I’ve taught that ALL kids love. Diversify the canon! #teachbannedbooks #q2lpov8 pic.twitter.com/Bzyb1bSXtq

— Rebecca Grodner (@rgrodner) September 20, 2014

 

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22. Stan Lee Stars in a Banned Books Week Video

How does Stan Lee feel about censorship? In honor of Banned Books Week, the legendary comics creator participated in the virtual read-out.

In the video embedded above, Lee talks about the value of comic books and graphic novels; he firmly believes that these books cultivate a lifelong love of reading. What do you think?

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23. Rumble – Book Recommendation and Giveaway

Title: Rumble Written by: Ellen Hopkins Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books, Sept. 2014 Ages: 14+ Novel in verse Themes: bullying, gay teens, faith, religion, forgiveness, hypocrisy, ptsd, suicide, gun management Reviewed from an ARC. All opinions are my own. Opening … Continue reading

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24. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Gets Banned in Riverside Middle Schools

tfioscoverJohn Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has been banned in the middle schools within the Riverside Unified School District (based in California).

Vanity Fair reports that a parent named Karen Krueger raised a complaint against the popular young adult novel because she “felt the morbid plot, crude language, and sexual content was inappropriate for her children.” Krueger convinced a committee of educators and guardians put it to a vote which resulted in this act of censorship.

Green shared his reaction to this situation on Tumblr. He claims to feel both happy and sad; the sadness comes from a desire “to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.” What do you think?

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25. Why Do Books Get Banned at Guantánamo Bay?

gitmoVICE has launched a new literary series called ​”Behind the Bars: Guantá​namo Bay, Stories From the World’s Most Notorious Prison.” The editors behind this series have posted recipes, essays, poems, satire pieces, a fable. One of the sections in this series explores the books that may have been banned from the prison library.

According to the editor’s letter, an assortment of writers, scholars, and public figures have been brought on to examine “the list of books that are reportedly banned from GTMO—including their own—and tried to figure out why.” Some of the titles that can’t be accessed at this institution include The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass, and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. The New Yorker staffer Ariel Levy looked into Frank’s famous Holocaust memoir; here’s an excerpt from her article:

“The starkest difference between the captivity of Anne Frank and those in Guantánamo Bay is that Anne Frank and her family were in hiding. It must be so surreal for those in Gitmo to know that the whole world knows they’re there. We all know and it doesn’t seem to matter. Anne and her family’s whole plight is to remain invisible, to remain secret. In that sense it’s confounding that the book is banned at Guantánamo—the family couldn’t be making any less trouble. What more could you want from a prisoner than invisibility and silence?”

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