Censorship and Book Banning
My books are taught from elementary schools up into graduate classes at universities. In addition to being taught at hundreds of schools in the United States, teachers use them in England, South Korea, Germany, Singapore and lots of spots in between. Since the publication of SPEAK in 1999, hundreds of thousands of students have read, enjoyed, and learned from my novels.
But every once in a while, there is a challenge: a request (or demand) that one of my books be removed from the curriculum, reading list, or library. Usually this comes from a well-meaning person who has not read the book, but has heard rumors about the content and is uncomfortable with it.
If you are facing a challenge, one of your first steps should be to visit the American Library Association’s Challenge Support Page . Then explore all of the resources offered by the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.
Next up, head over to the incredibly detailed and useful Anti-Censorship Center of the National Council of Teachers of English.
The Anti-Censorship Center has:
- Model procedures for responding to challenges
- Criteria and procedures for selecting materials for English class
- Rationales for teaching challenged books
- Rationales for methods of teaching English language arts
Need more help? The National Coalition Against Censorship has boatloads of resources for you!
So does the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.
The Center for Children’s Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offers great guidelines for developing your selection policy.