Blog Archives

MacArthur “Genius Grants” Recognize Sequential Artists

September 23, 2016
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MacArthur “Genius Grants” Recognize Sequential Artists

In the midst of his two-year term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, American Born Chinese creator Gene Luen Yang got another major honor this week: a MacArthur Fellowship, more commonly known as the “genius award.” The five-year, $625,000 no-strings-attached grant is given to individuals across a variety of fields who show “exceptional creativity,…

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PEN America Report Analyzes Challenges for Diverse Youth Literature

September 22, 2016
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PEN America Report Analyzes Challenges for Diverse Youth Literature

Banned Books Week 2016 starts this Sunday, and this year’s theme celebrates diversity! A high proportion of frequently challenged and banned books are by or about people of color or LGBTQ individuals. In advance of the annual celebration of the freedom to read, PEN America issued an in-depth report looking at outright challenges to diverse…

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ACLU Sues Idaho Over Speech-Chilling Liquor Law

September 21, 2016
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ACLU Sues Idaho Over Speech-Chilling Liquor Law

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the state of Idaho regarding an antiquated law that bans “sexually suggestive art” in establishments that serve alcohol. A cinema in neighboring Utah filed suit over a similar law there in May after the state threatened a fine of up to $25,000 for serving beer during showings of…

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Teachers and Librarians Praise Benefits of Comics for Kids

September 16, 2016
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Teachers and Librarians Praise Benefits of Comics for Kids

With teachers and students across the country getting into the swing of the new school year, Publishers Weekly recently took an in-depth look at the seemingly endless advantages of incorporating comics into the K-12 curriculum, and the accompanying growth in educator resources to aid in that task — including some from yours truly! The article…

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VICTORY in Chesterfield County: Challenged Books Remain in Middle School Libraries

September 14, 2016
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VICTORY in Chesterfield County: Challenged Books Remain in Middle School Libraries

In a victory for the freedom to read, a school district review committee in Chesterfield County, Virginia voted last week to keep three challenged books on middle school library shelves. A small faction of parents had publicly complained at a June school board meeting about Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Dope Sick by Walter…

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Algerian Man Sentenced to Three Years for Religious Insult

September 13, 2016
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Algerian Man Sentenced to Three Years for Religious Insult

An Algerian appeals court last week sentenced 49-year-old Slimane Bouhafs to three years in prison for insulting Islam and the prophet Muhammad on Facebook. One of the posts included a 2006 Charlie Hebdo cover which showed the prophet weeping over the fundamentalist portion of his followers. Bouhafs, a Christian convert and activist for minority religious…

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Facebook Blocks, Then Restores Famous Vietnam War Photo Due to Nudity

September 12, 2016
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Facebook Blocks, Then Restores Famous Vietnam War Photo Due to Nudity

In the face of international condemnation and ridicule, Facebook reversed course Friday after initially blocking one of the most famous war photographs of all time because it includes a nude minor. Taken by photographer Nick Ut, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo titled “The Terror of War” shows nine-year-old Kim Phuc, along with other South Vietnamese children…

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Collier County School Board Voters Reject Censorship Agenda

September 9, 2016
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Collier County School Board Voters Reject Censorship Agenda

Two school board candidates in Collier County, Florida who supported an effort to ban four books from high school libraries last year have been defeated at the polls by two other candidates who favor intellectual freedom. The overall board is expected to maintain a 3-2 anti-censorship majority as new members Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli…

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Daughter of Detained Hong Kong Publisher Campaigns for His Release

September 8, 2016
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Daughter of Detained Hong Kong Publisher Campaigns for His Release

The daughter of Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong-based publisher who has been detained in an undisclosed location on the Chinese mainland for almost a year, is hoping to promote international awareness of his case with a recent op-ed in the Hong Kong Free Press. Gui is one of five men associated with Hong Kong’s Mighty…

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Stage Play Spotlights Alabama Librarian’s 1959 Defense of Children’s Book

September 8, 2016
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Stage Play Spotlights Alabama Librarian’s 1959 Defense of Children’s Book

An Alabama librarian who stood up to segregationists and censors in 1959 is featured in a new stage play based on the battle over Garth Williams’ picture book The Rabbits’ Wedding. Some Alabamans, most notably State Senator E.O. Eddins, wanted the book banned because they said the story of a union between a black rabbit…

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