Virtual Read-Out: KING & KING

Here’s another selection from the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out, an officially sponsored YouTube channel that compiles videos of people reading their favorite banned and challenged literature. In this one, college student Rachel reads an excerpt from King & King by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland.

The children’s book about a prince whose true love turns out to be another prince has been frequently challenged since its English-language publication in 2002. It was moved to the adult sections of libraries in Wilmington, North Carolina, and Shelby County, Indiana. In 2005, more than 80 Oklahoma state legislators pressured the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System to restrict the book and several others with LGBT themes. Despite opposition from library staff, the Library Commission voted to place the books in a parenting section, which was only accessible to adults. The decision has apparently been reversed since that time, as the library’s catalog now shows King & King shelved in the general Easy Reader section.

We noticed that there aren’t very many videos of people reading comics in the Virtual Read-Out. If you’re feeling inspired, you can submit a video of your own! You can find the criteria here and video submission information here. Consider reading a comic from our list of Banned and Challenged Comics. Send us an email with Virtual Read-Out in the subject line to let us know you posted a video, and we may feature it here!

Given their visual nature, graphic novels and comic books are among the most-challenged books in libraries and schools. CBLDF is an official sponsor of Banned Books Week, which takes place September 30 – October 6, 2012. Please help support CBLDF’s defense of your right to read by making a donation or becoming a member of the CBLDF!

Maren Williams is a reference librarian who enjoys free speech and rescue dogs.