Earlier this week, the Kids’ Right to Read Project, which is sponsored by CBLDF, sent a letter to the Prosser School District outside Yakima, Washington, in defense of A Child Called “It” and The Popularity Papers. Both books had been challenged as inappropriate by a high school social studies teacher in the district. The Tri-City Herald reports that the Prosser school district’s Materials Committee has recommended A Child Called “It” remain available to students. A verdict on The Popularity Papers is not yet known.
A Child Called “It” is a best-selling autobiographical account by David Pelzer that describes his survival of childhood abuse by his alcoholic mother. The book already requires parental permission for seventh and eighth grade students to check it out. On Wednesday, a nine-member review panel voted to retain the book. The Tri-City Herald reports that the book was retained because “it depicts something older children need to learn about, can be inspirational and could motivate children to seek help if they need it.”
The Popularity Papers, by Amy Ignatow, is an award-winning series aimed at fourth through sixth graders that follows the friendship of two girls as they navigate junior high school. The series deals with bullying and the social heirarchy of teens. Like A Child Called “It,” The Popularity Papers is under restricted access and only available to fifth graders in the district. The review panel will meet to determine the fate of The Popularity Papers later today.
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Betsy Gomez is the Web Editor for CBLDF.