CBLDF’s 10 Most Read Stories of 2013

cbldf_logoCBLDF ran hundreds of stories about censorship and helped fight dozens of book challenges in 2013. Let’s take a look at the top 10 most read stories of the year:

Help Defend The Perks of Being a Wallflower

In June, CBLDF called on our supporters to help defend Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower by sending letters and emails to the Glen Ellyn, Illinois school board, where the book was being challenged. The board initially voted to remove the book, and the letter-writing campaign played a key role in overturning the ban. more…

Illinois School District Lifts Ban on The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Perks of Being a Wallflower Pulled from Illinois Junior High School

How You Can Make A Difference in the Neverwhere Challenge

If you were like us, the October removal of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere from Alamogordo Public School classrooms caused you to feel anything from confusion to just-plain-no-way-you-can’t-be-serious anger. CBLDF called supporters to action by asking them to sign a petition on Change.org and to become members of the Fund. The protest of free speech advocates like CBLDF and its supporters helped return the book to classrooms. more…

Victory in NM: Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere Returned to Classrooms
Alamogordo Teachers, Librarian Speak Out On Neverwhere
EXCLUSIVE: Neil Gaiman Talks to CBLDF About Neverwhere Ban
CBLDF Defends Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere In New Mexico Challenge
More Details Emerge in Neverwhere Challenge
Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere Banned in New Mexico School District

Vancouver Mom Offended by Museum’s “Whale Bone Porn”

One would have thought an antiquated practice of etching artwork onto bones or teeth wouldn’t draw much attention from a would-be censor, but a Vancouver mother proved everyone wrong. She posted negative reviews of the Vancouver Maritime Museum on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other outlets after she took her small children to the exhibit “Tattoos & Scrimshaw: The Art of the Sailor.” The exhibit included erotic scrimshaw pieces, which were clearly labeled inappropriate for children and placed above their height. more…

Why SAGA #12 Is Protected By the First Amendment

In April, controversy spread over the temporary ban of Saga #12 on comiXology’s iOS app because of two small depictions of gay sexual content within the context of a larger sequence of images. While the images are sexually explicit, they and the issue that contains them are protected by the First Amendment. Retailers have a right to sell Saga #12, readers have a right to possess it, and the creators and publisher had the right to create it. more…

What the Saga #12 Controversy Says About Self-Censorship
ComiXology Chief: “Apple Didn’t Ban Saga #12.” Comic Available on iOS
Apple Bans SAGA #12 Because of Gay Sexual Content

Blogger Labels Acclaimed YA Novel “Child Pornography”

In June, Laurel Nokomis School in Sarasota County, Florida, convened a committee of teachers, education professionals, and more to determine the fate of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, an award-winning novel that was being used in an 8th grade gifted language arts classroom. The board retained the book, but a “watchdog” blogger in Florida caught wind of the challenge and decried the decision, calling the book child pornography. more…

CBLDF Raises New Defense of Persepolis

Chicago Public Schools might have thought their letter regarding the attempted ban of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis provides an adequate defense for their actions, but the second of two letters sent by the Kidss Right to Read Project unquestionably eviscerated CPS’s argument. CBLDF is a sponsor of KRRP and a signatory in the second volley protesting the removal of the book. more…

Student Defenders of Persepolis Recognized by Illinois Library Association
Marjane Satrapi Wants to Know What CPS Fears About Persepolis
Students, Teachers, Iranian-born Artist React to PERSEPOLIS Ban
Chip Kidd Takes Action to FREE PERSEPOLIS
IRONY: Lane Tech Had Banned Book Club Before PERSEPOLIS Ban
CPS Responds to PERSEPOLIS Defenders
Missing the Point on PERSEPOLIS
WTTW’s Chicago Tonight on PERSEPOLIS Ban
Furor Continues Over PERSEPOLIS Removal
CBLDF Rises To Defense of Persepolis
UPDATED: Persepolis Reportedly Banned In Chicago School

CBLDF Releases RAISING A READER! How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read, a Resource for Parents and Educators

In July, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was proud to release Raising a Reader!: How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read!, a resource for parents and educators about the learning benefits of comics. Written by Dr. Meryl Jaffe, with an introduction by three-time Newbery Award honoree Jennifer L. Holm (Babymouse, Squish) and art by Eisner Award winner Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama) and Eisner Award nominee Matthew Holm (Babymouse, Squish), Raising A Reader! was made possible by a grant from the Gaiman Foundation. more…

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Smile
Using Graphic Novels in Education: Boxers & Saints
Using Graphic Novels in Education: Barefoot Gen

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Persepolis
Using Graphic Novels in Education: American Born Chinese
Using Graphic Novels in Education: The Silence of Our Friends

“Raising a Reader!  How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read” is not affiliated with Raising A Reader with a website at: www.raisingareader.org.”

Librarian Bans Book to Teach Lesson About Censorship

Librarian Scott R. DiMarco is proud to admit that he banned a book from his library at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. But he isn’t an unapologetic censor — he did it to teach his community a lesson about “the arbitrary and capricious nature of censorship.” more…

EXCLUSIVE: Apple Bans Sex Criminals #2

After extended review, Apple decided to ban Image Comics’ Sex Criminals #2 from ComiXology’s iOS app based on undisclosed violations of their content guidelines. Image Publisher Eric Stephenson and creators Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky spoke exclusively with CBLDF about the ban. more…

Apple’s Ban of Sex Criminals Series Reveals Inconsistent Enforcement of Policy
Second Issue of Sex Criminals Under Review at Apple

Researcher Proves Wertham Fabricated Evidence Against Comics

In February, Carol Tilley, a University of Illinois professor of Library Science, revealed to the world that Fredric Wertham – the man almost single-handedly responsible for decades of comics censorship – fabricated evidence in his attacks on comics. Tilley compared Wertham’s notes to the final published version of his anti-comics treatise Seduction of the Innocent and found that “the doctor revised children’s ages, distorted their quotes, omitted other causal factors and in general ‘played fast and loose with the data he gathered on comics.’” more…

Carol Tilley on Her Wertham Research
The Real Panels That Inspired Wertham’s Attacks on Comics

We need your help to keep fighting for the right to read in 2014! Get in the Spirit of Giving, and help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by visiting the Rewards Zonemaking a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!