In the past month, the world of young-adult literature has been responding to challenges against several books, among them Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK, Kurt Vonnegut’s SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, and Sarah Ockler’s TWENTY BOY SUMMER. The Speak Loudly community (http://speakloudly.org/) formed as a result.
In this post, teacher Risha Mullins recalls challenges to YA books such as Jo Knowles’s LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL–and many others–and the chain of events that ultimately cost her her job.
First, she describes students who grew to love books so much that they hung posters for them, recommended them to other students, and swelled the ranks of their student book club to more than 100 members. She describes the process by which she was tracking improvement in literacy and reading skills.
She then describes a scenario in which books were challenged repeatedly, and even when they cleared the hurdles set for them, the rules changed and the process started over. And over, and over.
I recommend reading Risha Mullins’s story to understand why Banned Books Week, which we observed just a week ago, is still relevant.