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July 2005
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September 2005

Upcoming Banned Books Week

[Insert "Dueling Banjos" music here, and see the King & King entry, below.]

Meanwhile, the American Library Association  is busy planning Banned Books Week 2005, which runs from September 24th to October 1st. One of its goals for the week is  to raise public awareness of "attacks on gay- and lesbian-themed books." From the ALA press release:

Three of the 10 books on the “Ten Most Challenged Books of 2004,” compiled by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, were cited for homosexual themes—which is the highest number in a decade. These titles include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky; King & King, by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland; and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou.

During Banned Books Week, some libraries will offer bracelets with the names of recently challenged books on them. One of the books pictured on the kids' bracelet? Lo and behold, King & King.

"King & King" to Adult Shelves in OKC Libraries

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After a complaint about children's books with homosexual content, a library commission has decided to place youth material of a sensitive nature in a special collection in the adult section. Members of the Metropolitan Library Commission voted 10-7 Thursday to place such "easy, easy-reader and tween" books dealing with "sensitive or controversial topics" into a special collection that only will be accessible by "adults in authority."

One Morning in Maine

The McCloskey sisters are model Maine conservationists, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News. Maine, McCloskey--sounds familiar, yes? Jane and Sally McCloskey are indeed the daughters of Robert, the author of Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, and One Morning in Maine. Soon I will post an entry on Robert McCloskey's Bert Dow: Deep-Water Man, a wacky tall tale of a  picture book. Although it's been around forever, we just discovered the book this summer and thought it was a hoot.

What is Linda Sue Park Reading?

My library friend Miss Lynne tipped me off to the Live Journal blog of Linda Sue Park, who recently won the Chicago Tribune prize for her young adult novel Project Mulberry. As a press release notes, "'Linda Sue Park writes intelligent books for readers struggling to find their way in the world,' said Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune literary editor." On her blog, Park talks a lot about the books  she is currently reading.

Winner of the 2002 Newbery for her novel A Single Shard, Park will pick up her latest blue ribbon at the Chicago Humanities Festival, which runs October 29th through November 13th. During that time you can also see Jon Scieszka, Salman Rushdie, Joan Didion, Umberto Eco, Adam Gopnik, and many others.

The San Francisco Chronicle review of Project Mulberry ran back in July.

Foster Children and Reading

I joke around a good bit, but here is a link for a more serious piece.  Connect for Kids, a children's advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., features an article on the importance of reading for children in foster care. It's a thoughtful piece, with good suggestions. Our own family has no foster children, but I would also encourage  adults in all families to read aloud to kids, even older ones, as much as they can.

Australia's Finest Children's Books

The Children's Book Council of Australia announced the winners of its annual awards on August 19th. All 2005 honorees were published in 2004.  You can see the runners-up and the short list at the CBCA site. The only name that rings a bell here is Mem Fox, but I would most like to see Alison Lester's Are We There Yet?, the picture book of the year. She also wrote Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo, which has to be the most irresistible title I've come across lately.

Troubles in China for Disney?

Disney books are made in China? Not at Space Mountain? Who knew? Looks like the company is coming under some criticism...Read on at CNN.

NEW YORK (CNN) - The National Labor Committee, an anti-sweatshop advocacy group that once exposed labor abuses in apparel produced for Kathie Lee Gifford's clothing line, made new charges Thursday against The Walt Disney Company, releasing a videotape alleging that two Chinese factories making books for Disney operate under unsafe conditions.

Link via  Maud Newton and Boing Boing.