Lest we forget that book banning and free speech issues are conversational topics appropriate beyond the brackets of Banned Books Week, a recent news item has me lost for words. A federal appeals court has ruled, and this is true, that an Ohio high school teacher “has no First Amendment right to make assignments about book-banning or to select particular books for her students.” Come again? Well apparently a teacher decided to do an assignment on banned books with her class (of high school students, recall). So they each picked a book that had been banned. . . and then their parents found out. So because she was distributing racy literature like, oh say, Heather Has Two Mommies, the teacher’s contract was not renewed and she lost her appeal. You may read more about the case here. Thanks to Leslea Newman for the links.
- Now that’s interesting. I had not heard that Jacqueline Woodson’s novel Locomotion had been turned into a stage play. Once in a while a book to theater adaptation just makes perfect sense. This is one of those cases. I suppose verse novels make excellent adaptations. Huh! Food for thought.
- Funniest dang thing I’ve seen all day. Bar none.
- Feeling the absence of my Top 100 Novels poll results? Well, much of my information came from Anita Silvey. Now Anita turns it all around by starting a blog of her own. Called Book-A-Day Almanac, the premise is that she will recommend a children’s book every day for a year. At the end of the year, she’ll then turn those posts into a book. Shoot. That’s a good idea. Clearly I’ve got to get around to turning my own polls into books. Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.
- I really like this habit I’ve gotten into, doing audible reviews of books for the Katie Davis podcast Brain Burps About Books. In a given year I can properly review only so many books. Katie’s site allows me to give some weight and consideration to I might otherwise have to ignore, like Kimberly Willis Holt’s gorgeous The Water Seeker. That’s this week’s review on Katie’s newest podcast episode #14, featuring interviews with Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. I liked this additional lure: “Jane tells a racy story about her coat catching on fire.” Well who’d want to miss that?
- I know it’s just him getting older and all, but . . . . doesn’t Daniel Radcliff look a bit strange in this latest READ? Or is it just me?
- If it isn’t too much bother, could one of you name your offspring “Lothar Meggendorfer” after the great 19th century pop-up artist? I mean, talk about a name destined for greatness! I learned about him when I discovered that the Movable Book Society (America’s best pop-up group) awards a Meggendorfer Prize at each biennial conference. Recently that prize went to Marion Bataille for that lovely little ABC3D from two years ago. Well played, Roaring Brook.
- “Why didn’t you tell me? Mary Poppins with her cool green core of sex has me enthralled forever.” bookshelves of doom discovered that The Paris Review has made its interviews available online. Children’s literature enthusiasts may sift through them to find a couple of their favorites, including an unexpectedly hippy dippy P.L. Travers, on par E.B. White, and others.
- Doesn’t really have anything to do with children’s books, but how can you not love a blog post about the importance of nutcase literature? Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
Well, I mean really. I’m not made of stone.