Photo by Stephen Voss
Join us in the Worlds of Words Center for an exciting video event!
The premier of a video of Ibram X. Kendi‘s motivating and moving speech from Rally for the Right to Read is being shown on the big screen in WOW. Kendi’s speech is both a rallying cry and a love letter to library professionals, educators and advocates across the nation.
Introduced by Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library Association, in conversation with Chris Jackson, EVP, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of One World — this hour-long webinar will celebrate the right to read and the role of educators and librarians in providing access for all.
Representatives from Unite Against Book Bans will also join the webinar to share resources and offer a myriad of ways that viewers can join in the fight for the freedom to read.
Ibram X. Kendi is an award-winning, best-selling author of books for adults and children. He is a professor of Humanities and director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Dr. Kendi’s books include Stamped from the Beginning, How to Be an Antiracist, How to Raise an Antiracist and How to be a Young Antiracist. He is the recipient of the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship.
By Deanna Day, Washington State University, WA, and Barbara A. Ward, University of New Orleans, LA
In this column we continue to explore recent trends in censorship and book banning by highlighting how authors feel about their books being challenged. Additionally, we offer some ideas for classroom teachers interested in supporting children’s rights to read by teaching about censorship and book banning.
It isn’t just teachers, librarians, and school board members who are put into the position of defending certain books. The recent attacks on books featuring certain types of stories have even had a chilling effect on the publishing industry, with some publishing houses shying away from topics that might be deemed controversial. Many authors of children’s and young adult books are finding themselves on the defensive because their books have drawn negative attention from parents and community members. Author Jason Reynolds, who has written a number of books that have been challenged such as Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You (2020), a remix of the adult title Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (2016) by Ibram X. Kendi and All American Boys (2015), cowritten with Brendan Kiely, emphasizes that limiting access to books limits kids’ curiosity and that banning books sends the message that kids shouldn’t ask questions. “Books don’t brainwash. They represent ideas,” he said. Continue reading
Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
The environment has become a critical issue for a majority of people around the world. There are a number of ways to address the issue, and one of those ways is through an eco-cosmopolitan perspective. Eco-cosmopolitanism is “an attempt to envision individuals and groups as part of planetary ‘imagined communities’ of both human and nonhuman kinds” (Heise, 2008, p. 61). In children’s literature, we often get the perspective of an animal or insect. From Peter Rabbit (Potter, 1999) to Watership Down (Adams, 2014) to Charlotte’s Web (White, 2012) to more current texts such as Alice’s Farm (Wood, 2020) and Pax (Pennypacker, 2019), readers are delighted by the antics and/or adventures found within these marvelous examples of non-human creatures interacting in the world. Humorous tales such as the two Skunk and Badger stories (Timberlake, 2020; 2021) make us laugh, while Pax (Pennypacker, 2019), Pax Journey Home (2021) and Charlotte’s Web (White, 2012) can develop empathy for the living things outside the “human” realm. Continue reading