The letter goes on: By allowing students the ability to choose, you can send a powerful message…
that, in this country, they have the right to read what they choose and the responsibility to think critically about what they read, rather than allowing others to think for them.
Expression sometimes comes with a heavy price; poet Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11-year sentence in China for writing seven sentences.
A common thread running through all forms of censorship is almost always fear—fear that new or different ideas pose a dangerous threat to established norms and authority.
It was the first poetry I encountered as a young reader.
If you struggle to keep kids entertained while reading a book, you should listen to Silverstein’s rock star reading style.—for each of the books in the series, writers presented just as many thoughtful arguments in their defense as there are challenges.And as wonderful as all our pieces and events were, they were slightly overshadowed by real-time book banning in Randolph Country, North Carolina, where after a parental complaint, the school board voted unanimously to remove Ralph Ellison’s from school libraries.He can make any kid giggle and his poetry begs to be read out loud.Listening to his readings is like a graduate level course in the art of interactive reading.I chose Shel Silverstein’s as the final piece of this year’s series because at its core is a wild call for intense self-examination and creative engagement with the world—the kind that encourages kids to take a stab at being the next Silverstein or Ellison or Morrison.And while the book doesn’t carry the literary or cultural weight of a work like , it strikes at the heart of what tyrants fear most: an impressionable challenge to think differently and to create something new.Below, I’ve built two free playlists illustrating his superb reading style.If you go to Spotify and open up a free account, you can listen to the master read nearly 100 poems.In a letter sent to the Randoph School Board, Barbara Jones of the ALA wrote: Given the diverse constituencies all schools serve, school libraries should represent a broad range of views in their collections and to meet the needs of everyone in the communities they serve – not just the most vocal, the most powerful, or even the majority.While parents and community members may rightfully voice their concerns and select different materials for themselves and their children, those objecting to particular books should not be given the power to restrict other users’ rights of access to the material.