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It's Banned Books Week again.

While I don't hold with denying other folks the chance to read whatever they choose, I wish they'd be more specific about the challenges to these books.

One of the top ten books challenged books this year is "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture" by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint. I have to wonder how the challenges came about. Was it challenged simply because it was in the library, in which case, what is the issue? Or was it being used as a textbook? I'm not into banning any sorts of books, or removing them from shelves, but where does the line come in a textbook? Don't we want things we teach as history to be ... correct? And shouldn't textbooks be as apolitical as possible? From everything I've read about that particular book, the research involved was so shoddy that the professor lost his tenure at his university. Not the sort of thing one wants presented as factual to students.

I'd be curious to know at what grade level the other books were challenged at. It does make a difference, although again, not on a library shelf.

I just feel like there's more to the data than the ALA is offering, and that makes me feel manipulated.

Other than that, I wish everyone happy reading.

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November 2012
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