Kidlit Unites Against Book Banning
More than 13,000 MG and YA authors and illustrators have signed a letter condemning the current wave of book banning. The letter, written by Newbery Honor author Christina Soontornvat, calls on Congress, state leaders, and school boards to act now to protect students and their right to access a diverse selection of books.
“This current wave of book suppression follows hard-won gains made by authors whose voices
have long been underrepresented in publishing.” (From Soontornvat letter)
Demonstrating the resonance of this message with children’s book creators, most of the thousands of signatures on this letter were gathered in under 48 hours. The letter is now posted on diversebooks.org and includes signatures from a handful of contributors from our blog here at From the Mixed-Up Files … of Middle-Grade Authors.
“When books are removed or flagged as inappropriate, it sends the message that the people in
them are somehow inappropriate. It is a dehumanizing form of erasure …. At a time when our country is experiencing an alarming rise in hate crimes, we should be searching for ways to increase empathy and
compassion at every turn.” (From Soontornvat letter)
On May 18, Soontornvat sent the signed letter to the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, which is investigating book banning in schools. On Thursday, the subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over civil rights and equal protection laws, held its second hearing on the subject and formally introduced the letter into its record.
((Interested in reading more on the fight against book banning? Click here.))
((Want a list of banned books you can support? Click here.))
I believe that one of the ways we can fight against book banning is to read (and recommend) more banned books. For those who are looking for ideas, listchallenges.com posted a list of banned children’s books and freedomtoread.ca posted a Challenged Works list (under their Resources tab).
Like so many other bloggers, I also regularly review diverse books and will continue to do so. Our kids deserve to see themselves represented in books and to have issues that matter to them openly portrayed and discussed.