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Book bannings soared according to library study; ‘Gender Queer’ and ‘Lawn Boy’

– lawn boy book controversy –

This article is about the Lawn Boy book and the controversy surrounding it. Continue reading for more information.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, executive director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, has never been busier.

“A year ago, we might have received one or two reports about a book being challenged at a library per day. Those calls are typically for advice on how to handle a challenge or for materials that support the value of the work being challenged “The Associated Press was informed by Caldwell-Stone.

“Now, we’re getting three, four, five reports a day, many of which require assistance and some of which require extensive assistance.”

“We’re constantly on the phone,” she added.

Alexandra Billings discusses trans representation and her new book: ‘You can’t help us if you can’t see us.’

Accounts of book bans and attempted book bans, as well as threats against librarians, have increased in the last year, and the American Library Association has included some figures in its annual State of America’s Libraries Report, which was released on Monday.

The ALA discovered 729 challenges affecting nearly 1,600 books at public schools and libraries in 2021, more than doubling the figures from the previous year and the most since the ALA began compiling challenges more than 20 years ago.

The actual total for last year is likely to be much higher because the ALA collects data through media accounts and cases learned about by librarians, educators, and other community members.

Books pulled ahead of time by librarians in fear of community protest or concern for their jobs, as well as challenges never reported by libraries, are not included.

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According to Caldwell-Stone, the number could rise again in 2022 as conservative-led school boards and legislatures impose new restrictions.

The Georgia legislature passed a bill last week that would speed up the process of removing books deemed “harmful to minors.”

“Nothing would surprise me,” says Caldwell-Stone.

The two most contentious books on the ALA’s top ten list have received a lot of attention: Maia Kobabe’s graphic memoir about sexual identity, “Gender Queer,” and Jonathan Evison’s “Lawn Boy,” a coming-of-age novel narrated by a young gay man. Republican officials have singled them out.

During his successful run for governor in Virginia last fall, Glenn Youngkin supported a local school board’s ban on the two books.

At the same time, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster backed a school board decision to remove the phrase “Gender Queer.”

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently criticized “Gender Queer” and “Lawn Boy” after signing legislation requiring elementary schools to provide a searchable list of every book available in their libraries or used in instruction and allowing parents to “blow the whistle,” according to DeSantis.

During recent interviews, Kobabe and Evison discussed the irony of their books’ intended audience: neither set out to write a story for children.

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They did, however, gain a following among students thanks to the American Library Association, which gave each book an Alex Award for works “written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.”

“I think a big part of why our books have gotten so much attention is that they’ve won awards and have been purchased by libraries all over the country,” Kobabe said.

Angie Thomas’ bestselling “The Hate U Give,” about a police shooting of a Black teen, is also on the ALA list, as are George Johnson’s “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” Juno Dawson’s “This Book Is Gay,” and Susan Kuklin’s “Beyond Magenta.”

Sherman Alexie’s autobiographical novel “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s debut novel “The Bluest Eye” are also on the list.

A “challenge,” according to the library association, is a “formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed due to content or appropriateness.”

The ALA does not keep a precise count of how many books have been removed, but cases have arisen on a regular basis in the last year.

A school district in San Antonio, Texas, pulled hundreds of library books last December to “ensure they did not contain any obscene or vulgar material.”

Read Also:

Frequently Asked Questions About Lawn Boy

1. What is wrong with Lawn Boy’s book?

On September 9, 2021, at a board meeting of the Leander Independent School District in Texas, the mother of a student expressed concern about the content of Lawn Boy, claiming that “the book was full of obscenity and sexual content.”

2. Are Lawn-Boy mowers still made?

Toro Company now manufactures Lawn Boy mowers.

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