National Library Week and the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016

This is #NationalLibraryWeek, the week we celebrate those “temples of public education and freedom of thought,” as photographer of “America’s Most Beautiful Libraries,” Thomas R. Schiff calls them. On the first day of this Week, the American Library Association announces the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2016. Let’s look at this Top Ten List and the … Continue reading National Library Week and the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016

Checking the Facts

  Knowing what’s true and what isn’t, what’s opinion and what’s fact are important aspects of intellectual freedom. Fake news is not true and we and our students need to know how to #FactCheckit. Sunday, April 2, is the first International Fact-Checking Day, a day to point out and celebrate that FACTS MATTER. Dozens of … Continue reading Checking the Facts

Where Do We Draw the Line?

The line between intellectual freedom and censorship is sometimes a fine one. Especially in schools. Certainly, we are all free to hold our beliefs. But, it’s quite possible that what we believe cannot be part of the school curriculum.   Take two recent state bills concerning the teaching of science in the schools: one in … Continue reading Where Do We Draw the Line?

Choosing Is a Right

In her article in this December’s Voices from the Middle, Nancie Atwell  explains why middle schoolers engage and learn best when they choose what they read and write, and why teachers thrive when they allow them to do so. She cites John Goodlad’s 1984 study written up in A Place Called School  which “asked kids … Continue reading Choosing Is a Right

YA Lit

While some of us packed up and went home after the NCTE Annual Convention, many people stayed for the 2016 ALAN Workshop. It was hosted at the Georgia World Congress Center and continued the tradition of celebrating the very best of young adult literature. The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) promotes communication … Continue reading YA Lit