Educational books – HOU Read Tue, 20 Sep 2022 09:49:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Educational books – HOU Read 32 32 Banned Books Week Puts Censorship On The Front Page, Students Speak Up – The Daily Texan Tue, 20 Sep 2022 06:41:06 +0000

One thousand one hundred and forty-five book titles by 874 different authors, 198 illustrators and 9 translators are banned from school shelves across the United States, based on data collected by PEN America from July 1, 2021 through March 31.

Of the 50 states, Texas ranks first, banning 801 books in 22 districts, according to a PEN America report released on Monday.

From Sunday, Banned Books Week puts the freedom to read on the front page. The annual event, sponsored by a coalition of organizations including the American Library Association, GLAAD, National Coalition Against Censorship, PEN America and many others, highlights the need for free and open access to information.

Common reasons for bans and challenges include “inappropriate” sexual content, “offensive language” and material “unsuitable for any age group”, according to the American Library Association. However, these reasons target books critically dealing with race, gender, class, sexual orientation and more, from Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” to “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson.

While that remains the reality for many school bookshelves, Akiya Blake, a freshman in broadcasting, said the book ban limits student education. Coming from a high school with free access to educational materials and literature on topics considered controversial such as reproductive justice, LGBTQ+ issues and racial injustice, Blake said all students should have the right to read freely.

“If people are interested in something and want to know more about it, they shouldn’t come across (content and literature) that’s banned,” Blake said. “It gets in the way of them and what they want to learn.”

Sharon Obinna, a first-year speech, language and hearing science student, said banning books and teaching materials inhibits student growth in the classroom, especially books like “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, which tackles topics such as racism and colonization.

“If you ban, say, ‘Things Fall Apart’, that’s a whole part of a culture that you’re not allowing people to learn about,” Obinna said.

Although not currently enabled the prohibited list collected by PEN America from July 1, 2021 to June 30“Things Fall Apart” has faced challenges in Texas in the past for its critical portrayal of colonialism, according to the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Deborah Lin, head of mechanical engineering, said censorship can lead to a slippery slope when it comes to who has the power to decide what is allowed or not.

“How can we regulate something that is so subjective for everyone? Lin said. “Who is the right person to decide what should be censored? We have to be very careful with censorship. If we censor (something) then we just believe we are in our own space and everything is going our way. I don’t know if the government should be too involved in something like this.

Obinna said she believes censorship in public education limits more than it helps, leading her to hope for a future where lawmakers care about tackling often overlooked issues.

“My hope for the future is that lawmakers become more open to hearing these stories,” Obinna said. “For education in general, women’s health (is) not something that can be explained very well in schools, and that bothers a lot of young girls. Lawmakers should be more open to (topics like this) because it helps people grow.

Quincy University to Host Town Hall Forum on Banned Books in Schools and Libraries on Monday – Muddy River News Sun, 18 Sep 2022 16:04:17 +0000

QUINCY — The University of Quincy’s Departments of Political Science and Criminal Justice are sponsoring a Town Hall Forum to celebrate Constitution Day from 2-3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19 in the Hall of Fame Hall at QU.

Constitution Day is a national observance commemorating the formation and signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who became citizens. This year’s forum will debate whether offensive books should be banned from US schools and libraries.

“In this discussion, we will use the Constitution as a starting point as we grapple with the tension between freedom of speech, the health of our political community, the demands of meaningful education, and our care for young people,” Neil Wright, associate professor of political science, said in a press release.

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Command by Lawrence Freedman review – inside the war room | Political books Sat, 17 Sep 2022 06:30:00 +0000

JThere was a brief period, from the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, when even the most sensible people wondered if major wars could be a thing of the past. This turned out to be ridiculously wrong, of course. Since the late 1990s, our era has been largely defined by war, beginning with Chechnya and the former Yugoslavia and escalating with 9/11 and the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Today, after Vladimir Putin’s totally unprovoked attack on Ukraine, we again have the chilling feeling that nuclear war might be a real possibility. And the war in Ukraine forces us to ask ourselves the old, old question: which finger is really on the trigger? Are politicians or generals in charge? Dictators or duly elected representatives? The presidents and prime ministers or the people in uniform?

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman is the leading academic authority in Britain and the English-speaking world on how modern warfare has been fought. Rational, liberal-minded, clear-sighted, he drew on the experience of a lifetime for his new book. It was, he accepts, an exercise in containment. A purist might say that some of the material could have been organized differently, with a clearer separation of material by region, for example. But it is the quality of the story and the very intelligence of the judgment that count, given the breadth of the subject. The command encompasses not only the major wars – Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf and Afghanistan – but also France’s colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria, the quasi-war created by the Cuban Missile Crisis, Pakistan’s ill-fated attempt to guarding Bangladesh, Israel’s disastrous 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the Falklands and Laurent Kabila’s vicious Congo campaign: an often shameful but always illuminating parade of material, human inadequacy and death.

It is of course too much to hope that simple lessons can be drawn from all this. Some political leaders tell generals what to do, sometimes it’s the other way around. Freedman summons an extraordinary lineup of post-1945 commanders, from MacArthur to Giáp, Cogny and Challe, to Mike Jackson in Kosovo, Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf in Iraq and two of America’s most admirable but doomed generals, David Petraeus in Baghdad and Stan McChrystal in Kabul. Still, some basic principles apply: democracies do fight wars more efficiently, and dictators do make rotten strategists, from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, who even interfere in the kind of decisions that a lieutenant in the army should take.

Journalists – I am thinking in particular of veterans like Jeremy Bowen of the BBC, Richard Engel of NBC or John Burns of the New York Times, but there are many more of us – have seen this succession of wars from a very different point of view: we look skyward at bombers and missiles aimed at enemy towns where we cower, knowing nothing of the strategy that sent them there. From time to time, our vision may be clearer than that of the commanders in their headquarters; for example in President Clinton and Tony Blair’s clumsy bombing of Belgrade in 1999, when the White House and Downing Street became increasingly panicked in their claims that Serbia’s resistance was collapsing when it was clear to us that this was not the case. Freedman’s point of view is never simply that of headquarters, however, and he takes a wild delight in unraveling the infighting between the general staff and the soldiers in the field. His account of the wars against Hussein and the Taliban is masterful: perhaps the best I have read. Battlefield reports are important because people back home need to know what is being done on their behalf. But there’s no doubt that what really matters in the long run is Freedman’s perspective, examining decision-making and the interaction between governments and military commanders.

Are there any basic threads connecting all the different wars from Korea? Just one or two: American short-termism, for example. Every major enemy the United States has faced knows that Washington’s attention span is short and the only hope of success is to hang on, despite overwhelming firepower. Since Korea, the United States has failed to become the clear winner of every major war it has fought, from Vietnam to Afghanistan. That it did not harm its position as the preeminent power in the world is a tribute to America’s enormous economic and cultural strength. It is also a sign that none of these conflicts were as existentially significant as Washington originally claimed.

In order to persuade public opinion to support a war, an American president must grossly tout its importance; think Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam, a very mediocre local post-colonial conflict. (Blair did the same with Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and the supposed 45-minute strike time against British targets.) Soon, big business in America was stepping up, sniffing out obscene profits, and the Ministry of Defense continues to pour out immense and often unnecessary resources. Eventually, the cost incurred, plus the grotesque damage done to local civilian life, begins to tip the scales, and the Americans themselves begin to question the purpose of the war. After that, it’s just a matter of how fast to get out.

Leadership is the story of our time, told through war. It is a marvelous and idiosyncratic feat of storytelling as well as an essential account of how modern world wars were fought, written by someone whose grasp of intricate detail is as strong and effective as the clarity of his style. . I will read it again and again.

John Simpson is the BBC’s world affairs editor. He presents Unspun World on BBC Two. The Politics of Military Operations from Korea to Ukraine by Lawrence Freedman is published by Penguin (£30). To support the Guardian and the Observer, order your copy from Delivery charges may apply

]]> Portland schools receive books celebrating immigrants and refugees Thu, 15 Sep 2022 22:27:00 +0000 1,200 books were dropped off at all public schools in Portland on Thursday as part of a “Big Read” event.

PORTLAND, Maine — Children in Maine have been back in school for a few weeks now, and as teachers begin rolling out their lesson plans for the year, Portland classrooms received new supplies Thursday.

As part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, 1,200 new books were left in all public schools across the city.

Kirsten Cappy is the executive director of the Portland-based organization I’m Your Neighbor Books. The group is part of the mission to bring books that focus on celebrating immigrants and refugees to Maine schools.

“Not only for [students] to see themselves reflected in their school books, but for the kids in the long run to have a connection with their classmates,” Cappy said.

Councilman and President of I’m Your Neighbor Books Pious Ali said “Portland’s school population is changing” and books that showcase all cultures and backgrounds can make a big difference. difference in a town or city.

“It builds relationships and it builds communities,” Ali said. “You have a sense of belonging, it makes you feel rooted in this community.”

Meg Brooks is a librarian at the Gerard Talbot Community School. She said the school had some book titles available by Thursday, but her students will now be able to discuss topics in small groups or in literary circles.

Brooks also said adding representation from all walks of life is an important step to take.

“In education, we talk a lot about the concept of windows and mirrors,” she said. “Windows with different perspectives and mirrors, being able to see yourself.”

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From Jim Crace to Cosey Fanni Tutti: recent books reviewed in brief Wed, 14 Sep 2022 15:42:40 +0000

Eden by Jim Crace
Picador, 272 pages, £16.99

Gardeners of Eden lack neither food nor shelter. The trees are moaning with fruit and the fishpond is well stocked; workers sleep in dormitories, watched over by feathered angel overseers. But this paradise is also a prison: the citizens of Eden are not allowed to leave its walls, where hunger is rampant (alms are pushed through the doors for the needy to take). Disobedience is met with violence, dissidence with expulsion: the story of Adam and Eve is repeated like a warning. When a worker decides she must see what lies beyond “the sublime uniformity of Eden,” her flight destabilizes the community and threatens the sanctity of the garden.

Jim Crace’s socialist politics have always permeated his fiction, and in Eden the preoccupation with power, class, poverty and inequality that underpinned his two previous novels, The melody and To harvest, stands up and pushes against fable narrative and fruitful prose. It captures the grayness of life in Eden almost too well: at times the action, narrated by a series of characters in overlapping narratives, relaxes. But his portrayal of a society in which structural power and inequality are entrenched and freedom is limited contains a powerful critique not only of religion but also of the modern state and its undemocratic turn.
By Tom Gatti

Re-Sisters: The Lives and Recordings of Delia Derbyshire, Margery Kempe and Cosey Fanni Tutti by Cosey Fanni Tutti
Faber & Faber, £18.99, 400pp

Re-Sisters details the parallels between Margery Kempe, a 15th-century Christian mystic, and Delia Derbyshire, the electronic music pioneer who arranged the original Doctor Who theme. It’s an idiosyncratic premise, made even more eccentric by Cosey Fanni Tutti’s inclusion of his own life story in the third part of the narrative. But Tutti, an avant-garde artist and musician best known as a member of Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey, manages her vast array of historical records with the enthusiasm and dedication of an academic.

In Re-Sisters she maps the lives of three creatives who have each been considered the “novelty woman” in their field. It questions the idea of ​​what it means to “record”: Kempe recorded his life in writing in the first known autobiography in English; for Derbyshire, a “record” implied sounds. In doing so, Tutti’s exciting and inventive book explains why we need to listen to those on the margins of society.
By Ellen Peerson-Hagger

On Java Road by Lawrence Osborne
Hogarth, 240 pages, £16.99

Lawrence Osborne, in the course of half a dozen novels, has forged a discerning clientele. He has two great advantages as a writer of fiction: he is as good at short stories as he is at writing travels. The sparseness of the former and the embedded details of the latter are evident in his novels about Westerners abroad, often in East and Southeast Asia, made to confront their strangeness.

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On the road to Java is set in the Hong Kong of someone who knows the place well – its local restaurants, towers and crowds rather than its neon-lit facade. This is the time of student protests against the increasingly strangled hold of the Chinese state. The old friendship between Adrian Gyle, an expatriate English journalist who has just bumped into each other, and the plutocratic Jimmy Tang is put under pressure when Tang begins an affair with a beautiful pro-democracy protester named Rebecca. When she disappears, Gyle sets out to find out what happened, fully aware that the consequences will only hurt him. Here, Osborne updates Graham Greene’s “entertainment” – social relationships are ambiguous, there’s menace in the air, conversations rarely mean one thing – and everything is handled with style and adroitness.
By Michael Prodger

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Back to my trees: notes from the Welsh forests by Matthew Yeomans
Calon, 256 pages, £18.99

Author and journalist Matthew Yeomans was already suffering from anxiety and panic attacks when the 2020 Covid lockdown began. Reluctant to rely on medication and gyms being closed, he began wandering around his hometown of Cardiff to find inner calm. Soon his short urban meanders turned into long hikes through the woods.

Return to My Trees is the author’s tale of reconnecting with the natural world as he follows paths that wind through hills and valleys. The Welsh government plans to include hundreds of miles of these trails in a new national forest, aiming to connect existing forests (many areas of which are old and will need to be restored) with new trees. Following them also offers Yeomans an immersion in the cultural and industrial history of Wales. National forests, he suggests, could help make nature an “integral part of a national identity”; a proposition that is expected to extend far beyond Welsh borders.
By Philippa Nuttall

[See also: Reviewed in short: New books by Jayne Buxton, Edward Enninful, Simon Heffer and Emma Donoghue]

This article originally appeared in the September 14, 2022, issue of The New Statesman, Succession

7 books removed from Dearborn public schools after parents raise concerns Tue, 13 Sep 2022 03:38:00 +0000

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Some of the books available to students at Dearborn Public Schools have parents worried. One mother even filed a police report because she felt the content of the reading was dangerous.

The school district says it has temporarily removed seven books from circulation. They also restricted access to an e-book app containing thousands of titles.

Leaders are discussing this issue even in schools across the country.

Stephanie Butler says her daughter checked out a book from the Edsel Ford High School library on Monday called “Flamer.”

It depicts sexually explicit acts between young boys and graphic descriptions.

“You know, when you put something in a kid’s mind, it makes them want to do it more or try it,” Butler said.

Butler filed complaints about six different books — some available in person and others through the school’s Sora app.

The mother-of-four says her concerns aren’t just about books depicting people of the same sex.

“If these were just LGBT romance novels, that’s totally appropriate,” Butler said. “Where I draw the line is teaching them to actually do the deed.”

“This Book is Gay” is one title in particular that really upset Butler and other parents. Butler even reported it to the Dearborn Police Department. A ministry spokesperson said the matter is currently under investigation.

Paul Bruce, a former district teacher, says the book has educational value. While at Dearborn Public Schools, Bruce participated in the school’s anti-bullying campaigns.

“It answers so many questions that I wish I could have answered for myself when I was a kid,” Bruce said. “My life would have been so different.”

The book covers topics such as how to join dating apps and how to talk about your sexuality with people who identify as Christian or Muslim.

“You have to be able to address those concerns,” Bruce said. “How do you stay safe? How do you prevent yourself from being verbally or physically attacked? And how do you resist it when it’s thrown at you? »

Butler says those kinds of instructions, especially on dating apps, are dangerous.

“I knew I had to act before anyone got hurt,” Butler said. “I fear that if they meet someone (through the apps), they could be raped, kidnapped or trafficked.”

Bruce hopes the district won’t bow to pressure from Butler and other disgruntled parents.

“We’re not banning books, I want to make that very clear,” said David Mustonen, communications manager for Dearborn Public Schools. “What we do is evaluate the books in our inventory.”

The district says it has more than 100,000 titles to browse. The process could take a year.

At a school board meeting, Dr. Ross Groover, the district’s curriculum and professional development consultant, said they were doing more than just pulling seven books.

“We have also removed student access to all eBooks available through the Sora app and the Wayne Consortium and the Dearborn Public Library’s overdrive collection,” Dr. Ross Groover said.

Parents and community members took turns speaking during the public comment portion. Some were for banning the books and some were against.

“No one has the right to censor someone else except a parent for their child,” said a concerned citizen. “As public officials, it is your duty to try to maintain as wide an access to information as possible.”

A school board member was cheered by the crowd after saying the books help expose students to different viewpoints and ways of life.

“It is our responsibility to educate students in such a way that they are ready to become responsible citizens in the adult world,” said Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education member Mary Petlichkoff.

The district says it is finalizing a form, which would allow parents to submit concerns about certain books. That form should be available by Friday, according to Mustonen.

The books in question would then be reviewed by a committee made up of parents, teachers and media specialists.

Banning LGBTQ Books: Stupid, Ineffective, Cruel Beyond Measure Sun, 11 Sep 2022 21:00:00 +0000

Across the country, an ongoing education controversy has erupted around homosexuality.

Republicans in Florida and other states have moved to eliminate all mention of gay people in public schools. Drag queen stories have been embraced by libraries but opposed by conservatives, with some deploying vicious slogans like “kill your local pedophile”.

It’s horrifying but not surprising in a country where more than a third of adults now say they support banning books with stories about transgender youth. That’s exactly what school districts across the country are doing, with right-wing activists even closing libraries to do the same.

If you feel like you’ve been seen before, you’re not alone. Conservatives and fascists have baselessly accused homosexuals of pedophilia, obscenity and pornography for over a century. But what is everyone afraid of?

One possibility is that they fear their children will choose to live as a trans person. According to the thinking, if gay people and stories are censored, children will not grow up gay. It is a predictable logic, but also ineffective and cruel.

I know because that’s the kind of system I grew up in.

I grew up on military bases in a Southern Baptist family. I didn’t know any trans people. Adults around me would refer to trans people with words like “shim” or say “he’s not male or female, he’s a that”. Mainstream movies and shows like Ace Ventura, Little Nicky, Reno 911 and a million others taught me that “men in women’s clothes” were objects of contempt and disgust.