|Should parents have a say in what classroom books their kids read? Actually, probably not.|
Highland Park ISD announced at the end of last week that it would be suspending seven books from the high school reading list: Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, David K. Shipler's The Working Poor: Invisible in America and Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle.
See also: Highland Park ISD Bans Books Because Sex
The books were removed after parents decried the books over the last several months. Many object to the books on the grounds that they are not age-appropriate for high school kids. In a letter sent out to parents in May, HPHS Principal Walter Kelly defended the selections, saying the school works to "meet the developmentally appropriate balance of challenging our students' thinking while upholding community values and standards." Now, it seems the district is more anxious to brush the controversial selections under the rug, rather than defend them to angry parents.
Still, the books' inclusion in school curriculum raises the question: How do teachers, parents, publishers, writers, and students determine whether or not a book is "developmentally appropriate?" More »