Saturday, March 25, 2023

Eggers offers replacement for South Dakota banned books

RAPID CITY, SD ( Associated Press) — Best-selling author Dave Eggers is offering high school seniors in South Dakota’s second-largest city free copies of his book “The Circle” and copies of four books by other authors known to the district. was removed from the schools. ,

School administrators in Rapid City deemed the books unsuitable for high school students and marked the district’s copies as surplus for destruction.

“The mass destruction of books by school boards is an unconscious horror, and the independent young people of South Dakota should not be subjected to it,” Eggers said. “Every high school student should have unfettered access to literature, so if you are a Rapid City High School senior, email our office and ask for any of these titles. For each copy to be destroyed by the school board, Let’s add a new copy to the local circulation.”

Valerie Breblek Seals, Rapid City Area School’s Director of Teaching, Learning and Innovation, told the Board of Education that teachers had requested the books and were considering using them in the new 12th grade English curriculum.

Seales did not explain why administrators objected to “The Circle,” which satirizes the cultures and values ​​that emerged in the Internet age. But she said concerns about one of the five books were first raised in August, according to the Rapid City Journal. informed of.

“The first question arose when one of three high school principals sent me an image, an excerpt of a page in one of the books, and expressed concern about not doing it in my classes,” she said Tuesday. .

He said the books were ordered and sent to a warehouse before being distributed to three high schools in the district. Copies of the five books in question were then listed as surplus and marked “to be destroyed”. The Board of Education on Tuesday voted to delay the decision to destroy the books to seek legal advice.

Eggers said Rapid City seniors can get any books they pulled from high school at no cost by emailing Amanda Uhle at He said that books would be sent to the students from independent bookstores.

Other books that District has drawn are “How Beautiful We Were: A Novel” by Imbolo Mbue, which follows a young woman from a small African village who starts a revolution against an American oil company.

“Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic”, a graphic memoir about author Alison Bechdel’s horrific relationship with her late father, was also removed, and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, which some other schools called it. References have been banned. Drug and alcohol use and sexual content.

The second book removed is the Booker Prize-winning “Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel” by Bernardine Evaristo, which follows the lives and struggles of twelve characters, many of whom are black British women.


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