Robot 6

Bone to stay in Minnesota school district’s libraries [Updated]

The offending volume

The offending volume

A Minnesota mother’s challenge to Jeff Smith’s Bone series has failed, with a panel from the Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley school district voting 10-1 Tuesday to keep the books in its elementary school libraries.

A committee consisting of parents, teachers and media specialists heard arguments from Ramona DeLay, who wanted the series banned because the fourth volume depicts smoking, drinking and gambling, and from other parents who wanted the book to stay in school libraries. Smith sent a written defense as well.

Bone has won numerous awards and garnered many positive reviews, but here’s the best part: The kids like it.

Rosemount students Spencer Strop, 13, and his fourth-grade brother, Preston, say they agree.

“I didn’t take it in a bad way,” said Preston, who began reading the books when his brother brought them home. “It’s not like anybody got drunk or was doing anything bad with drinking.”

The brothers said the setting of the novel is in a tavern, and some of the characters occasionally smoke a pipe and cigars. Spencer first picked up the novel from the library at Rosemount Middle School.

“We were actually hoping it would stay,” he said.

Said media specialist Melinda Martin, “I respect her right to object to the series, but not for her to censor it for the rest. I feel you would be doing a disservice to our district if you remove this book from our elementary schools.”

Update: Jeff Smith has posted about the decision on his blog and included the entire letter he sent to the review committee.



This is great news! Score one for literacy! If you don’t want your kids to read something, don’t let them read it. That’s called “parenting.”

Excellent news! This parent’s reaction was totally irrational, and I’m glad the school district didn’t kowtow to her absurd overreaction. I object to the idea that a book should be banned based solely on the delicate sensibilities of an individual group or person – if she finds this material objectionable, it’s her responsibility as a parent – and hers alone – to prevent it from reaching her kids.

Kids are smarter than many parents (and parent groups) give them credit for, and attempting to shield them from media and information isn’t doing them any favours.


April 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Hooray indeed! Score one for literacy indeed! This is good news for everyone, even the mother with the irrational hatred of *gasp* “things,” as she had her voice heard and her concerns were made known, this is the system ACTUALLY working, so good for everyone! Hooray for making the right call and fighting censorship, Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley school board!

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