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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.