A parent in a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, has filed a complaint with the school district objecting to the content in the fourth volume of Jeff Smith’s popular Bone series.
Ramona DeLay of Apple Valley told Sun Newspapers she was “a little shocked” that her son, and elementary-school student, was reading a graphic novel depicting drinking, smoking and gambling. She filed a formal request to the school district on on March 15 asking that the book be “withdrawn from all students.” In the complaint, DeLay also cited “sexual situations between characters.”
The district’s Reconsideration Review Committee will meet on April 27 to consider DeLay’s request.
I’m certainly only guessing, but I imagine this has to be one of the very few times that Smith’s bestselling, and multiple-award-winning, series has been challenged. Tom Spurgeon has additional commentary.
Manga | A 14-year-old middle-schooler in Owosso, Michigan, has been suspended indefinitely after a classmate found a Death Note-inspired note containing the names of two students and times, and turned it over to a teacher. In Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note, the hit manga turned anime and live-action movie franchise, a high school student sets out to rid the world of evil using a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it.
Although the incident with the Owosso student was turned over to police, who forwarded the case to the prosecutor’s office. Police and school officials say they don’t believe the teen intended to harm anyone, and that no one was in danger.
Thank you for joining us for a very special, educational edition of Send Us Your Shelf Porn. Today’s guest is Ohio teacher Chris Peace, who is trying to improve his students’ reading skills by introducing them to comics. He’s even put together a small graphic novel library for them, which you can see in the photo above.
But Chris does a much better job explaining his collection than I ever could, so I’ll let him take over …
Get it? I said “totes” and it’s a tote bag contest! Oh, I slay myself.
Ahem. Anyway, The Strand Bookstore has teamed up with Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Toon Books and the School of Visual Arts to offer the Strand Tote Bag Design Contest. All this month, until March 31, aspiring artists are encouraged to send in their design for famed New York book shop’s next “artist tote bag. Judges for the contest include previous bag designers Art Spiegelman, Adrian Tomine, R. Sikoryak, Françoise Mouly and Steven Heller.
The prizes are pretty impressive. The grand prize winner not only gets to see their art printed on the store’s bag, but also gets: an afternoon with Mouly; D&Q’s complete set of books from 2009; $450 worth of recent Fantagraphics books; a complete set of Toon Books; and more.
Second prize nets you a class at SVA, a collection of signed D&Q books; more comics from TB and Fanta, and a $100 coffee gift card. Third prize is the same, but less so.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tempted to enter by just drawing a couple of stick figures.
Rules and details for the contest can be found at that fifth link. A look at past Strand tote bags can be found here.
The school board in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Monday voted to remove the anthology Stuck in the Middle: Seventeen Comics from an Unpleasant Age from middle-school libraries.
The move, spurred by a parent’s complaint that the graphic novel contained foul language, sexual references and depictions of teen smoking, reportedly marks the first time in at least eight years a book has been removed from the student collection. Teachers will continue to have access to the graphic novel, and (curiously?) may use it in class.
According to the Argus Leader, the board’s decision came after a unanimous recommendation from a review committee composed of two teachers, two parents and an assistant principal.
A 2007 anthology published by Penguin’s Viking Children imprint, Stuck in the Middle was edited by Ariel Schrag and contains contributions by Gabrielle Bell, Daniel Clowes, Joe Matt, Dash Shaw, Lauren Weinstein and others.
As the book’s title suggests, the stories focus on the highs and lows of life in seventh and eighth grade, from first loves to first zits. It was selected by the New York Public Library as one of its 2008 Books for the Teen Age.
The committee questioned whether middle-school students possess the maturity to see beyond the “objectionable language” in two or three of the stories and be able to glean a positive message.
In a statement provided to the Argus Leader Schrag said, in part: