Putnam Parents Challenge Book on the Summer Reading List

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PUTNAM VALLEY, NY – Parents concerned about anti-racism initiatives in the Putnam Valley School District are complaining about a book on the ninth grade summer reading list, “The Hate U Give.”

The book was in the top 10 of the American Library Association’s Most Contested Books list in 2020, 2018, and 2017 (the year it was published).

The ALA said in 2017: “Although it won numerous awards and was the most searched book on Goodreads in its first year, this YA novel was challenged and banned from libraries and school programs because it was seen as “ubiquitous vulgar” and because of drugs. use, profanity and offensive language. ”

In 2018, opponents of the book also called it “anti-cop” because it tells the story of a young black girl who sees a friend shot by the police and begins to protest.

A parent also ensured that the case was brought to the attention of Tatiana Ibrahim, the name of Mahopac resident Tanya Brahimi, who gained national attention for a heated speech at her school board meeting against critical race theory, uses in its activist role.

Responding to Facebook supporters on the page she set up in June, Ibrahim wrote, “A county that has been silent for a long time is no longer taking this shit. Putnam County is resuming its schools. I am so honored to do so. part of a strong and courageous county of Patriots. ”

She also helped a Yorktown parent who was upset by a school employee’s speeches at Black Lives Matter rallies in 2020 calling on whites to help end institutional racism. SEE: Yorktown discusses school district diversity initiative

Brahimi also has a Facebook page promoting Blue Lives Matter and the Parents of Murdered Children Grief Support Group. Her son Michael Esposito was killed in an argument in 2016.

“The Hate U Give” was one of 273 books named in 156 challenges for library, school, and university equipment and services in 2020 tracked by the American Library Association. They included not only recently published books like “The Hate U Give”, but also classics like “Of Mice and Men” and “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Here are the most contested, as well as the reasons given for censoring books:

  1. “George” by Alex Gino. Reasons: contested, prohibited and restricted for LGBTQIA + content, in conflict with a religious point of view and not reflecting “the values ​​of our community”
  2. “Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You” by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. Reasons: Banned and disputed due to author’s public statements and claims that the book contains “incidents of selective storytelling” and does not encompass racism against everyone
  3. “All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Reasons: banned and contested for blasphemy, drug use and alcoholism, and because it was supposed to promote anti-police views, contain divisive issues and be “too sensitive an issue right now”
  4. “Speaks” of Laurie Halse Anderson. Reasons: banned, contested and restricted because it was believed to contain a political point of view and allegedly biased against male students, and for inclusion in the novel of rape and blasphemy
  5. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. Grounds: prohibited and contested for blasphemy, sexual references and allegations of sexual misconduct by the perpetrator
  6. “Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story of Racial Injustice” by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin. Reasons: contested for “divisive language” and because it was supposed to promote anti-police views
  7. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Reasons: Banned and disputed for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a character of “white savior” and his perception of the black experience
  8. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. Reasons: banned and contested for racial abuse and racist stereotypes, and their negative effects on students
  9. “The bluest eye” by Toni Morrison. Reasons: prohibited and contested because it was considered sexually explicit and portrayed sexual abuse of children
  10. “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. Reasons: contested for blasphemy, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

Patch has reached out to the director of the Putnam Valley School District for comment.


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