George, by Alex Gino reappeared on the top ten list of banned and challenged books this year. I really enjoyed this story when I read it last year, and was pleased to see that Oregon included it in their Battle of the Books list this year.
But then… then a few school district decided to not participate in the Battle of the Books because of the book. George is about a 4th grader, and the decision to opt out of the ENTIRE Battle of the Books was made by a handful of administrators in the district. Here’s the thing – they said it was because 3rd graders were too young to read this type of content… but it’s a completely optional program, and not all kids read all the books – the excuse for removing themselves from the competition (one that has the goal of exposing children to quality literature and is divided into three groups: 3rd through 5th, 6th through 8th, and 9th through 12th) seems very thin, at best.
The Office of Intellectual Freedom put together a good Blog Post about this book.