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#FTRF45 continues in Chicago Jan. 31 with Jeff Smith

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Those in the Chicago area - and attendees of ALA's 2015 Midwinter Meeting - are cordially invited to the Freedom to Read Foundation's 9th Annual Banned/Challenged Author Event and Fundraiser.  This year's special guest is Jeff Smith, creator of the BONE series.

BONE has been among the most frequently challenged books of the past few years, and Smith has been a strong advocate for the freedom to read, particularly in the comic and graphic novel world. 

For information on tickets, and to learn more, visit You can also RSVP on Facebook.

Our thanks to Roosevelt University and Scholastic for their support of this event!

Tags:  banned books  Chicago  comic books  FTRF45  Midwinter Meeting 

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Author Alexandra Duncan's "Slutshelf Giveaway" benefits FTRF

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Alexandra DuncanAfter discovering the main character in her debut novel Salvage had been labeled a "slut" on Goodreads, Alexandra Duncan was inspired to turn the word (and sentiment) around by initiating a giveaway of Salvage and other books that have been "banned, challenged, or generally derided for including mention of sex and sexuality." Duncan also has offered to donate up to $1,000 to the Freedom to Read Foundation as part of this effort—a dollar for every entrant. And her agent agreed to match the donation!

The "Slutshelf Giveaway" started April 19 and will run through May 19.  Well over 900 people have already entered, meaning she's very close to maxing out her donation. Duncan has encouraged other bloggers and writers to start their own "Slutshelf Giveaways," and several have taken her up on the idea.

The Freedom to Read Foundation sincerely thanks Ms. Duncan (who is also a librarian!) and her agent Kate Testerman for their generosity.  You can follow Alexandra Duncan on Twitter at @DuncanAlexandra.

Tags:  Alexandra Duncan  banned books  Salvage  Slutshelf Giveaway 

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Last-minute ticket availability for Naylor event

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Saturday, January 25, 2014

Although online ticket sales for tomorrow's FTRF Banned/Challenged Author Event are now closed, we do have a limited number of spaces available for those who didn't purchase tickets in time. Please contact Jonathan Kelley at for availability.

The event, featuring Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, author of the acclaimed "Alice" series (and much more!) begins at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday at the National Museum of American Jewish History (near the Liberty Bell).

Tags:  Banned Books  Midwinter Meeting  Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 

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FTRF files FOIA request to Chicago Public Schools over removal of Persepolis

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Friday, March 15, 2013

The Freedom to Read Foundation today issued a FOIA request to the Chicago Public Schools for all documents related to the removal of the graphic novel "Persepolis" from district schools.

Additionally, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has written a letter urging CPS to reinstate the book for district students.

The OIF Blog has more on the situation, including text of the letter to CPS:

As documented by and other blogs, the Chicago Public Schools yesterday ordered all copies of the award-winning graphic novel Persepolis out of schools district-wide. Initially the order seemed to have applied to libraries, but the head of school libraries has since issued a directive that, pursuant to its collection development policy, the book is to remain on library shelves.

OIF staff spoke with a CPS official this afternoon, she was confirmed that the books were removed due to what she termed "graphic illustrations and language" and concerns about "developmental preparedness" and "student readiness." While still in school libraries, they are out of classroom libraries and teaching curriculum until they can "control" how the book is being presented. She said there was no timeline for CPS's evaluation. CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has also issued a memo to CPS principals regarding the removal.

Follow @FTRF and @OIF for the latest on this developing situation.

Tags:  banned books  Chicago Public Schools  CPS  FOIA  Freedom of Information Act  Persepolis 

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Final settlement reached in Davis County

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A final settlement was reached last week in the Davis County, Utah book removal case.  In addition to returning the book In Our Mothers' House unrestricted to school library shelves, the school district agreed not to remove or restrict access to any library books based on Utah's ban on having "instructional materials" that contain "advocacy of homosexuality."

In their blog post on the settlement, the ACLU gave a hat tip to FTRF: 

"We received invaluable assistance from the Freedom to Read Foundation, which helped provide resources for challenging the restriction and identifying expert witnesses who could testify about how In Our Mothers' House was well within the mainstream of children’s literature and that the school’s decision to restrict access to the book violated bedrock principles of school library science.” 

Click here to read the full settlement.

Our congratulations to the plaintiffs, the ACLU, and to all those in the district whose First Amendment rights were in jeopardy.

Tags:  ACLU  banned books  Davis County  In Our Mothers House  litigation  Utah 

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