In this week’s post I summarise some of the latest news to hit the book and publishing industry, up until the 29th January 2022.
Will start with a story which has got me angry which is a number of reports from America of various institutions banning texts from high school and college libraries. In Tennessee, Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus: A Survivor’s Story which depicts events during the Holocaust has been banned for “objectionable language” and nudity, even though oddly the story uses mice to depict what happens rather than people. Similarly over in Mississippi, the Mayor has withdrew funding until all LGBTQ+ books are removed from the library.
Honestly both stories have left me feeling very angry. The Holocaust is one of the worst examples of genocide in history and any books which teach it in a way that children can understand and empathize with have my full support so removing these books as they are “uncomfortable” is to me trying to rewrite the past and make it seem less bad.
Likewise LGBTQ+ people have a right to access books which represent themselves just as much and perhaps by having these books available we can encourage greater understanding between different types of people.
I fully support the library in Mississippi’s reasoning for resisting but I also find it despicable the mayor is choosing to hold back money for the library which is a free resource. I’m not American as I live in the UK but grew up in a background which didn’t have too much money and the local library was an important resource for me, both for books and also using the internet to complete my school coursework so holding back funding for me is shocking.
Onto some more positive news, World Book Day celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary this year on Thursday 3rd March 2022. World book Day is supported in the UK by National Book Tokens which gave each child a money off voucher to spend in bookshops to encourage reading. Honestly I remember getting these vouchers each year and purchasing a book with them each year so it was a great way of encouraging me to read whilst growing up.
There are also some events planned for the day, including a partnership with McDonald’s who will include vouchers in their World Book Day Happy Meal’s. It is also 25 years this year since the publication of the first Harry Potter book in the UK so a competition will be launched where a lucky winner will win a magical Harry Potter trip.
Speaking of Harry Potter, a rare first edition of the book went to auction this week for £30,000. The first edition hardback is one of only 500 ever being printed, 300 of which went to schools and libraries so this very rare edition is set to sell for a huge amount when it goes under the hammer.
That’s this week’s round-up but let me know what your favourite story is or if the eis anything I missed down in the comments below!