Until recently, a Florida high school had a summer reading program that had everyone in the school, regardless of grade level, reading the same book. However, the school’s administration canned the program over the content of this year’s book, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.
The reasoning is a bit odd. The school, or at least, the librarians and English teachers responsible for actually reading the book and writing discussion materials for the students, vetted it and found nothing inappropriate about it. The plug was pulled at the last minute by the school’s principal, who’s reasoning seems to be primarily based on online reviews. Those reviews mentioned that the book had a “positive view of questioning authority” and “lauding hacker culture.” The principal also said that he had received parent complaints about profanity, though the author insists the only profanity is one indirect reference.
(Even if the book was foul-mouthed, let’s all just admit that shielding 14- to 18-year-olds from naughty words is a losing battle. Personally, those were my peak cursing years.)
Book banning always struck me as a special kind of terrible. Not necessarily because of direct harm done — a student forbidden from reading, say Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is not a different end result than just not having that book on the syllabus — but because of the principle. There’s no greater insult to the very idea of education and to the discerning capabilities of young minds than to say, “You students can’t handle this book. You need to be protected from it.” (more…)
Writing textbooks has got to be pretty tedious work. So you can hardly blame the writers when they slip in something that seems a little bit… off. My theory is that one of three things happens:
#1. The writer slips something in to see if anybody notices.
Best optometry chart ever.
I have news that’s incredibly disappointing to my younger self, age 3 to 9. Sadly, we’ll never be able to build a real-life Jurassic Park, because the half-life of DNA strands only lasts 521 years.
If you couldn’t tell from the name of our company, we’re a teensy bit book-obsessed at Bookbyte. And despite how the old saying goes, we’re always judging books by their covers.
Some of you might not know this, but over at Bookbyte Digital we help self-publishing authors turn their manuscripts into books and ebooks through editing; formatting; distribution on Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble; and, of course, good cover design. Sometimes authors give us their own covers and sometimes they ask us to design one for them, but one thing is always true: Good covers sell books.
Yesterday, the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas hit the web. If you haven’t read it, don’t expect the trailer to do anything but completely baffle you.
Last week, legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury passed away at the age of 91. If you’ve only read one of his books, it was probably Fahrenheit 451, but if you read more, they’d probably include Something Wicked This Way Comes or a few of the hundreds of short stories he published in his lifetime, such as There Will Come Soft Rains. Or maybe you’d be more familiar with the screenplays he wrote for The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.