As members of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) prepare for the upcoming IBBY Regional Conference, taking place on March 4-6, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee, we have kept a close eye on the actions by Tennessee’s McMinn County Board of Education, who voted unanimously to remove Art Spiegelman’s Maus from its eighth-grade language arts curriculum.
One of the key aims of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) and its US National Section, the USBBY, is “to give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards”, and the critically acclaimed Maus—which broke artistic and intellectual ground with its non-fiction account of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and mental health struggles—is exactly the kind of work that should be accessible to students and educators. As such, we condemn the actions of McMinn County Board of Education for the decision, and invite them to join us at our Regional Conference in March.
All attendees of the conference will be given a free copy of Jella Lepman’s autobiography, A Bridge of Children’s Books. Lepman, a Jewish journalist, author, and translator who returned to Germany mere months after the end of the Second World War to found the International Youth Library, which led to the establishing of IBBY, was a woman with a deep understanding of how to speak to children about the same difficult issues that seem to intimidate the McMinn County Board of Education. We would be happy to share the methods that she—and USBBY—have found so successful for the last 70 years. None of them, of course, involve the censoring or banning of literature.
The United States Board on Books for Young People
The U.S. National Section of International Board on Books for Young People
Building Bridges Through Children's and Young Adult Books
Center for Teaching through Children´s Books
National Louis University
1000 Capitol Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090
V. Ellis Vance, Executive Director Executive.Director@usbby.org
Connect With Us
© COPYRIGHT 2018.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.