Four of the seven books banned in Tuscon, AZ schools. They are amongst dozens more that are still technically available, but have been removed from the curriculum, including Live from Death Row by Mumia Abu-Jamal,
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie, Mexican WhiteBoy by Matthew de la Pena, Drown by Junot Diaz, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquieve, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin… be sure to check out the full list.

These books were removed from classrooms as part of the dismantling of Mexican American Studies, a program created in 1997 to reach out to at-risk students in a district in which over 60% of students are Latin@. While the program improved attendance and test scores, the superintendent claimed that the curriculum was racist, would “brainwash” students to believe white people were oppressors, may “foster resentment” or even encourage students to overthrow the government.

After a long fight, a federal court recently ordered the program be reinstated, but it is now referred to as “culturally relevant courses”, and the approved course materials contain no Mexican American authors.

Find out more at the Arizona Ethnic Studies Network or watch this short documentary from PBS about the program and its dismantling.

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queer book club

In which a queer student of library science shares queer literary news, compiles LGBTQ booklists, and offers their thoughts about what they're reading (which is mostly YA).

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