Won’t Someone Please Think of the Children? Seventy-Five Years on the Battlefield of Books for Kids

Betsy Bird


Tell it to me straight. If I mention the title A Birthday Cake for George Washington to you, does it happen to ring any bells? Odds are, it probably does. Unless you’ve been living under a very comfortable and well-
supplied rock you’re aware that this particular book by Ramin Ganeshram is the most controversial children’s book released by a major publisher in the past year.

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Marjorie Heins, Sex, Sin and Blasphemy: A Guide to America’s Censorship Wars (New York: New Press, 1993), 3–4.

K. T. Horning, “The Naked Truth: Librarians Stood by Maurice Sendak, No Stranger to Controversy,” School Library Journal 58, no. 8 (August 2012): 32.

Edwin McDowell, “Publishing: When Book Is Ruled Out by Library,” New York Times, January 21, 1983.

“Thought Control,” The Alicia Patterson Foundation, accessed May 30, 2016. http://aliciapatterson.org/stories/thought-control.

Liz Leyden, “N.Y. Teacher Runs into a Racial Divide,” Washington Post, December 3, 1998, A3.

Jill Nelson, “Stumbling upon a Race Secret,” New York Times, November 28, 1998.

Ann Rinaldi, My Heart Is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl (New York: Scholastic, 1999).

“Fiction Posing as Truth: A Critical Review of Ann Rinaldi’s My Heart Is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl,” Rethinking Schools 13, no. 4 (Summer 1999).

Gary Soto, “Why I Stopped Writing Children’s Literature,” in Why I Don’t Write Children’s Literature (Lebanon: University Press of New England, 2015), 50–60.

“Now You’re Telling Us?,” Read Roger, accessed May 30, 2016, www.hbook.com/2013/10/blogs/read-roger/now-youre-telling-us.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/cal.14n3.10


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