Two elementary books, set in Afghanistan and Iraq, are creating a social media stir in Jacksonville in Florida, USA, and have re-energised the age-old debate on literary censorship, reported jacksonville.com.
A book about an Iraqi librarian and another about an Afghanistan child whose parents are kidnapped both portray U.S. and other soldiers in a scary light and may be too violent for youngsters, critics said.
Currently, there are 11 literary works that remain off the shelves of Duval County Public School libraries due to past protests from concerned citizens, but Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said adding more works to that list would set a bad precedent.
“We are walking up a slippery slope when we start to decide what books we are going to ban from the curriculum,” he said.
Yet, this week administrators at Duval County Public Schools received a petition from several citizens protesting the use of two new books added last month to the third-grade reading list: “Nasreen’s Secret School” and “The Librarian of Basra” both said to be based on the true stories from the Middle East.
The profile of the growing opposition was raised when a Facebook post recently went viral following the Duval School Board’s decision to approve a list of new supplemental reading material for the 2015-16 school year.
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