The Rapid City Area school board in South Dakota is considering destroying more than 350 copies of books ordered by teachers for use in English 12 classrooms, after administration decided the books had “inappropriate content”. They were entered into the agenda as destroying “surplus material” to try to hide the book ban attempt, and most of the titles are by or about queer people and people of color. You can read Kelly Jensen’s article for the whole story.
The books set to be destroyed are Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chboksy, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue, and The Circle by Dave Eggers.
The author of one of the books, Dave Eggers, has offered to provide free copies of any of these titles to Rapid City high school students. They can request them by emailing Amanda Uhle ([email protected]). The books will be bought from independent bookstores by Eggers and shipped directly to students.
Eggers said, “The mass destruction of books by school boards is an unconscionable horror, and the freethinking young people of South Dakota shouldn’t be subjected to it. Every high school student should have unfettered access to literature, so if you’re a Rapid City high school student, email our office and ask for any of these titles. For every copy the school board destroys, let’s add a new one to the local circulation.”
The vote to destroy these books is currently being delayed while the board seeks legal advice.
You can read more about this story at the Rapid City Journal.
Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.