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Paul Stock of Librairie Astro on 'SideScrollers' GN Removal

'Freedom of Choice'

Published: 09/25/2012 03:22am
Paul Stock of Librairie Astro in Montreal, Canada read Charles Brownstein's comments on the removal of the SideScrollers graphic novel from a ninth grade summer reading list (see "Charles Brownstein of the CBLDF on 'SideScrollers' GN Removal") and had this to say.
 
After having read Charles Brownstein's recent piece on SideScrollers having been removed from a reading list in Connecticut, I was reminded of a reason why I'm not much of a CBLDF supporter--Apparent sloppiness.
 
Mr. Brownstein says:
"...one resident's complaint, a resident who was not an affected parent, took away other parents' freedom to choose whether or not they felt they wanted their child to read Mr. Loux's critically acclaimed work."
 
Of course, this is absurd.  Even without being close to the situation, I find it unlikely that the "one resident's complaint" wiped the book out of existence, or even off the shelves of Connecticut retailers and libraries (presuming some of them have it).  I somehow doubt that either "The Brothers Karamazov" or "The Fountainhead" are on any grade nine reading lists, but this absence doesn't mean a parent can't choose whether or not they feel they want their child to read them.  Equally, the simple fact that something's not on a reading list doesn't block access to it.  Nothing's stopping any retailers or libraries from carrying and offering it, nor is any parent or child prevented from acquiring it.
 
To me, what appears to have occurred is that one individual disliked the book, and voiced their concern to the reading committee.  If the committee simply took that concern (along with any other concerns that might be a normal part of the decision-making process) into consideration and chose to exclude the book.  There's no "banning" here.  It's just freedom of choice being exercised.
 
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