Another school year just started: welcome back to the book censorship wars

Quite possible you are thinking of “Aztec” by Gary Jennings (1980). Quite popular, as I believe all his novels were and for good reason. Unfortunately, his output was a little sparse since he spent so much time and effort into both researching and traveling, but it certainly made what he wrote a lot of fun. I would definitely suggest trying this book out again if it is the one.

I totally agree with you in theory, but I do have to point out the fact that my children had 20/20 vision and refused to listen to the optometrist’s warnings about too much close screen viewing…and now have to wear glasses.

Oh, there are still ways to deal with that issue.

I think the issue for some is that CSM tends to look purely at check list items and not context and is often used by others as a tool for suppression. For example: a book has racism, rape, child endangerment, children actively harmed and drug addiction. But that book is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, a pulitzer prize-winning American classic that is on many school reading lists. But you check the CSM page for the book and it’s movie adaption and you find: inconsistency. One review has a date, the other doesn’t. One review clearly is more detailed and considered than the other (and if google is to be believed, was modified after criticism). There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but it highlights that one has to be cautious when depending on their reviews. I personally think they should either review material or just provide information about it: doing both works at cross purposes.

For video game reviews for younger kids, I always found places like Geek Dad and Gamer Dad to be more useful for my purposes. Inconsistent game ratings has, IMHO, always been a bit of a problem. I let my son play Halo much sooner than it’s nonsensical ‘M’ rating would suggest, since I think it should have been rated ‘T’. CSM’s reviews of the Halo games show some oddly skewed details, IMHO.

When I was a kid my dad gave me a pin that said “I read Banned Books!”

He was a college librarian.


Not even banning makes Ayn Rant’s works palatable.


My kids’ schools all celebrate banned book week, with multiple hallway glass cases filled with info on the history as well as copies of all the books (the ones that are so battered they can’t really be loaned out anymore), and a special section in the front of each library with multiple copies of all the books available to take out.

Librarians and teachers are on the front lines of the real War on America.


I was very happy to see my college library currently has a display about Banned Book Week. We were at an author reading a few weeks ago for John Scalzi down in Gurnee, IL. The library hosting the event is having a banned book reading this week – people will be reading aloud from various books that have been banned or challenged, an effort I truly applaud.

The best thing about this activity is that it’s really easy to do: pick up just about any random book and someone, somewhere has tried to ban it.

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it highlights that one has to be cautious when depending on their reviews.

Good advice generally.

I loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indianbut thought the passage dealing with masturbation to be somewhat out-of-place and unnecessary. I’m pretty liberal and I’m not offended by a mention of this activity, but I can see how a more conservative parent might see it differently. I’d love to give a copy of it to my nephew but I know my brither and his wife would not approve. It’s a great book- I can’t help but think that one passage almost sabotages it.

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