School Removes Novel from Summer Reading Program Because It Questions Government Authority

Ben Swann

Pensacola, FL – Booker T. Washington High School has banned Little Brother from its summer reading program.

Little Brother is a novel by Cory Doctorow, in which, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, a group of four teenagers rebel against the Department of Homeland Security.

The National Coalition Against Censorship stated that Little Brother was selected for the summer reading program, “after an extensive process by the professional staff.” However, The American Free Speech Organization argued that the novel has been removed from the list, due to the fact that there were “concerns that some parents might object to scenes involving sex and violence and the idea of questioning authority.”

Author, Cory Doctorow took to his blog, Boingboing, to explain his actions. He wrote that the school’s principal, Dr. Michael Roberts, “cited reviews that emphasised the book’s positive view of questioning authority, lauding ‘hacker culture’, and discussing sex and sexuality in passing.” Doctorow went on to write that Roberts “made it clear that the book was being challenged because of its politics and its content.”

Doctorow also responded to the news by having his publisher, Tor, send 200 free copies of his novel to the students at Booker T. Washington High School. He wrote that he chose to do this, “because it’s the first school where any of my novels has been challenged by the school administration.”

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