Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Banned Books Week... #1 Banned Book in 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2010... And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson


And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson...

Why was And Tango Makes Three Challenged?
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group.


What the story is about... It's the true story about 2 male penguins at the Central Park Zoo in NYC who enjoyed doing everything together, and when the time came they built a nest just like all the other Penguin couples, but they couldn't lay an egg. Eventually they are given an abandoned egg and raise this as their own. The chick that hatches is named Tango, because "it takes two to make a Tango". This book is one of the top banned books of all time, and it really makes me scratch my head. Can reading this book really change your child's sexuality? I view this book as a cute book about the love between the two penguins, and I'm not really viewing this as a book about homosexuality. Am I wrong?! It could teach children about tolerance. My library does carry the book, but I could not find it in any of my bookstores.

Sherri Machlin of the Mulberry Street Library wrote a wonderful post about the book being banned on the New York Public Library's Blog on September 23, 2013. Here is part of that post...

"Despite the happy ending to the tuxedo-adorned creatures tale, Tango challenged some Americans' ideas and assumptions about homosexuality, age-appropriateness of the material, and raised the thorny question about what makes a family. Since its publication by Simon and Shuster in 2005, And Tango Makes Three has topped the ALA's 10 Most Challenged Books List between 2006 and 2010.

Re-shelving the book was one way that libraries tried to get around the "problem" with Tango. Rolling Hills (Mo.) Library Director Barbara Read moved the book from the popular picture book section to the less-browsed non-fiction area when parents complained about the gay themes in the title. School Superintendent Edgar Hatrick III of Loudon, VA made a decision to move Tango from the Sugarland Elementary School to an area only accessible by parents and teachers after a parent complained about gay themes in the book. What helped Tango remain available in school and public libraries in some cases was the precedent set by the decision in Island Trees School District Board of Education v. Pico in 1981, which ruled that a Board of Education's decision to ban certain books from its school libraries violated First Amendment protections. The challenges against this book have been so profligate, Dr. Marta L. Magnuson, Professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, recently carried out a study analyzing the motives behind these various challenges to And Tango Makes Three, published in the journal School Library Media Research in January 2011. But if penguins can survive the brutal Antarctic winter, they can surely survive the challenges of access to And Tango Makes Three."  you can read the full post HERE.

Would you like to listen to the story? Here is Tracey Lai Thom reading and Tango Makes Three...



1 comment:

thecuecard said...

Hmm. I didn't realize this was one of the most banned books. I hadn't heard of the book before. But not sure I see the harm in it either. Thx for filling me in.

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