Mississippi School District Pulls To Kill a Mockingbird From Curriculum: Today in Books
The Biloxi School District pulled To Kill a Mockingbird from its 8th grade curriculum this week, citing some “language in the book that makes people uncomfortable.” No specifics about what language or who was uncomfortable, which in its way makes the whole thing worse. When asked about the decision, district superintendent didn’t even acknowledge the specifics of the case, but just said, “There are many resources and materials that are available to teach state academic standards to our students. These resources may change periodically. We always strive to do what is best for our students and staff to continue to perform at the highest level.” Curriculums change. Heck, there are probably better novels for modern 8th graders to read. But answer the damn questions honestly and openly.
Comics Shops and Bookstores Battle for Graphic Novel Supremacy
In a presentation this week, NBD BookScan’s Kristen McLean gave an overview on the state of the graphic novel retail world. Over the last several years, sales of graphic novels are above $400 million per year. And interestingly, most of that buying is now happening through bookstore and other retailers and not comic book shops. This increase in spending, and the shift of where the spending happens, is largely new to a new demographic of buyers, who McLean says are younger and female.
No Magic Bullet for Speed-Reading
Some recent technologies designed to accelerate reading times without eroding comprehension seem to be largely useless. A new study found that trying to comprehend text at 1,000 words per minute (rather than the more typical 700), resulted in inferior comprehension. Guess we will just have to wait for those Matrix plugs after all.
Today in Books is Sponsored by The Lost Causes by Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting from KCP Loft
They’re the last people you’d ask to help with anything, much less a murder investigation. The rich girl, the obsessive, the hypochondriac, the addict and the hot-tempered athlete. Lost causes. But with the help of a dangerous serum, the FBI erases the teens’ past problems and unlocks a psychic ability within each of them. In return, all they have to do is help find the killer who’s turned their small-town upside down. Compulsively readable, The Lost Causes sweeps readers into the place where science fiction and mystery meet.