Books

Book Ratings Systems Are Not a Solution: Book Censorship News, November 25, 2022

Because of the holiday in the U.S. this week, the roundup of book censorship news and insights will be shorter than usual.

Although there are several right-wing groups eager to implement movie-style book ratings to library titles, the reality is, book rating systems are an exercise in futility and bias. Julia Rittenberg does an outstanding job explaining why book rating systems would not work, and in addition, I recommend tuning into a recent episode of the You’re Wrong About podcast that delves into the history of the movie rating system and how easily bought, subverted, and problematic it has been. After you’ve read and listened to those two deep dives into the challenges of book rating systems, you’ll want to then read Richard Price’s Thoughts on Ratings.

The fact is, books have ratings systems on them. They’re put into categories, and books for young people are given age ranges for suggested audiences. But moreover, it is every caretaker’s responsibility to know what their children — and their children only — are reading and talk with them about what they can and cannot access.

In the wake of another hate crime committed this week toward queer people, all enjoying their weekend at a gay bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado, here’s a reminder that there is a straight line between bigotry toward books and the murder of innocent LGBTQ+ people.

This is not, nor has it ever been, about the books.

Book Censorship News: November 25, 2022

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