Thursday, June 15, 2006
Watching with Interest
I have been watching the various discussions on "Vamos a Cuba," or "A Visit to Cuba," which is now banned in Miami. This children's book about traveling to Cuba has been deemed inappropriate for school libraries because of its inaccuracies and omissions. This book has been banned for its weakness in providing good information about life in Cuba under Communist rule.
When I first heard about the controversy, my first thought was that a parent was upset that life in Communist Cuba was being depicted with too rosy a brush. However, Wednesday's ruling, in which school board members voted 6-3 to remove this book, also covers books about travel to Vietnam, Greece and China, among other countries. Critics said the series does not offer enough details about the countries it includes.
As I have not read this or any of the other books in the series, I cannot make a good judgment call, but it seems to me that it is rare that a book is banned over weak content. Perhaps rather than ban a book at a later date, those who choose books for school libraries need to be a little more stringent in their choices.