Welcome to Booktoss a blog where the serious business of reading in schools meets the absurd notion that research based literacy practices don’t have to suck the life out of literature.
Booktoss means we, the Literary Gatekeepers, need to be willing to see the problems with books and simply toss them aside. Yes. I said it. Toss the book aside. No burning or censoring (understand the difference between censoring and boycotting, please!). Just get rid of the racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist book and move on. Go and grab another book that doesn’t tear a hole in your heart. More and more these great books exist in libraries, online and bookstores. Books that show authentic characters being more than props for over-represented characters.
Then there are the books I want to keep, and hold, and pass on to kids and teachers. Books that provide authentic views of lives and people and events. Books that are complex, complicated, heartfelt and heartening. Because there are great authors that don’t need to tear down, dehumanize and objectify one community in order to make a point.
I am currently a lecturer in Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. I teach children’s literature courses that focus on both the reader and the text by using an explicit social justice lens. My research focuses in two areas, the influence of motivation and aesthetics on reading comprehension; and the representation of mis-and under-representation in children’s and young adult literature with a special interest in graphic novels. Her scholarship appears in The Reading Teacher, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Literacy Research.
Please feel free to contact me with any all all questions about graphic novels in education.