Scholastic is being taken to task by a growing army of educators, librarians, and parents not for what [a biography recently published] says about Donald Trump, but for what it omits.This past weekend, Teaching for Change, a nonprofit that builds social justice around education, posted a critical review of the book and invited others to join in sending a message to Scholastic. The social media campaign, #StepUpScholastic, urges the publishing company to pull the book and issue a version that tells the truth about the president… … So far, #StepUpScholastic has generated about 530 letters of protest to Scholastic from teachers, parents, librarians, and others across the country.
For fans of CS Lewis the patch of unspoilt woodland on the edge of Oxford is sacred ground.
It did, after all, inspired the author’s vision of Narnia, the setting of his popular children’s books, starting with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
But there are now fears that development plans could threaten the idyllic nature reserve next to Lewis’s former home at Wychwood Lane, Risinghurst.
The road that is planned will no doubt spoil this amazing place of magic and beauty.
Cara Langford, petition organiser
Admirers of Lewis have joined forces with local residents to save the nature reserve after plans were submitted to build nine apartments for vulnerable adults in a 2.5-storey block, including 22 car parking spaces, next to the site.
Children’s author Philip Pullman has joined leading educationalists, early years specialists and psychologists in calling for plans to introduce tests for four- and five-year-olds in their first weeks at primary schools to be scrapped.
The tests, known as baseline assessment, are due to be trialled in a number of schools from September and will be used to measure basic skills including children’s ability to count and recognise letters and numbers immediately when they start in reception class. They will be introduced nationally in 2016.
Pullman is one of 80 signatories to a letter to the Guardian which argues that the tests should be stopped because they are “statistically invalid, will formalise a testing culture from the age of four, will be used to judge teachers and schools and, most importantly, will be dangerous for children”.
The Times has dispensed with the services of its regular children’s books reviewer, Amanda Craig.
When Craig reported this fact on Twitter yesterday afternoon there was a flood of protest against the decision.
According to Craig, it was an economising measure and the reviewing of children’s books will now be done ‘in-house’. The Times, as far as I am aware, has not confirmed the reason for Craig’s dismissal, or given any public indication of what its arrangements will be henceforth for the coverage of children’s and young adult publishing.
Here is a small selection from the Twitter Protest:
Very angry to hear about The Times's treatment of Amanda Craig. What folly.What ignorance. What contempt for children's reading.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) November 20, 2013
Amanda Craig told to leave The Times. This is a seriously bad day for YA fiction (and literacy) in the UK.
— Anthony Horowitz (@AnthonyHorowitz) November 20, 2013
— Mary Hoffman (@MARYMHOFFMAN) November 20, 2013
Stunned to hear @TheTimesBooks are dropping their one and only children's book reviewer Amanda Craig for – 'in-house reviews' – WHAT?
— Katherine Langrish (@KathLangrish) November 20, 2013
Just heard Amanda Craig has been dropped by the Times. Very, very bad day for children's books and book reviewing in general
— Chris Priestley (@crispriestley) November 20, 2013
— MG Harris (@RealMGHarris) November 20, 2013
— Katherine Rundell (@kdbrundell) November 20, 2013
— Sarah Dyer (@iamsarahdyer) November 20, 2013
— Margo Lanagan (@margolanagan) November 20, 2013
— Sarah Churchwell (@sarahchurchwell) November 20, 2013
— Helen Boyle (@InklingPress) November 20, 2013
— Meg Rosoff (@megrosoff) November 20, 2013
V sad to hear that the great champion of children's (and adult's) literature @AmandaPCraig has been sacked by The Times. Bad day for books.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) November 20, 2013
@AmandaPCraig What on earth? Surely not Amanda! Terrible news….
— Ian Beck (@ianarchiebeck) November 20, 2013
— Terence Blacker (@TerenceBlacker) November 20, 2013
@AmandaPCraig absolutely can't believe this news, I am so very sorry. And cross. Kids books deserve great book reviewers!
— Clare Hall-Craggs (@loveswimming) November 20, 2013
— Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) November 20, 2013
Supported by Stephen Fry, Margaret Hodge and Charlie Higson, independent booksellers Frances and Keith Smith delivered a petition calling on David Cameron to take "decisive action [to] make Amazon pay its fair share of UK corporation tax" to Downing Street on 24 April.
Over 150,000 people have joined the Smiths’ campaign, which they launched last December, saying that "we pay our taxes and so should [Amazon] – please take a stand with us and tell Amazon to pay their fair share".