Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Jewish Kids Author De-Shelved in Utah

Patricia Polacco Draws Us a Map

Print Email
"A blood-curdling horror ride into the heart of the American dream" -Anchorage Book Review(Patricia Polacco)

When did Jewish authors stop being the cool kids that your mom didn’t want you hanging out with? Between the 1990s and 2010 Jews went from dominating the list of banned/challenged books to barely scrambling by with a single entry on the charts. Now, it wasn’t that I like books being banned, but I did like the idea of Jews pushing those cultural buttons.

Thank goodness for Patricia Polacco, the author of books like Tikvah Means Hope and Mrs. Katz and Tush whose blood-soaked 2009 book In Our Mothers’ House has been “placed behind the counter” at a Utah library for depicting children being raised by ladies. (Side fact that I love: the dissenting vote against de-shelving the book was the librarian.)

This, as you might imagine, isn’t the first time a Polacco book has been placed into solitary—given the state of most kids books these days, probably for their own protection—but I hope Jewish authors will look to Polacco for the can-do spirit that they need to get back their place on the black lists.

Utah School District Places Book About Lesbian Moms Behind Counter [Salt Lake Tribune]
Ban My Book—Please!
Bomb the Ban

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

tk_in_TO says:

I always LOVED Patricia Polacco’s books.  My kids are now 32 and 25 and I still remember how great her books were, and always searched the library for them.   Great art and illustrations as well. 

k56sf says:

My mother is an ex-Librarian and during the 1950s she adamantly defended public access to many, then, banned works, now considered “modern classics”. I would like to also add, she was also a character witness in a court case about obcenity; she supported the publisher and authors of the magazine in question and they did win the court case. Bottom line, the intricate ties between regional/local cultural values and public access to books, paid by regional/local tax dollars, will also be an unbreakable bond. Only through transparency, public scrunity, can change possibly be effected, or at least, show the danger in allowing the banning of books under the democractic flag in this country.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Jewish Kids Author De-Shelved in Utah

Patricia Polacco Draws Us a Map

More on Tablet:

Rediscovering the First Woman Rabbi

By Laura Geller — Ordained in 1935, Regina Jonas died at Auschwitz. Now, she’s being honored.