OASL and OLA support George by Alex Gino
To Whom It May Concern:
We are writing on behalf of the Oregon Library Association (OLA) and the Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL), a division of OLA, to express our support for Oregon Battle of the Books’ (OBOB) inclusion of the book George by Alex Gino on the 3rd to 5th Grade Division title list.
For each book chosen by the OBOB title selection committee, members take into thoughtful consideration many factors, including:
- Grade/reading level, including publishers’ suggested age ranges;
- A variety of subject areas, plots, settings, and styles;
- Balanced interest for all genders and wide range of maturity levels within divisions;
- A variety of genres: realistic fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, multicultural, and Oregon representation;
- Reviews from established literary reviewers and publications;
- Awards (Newbery, Oregon Reader’s Choice, etc.); and
- Comments from OBOB coordinators in schools around the state, both during the selection process and before the reading lists are finalized.
George satisfied all of these criteria and received no negative comments during the review period before the lists were finalized. While not every book will match the reading interest of every reader or family, the OBOB selection committee has a responsibility to meet the varied interests of all students, as well as reflect the lived realities of the many students call Oregon their home.
OBOB’s mission is to encourage reading and broaden reading interests while also promoting cooperative learning. It is not a part of school’s official curriculum. Participation in the program is optional, as is reading any particular title; teams often divide up the titles among themselves.
Any decision on whether to have a student participate in OBOB or read a specific book is most appropriately made by a student’s parents or guardians, who can best determine if their student’s intellectual and emotional development matches the book’s content. We are disappointed that some schools and districts are not giving families the opportunity to make these decisions for themselves.
We are proud of the over ten-year history of OBOB. OBOB has introduced thousands of students to books on numerous topics, written by authors of varied backgrounds, and included subjects both mundane and challenging. George fits squarely within this proud tradition. We eagerly anticipate the 2018-19 OBOB season and believe that students, parents, and school staff alike will find the books and the experience to be rewarding.
Paige Battle, President, Oregon Association of School Libraries
Buzzy Nielsen, President, Oregon Library Association
For further information
About OBOB, OASL, or OLA:
Oregon Association of School Libraries
Oregon Library Association
About students’ freedom to read and related issues:
Office for Intellectual Freedom
American Library Association
Media interested in scheduling interviews with ALA spokespersons may contact Steve Zalusky, Communications Specialist of ALA’s Communications and Marketing Office; 312-280- 1546; email@example.com.