BTW News Briefs

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MPBA Announces Regional Book Award Winners

The Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association (MPBA) recently announced its 2005 Regional Book Award Winners. The purpose of the Regional Book Awards is to honor outstanding books that are set in the MPBA region, which includes Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The winners were:

  • Adult Fiction: The Work of Wolves, Kent Meyers (Harcourt);
  • Adult Nonfiction: Little Things in a Big Country: An Artist and Her Dog on the Rocky Mountain Front, Hannah Hinchman (Norton);
  • Children's Chapter Book: Searching for Chipeta: The Story of a Ute and Her People, Vickie Leigh Krudwig (Fulcrum Publishing);
  • Children's Picture Books: Old Coyote, Nancy Wood, Max Grafe (Illus.) (Candlewick);
  • The Arts: The Pueblo Imagination: Landscape and Memory in the Photography of Lee Marmon, Lee Marmon (Beacon Press); and
  • Regional Reference: Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History and Guide, Thomas Turiano (Indomitus Press).

For more information, go to

ALA Announces 2004 Top Most Challenged Books List

The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom recently published a list of the most challenged books of 2004. Topping the list was Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War, which became a target for its sexual content, language, religious viewpoint, and violence.

ALA noted that this was the first time in five years that the Harry Potter series did not top or appear on its annual list. ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom reported that it had received a total of 547 challenges last year: "A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness."

Four of the 10 books on the list were cited for homosexual themes -- which, ALA noted, "is the highest number in a decade. Sexual content and offensive language remain the most frequent reasons for seeking removal of books from schools and public libraries."

ALA' s "10 Most Challenged Books of 2004" in order of most frequently challenged, are:

  • The Chocolate War for sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint, being unsuited to age group, and violence
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, offensive language, and violence
  • Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint
  • Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, for offensive language and modeling bad behavior
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, for homosexuality, sexual content, and offensive language
  • What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones, for homosexuality, sexual content, and offensive language
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, for nudity and offensive language
  • King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, for homosexuality
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, for racism, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, for racism, offensive language, and violence

More information is available on ALA's Web site at

To read a related article in this week's BTW, click here. Watch for more on this subject next week.

S&S Children's Publishing Starts Merchandise Division

On February 9, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing announced that it would establish a new Merchandise Division as part of a plan to enter the coloring and activity marketplace, and to place increased focus on value and custom-publishing activities. Stephen Weitzen, formerly of Big Tent Entertainment LLC, will join the company as senior vice president and publisher, Merchandise Division. The first list of titles from the new Merchandise Division will be published in Spring 2006. The company plans to add six editorial, design, and sales positions to handle the new business.