Opinion & Editorial

Books are a matter of ‘freedom of choice’

I am Kim Wilbur. I share this email with Dennis Michael Fisher, my partner.
We are retired educators with combined 60+ yrs. in public schools in Douglas County, Ore.
We appreciated your column, “We are Creswell, we can do better,” in the Jan. 16 edition of The Chronicle.
I have read “Skippyjon” books and agree with your assessment.
Have you considered sending your critique to our statewide SMART program director? I would hope “Skippyjon” books wouldn’t be used in SMART. I don’t know if they are used. Michael reads for SMART and doesn’t remember seeing “Skippyjon” books.
You write gently and persuasively about why the books are inappropriate.
You have no doubt read about the controversy on the internet. Many parents and teachers feel as we do.
However, the author is unapologetic and admits nothing wrong with her depictions of Hispanic culture.
She is a New Englander who grew up poor. She’s white, privileged (now) and unenlightened about how her books seem to mock Hispanic culture. I find it interesting that she apparently refuses to address the disputed language in her “Skippyjon” books. She focuses on censorship instead.
Please consider sharing your essay with SMART, to help raise other adults’ consciousness about racism, whether it’s unintended or not.
Thank you for caring about examples we set for children.

Kim Wilbur and Michael Fisher



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