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Apple Valley District asked to remove library book

An Apple Valley parent has taken issue what she called inappropriate content in a series of books available at a number of elementary school libraries in Independent School District 196.

The district's reconsideration review committee will meet April 27 to consider a request to remove the Bone series of comic books from shelves at 12 schools, including Rosemount Elementary School.

In her request to the district Ramona DeLay objected to depictions of smoking, drinking, gambling and "sexual situations" in the long-running series.

Bone, which started in 1991 as a black and white comic book, focuses on the adventures of three oddly-shaped characters expelled from their home city. It has been identified by Time Magazine one of the best graphic novels of all time and "the best all-ages novel yet published in this medium."

But DeLay found some of the material inappropriate when her fifth-grade child brought a volume of the books home from Southview Elementary School. In her request she objected to the fact a pub is one of the story's main settings and to the fact characters fix races.

"Although it is a graphic novel that appeals to all ages, if looked at closer the content and graphics used are not appropriate for younger aged children," DeLay said.

Parts of the Bone series have been reprinted in Disney magazines, but DeLay said some objectionable content was removed.

The Bone books are available in district libraries but are not part of any classroom curriculum.

District 196 communication specialist Tony Taschner said the reconsideration review committee will read through the Bone books prior to the April 27 meeting. Both DeLay and a district media specialist will make statements regarding the books' status.

The committee will include three teachers, five parents, an elementary principal, an elementary media specialist and a middle school media specialist. It will be facilitated by teaching and learning director Steve Troen and elementary curriculum coordinator Renee Ervasti.

Requests to remove material from district libraries are not common, but they have been made before. Taschner said the most recent was made in 2006.