Hacking the Hunger Games: Harry Potter Alliance Launches Catching Fire Themed Economic Equality Campaign

Note: Slight Hunger Game’s spoilers in the video above and ahead.

Since its inception The Harry Potter Alliance has launched successful campaigns, told intricate policy stories and done a world of good in a world of Muggles. Now, in time for the release of Catching Fire the group is looking to The Hunger Games to elevate the issue of economic inequality and to galvanize young people on behalf of those most affected. I got a chance to talk to Andrew Slack, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Harry Potter Alliance about the campaign and will share some of his insights.

But first — some background:

The Harry Potter Alliance has built a reputation for being scrappy, creative and full of heart.

The group grounds complex policies and contemporary events in fictional references and beloved narratives and in fact looks to the world of Harry Potter- and the series’ creator J.K Rowling specifically, for guidance on how to change the world.

They quote her on their about page: (more…)

Late Night: “Captain Underpants” Most Challenged Book of the Year

 

The American Library Association has released its list of the most challenged books of the past year, and Fifty Shades of Grey was only number four on the list, beaten out by the charming and funny kid’s book series,  Captain Underpants, Sherman Alexie’s prize-winning “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

The ALA’s  Office for Intellectual Freedom defines a challenge as a

formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.

The first three books on the list were considered unsuitable for any age. Fifty Shades of Grey was challenged for its sexytime situations, and some libraries claimed the smutty trilogy was too poorly written to be stocked, according the Guardian. (And yet, Jackie Collins can be found on shelves…)

In the past decade the  top ten list list included works by Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Maurice Sendak, Judy Blume, J.D. Salinger, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, and J.K. Rowlings. Nobel Laureate Morrison’s Beloved made the top ten list this year.

The 2012 list of most challenged books is 25% longer than 2011′s but not as extensive as during the last two decades of the 20th century.

Captain Underpants, challenged for

offensive language, unsuited for age group

is so much fun. The book follows the adventures of schoolkids as

they duel Dr. Diaper, tackle the talking toilets, clash with the crazy cafeteria ladies, plot against Professor Poopypants, and wrestle the wicked Wedgie Woman. Overflowing with humor, action, and that world-famous cheesy animation technique, Flip-O-Rama, this boxed collection will make kids laugh until soda comes out their noses.

No doubt the anti-authoritarian tone is what got folks all sandy-pants over Captain Underpants!

Author Dav Pilkey who based the books on his own elementary school experiences, issued this statement:

It’s pretty exciting to be on a list that frequently features Mark Twain, Harper Lee, and Maya Angelou. But I worry that some parents might see this list and discourage their kids from reading Captain Underpants, even though they have not had a chance to read the books themselves.


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