The diary of Holocaust victim Anne Frank is among five books on Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr.’s “Commissioner’s Book of the Month” list for May. His picks come a month after Vero Beach High School removed a graphic novel version of the diary from its library. “A parental rights group (had) raised concerns about its sexually explicit content,” saying it “minimized the horrors of the Holocaust,” Fox News reported.
“We want children to read the actual diary itself. It's such an important work,” Florida-based Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice said in a statement. The graphic adaptation that was removed “at one point shows the protagonist walking in a park, enchanted by female nude statues, and later proposing to a friend that they show each other their breasts,” the Associated Press explained.
Last year, lawmakers passed a law “to intensify scrutiny of school library books and instructional materials,” requiring school boards “to adopt procedures that, in part, provide for the ‘regular removal or discontinuance’ of books” that do not align with state academic standards, the News Service of Florida reported. Diaz recommended the book – formally known as “The Diary of a Young Girl” – for grades 6-8, a press release said.
“We’re honoring the courage of Anne Frank and highlighting the important qualities of perseverance and confidence,” Diaz said in a statement. Other books include “The Little Butterfly That Could” by Ross Burach for kindergarten-2nd grade and “Inside Out and Back Again” by Thanhhà Lai for high schoolers.
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