Book pulled from from Katy ISD after parent petition is now back on library shelves

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Friday, October 15, 2021
Book initially pulled from Katy ISD is now back on library shelves
"New Kid" was temporarily pulled from shelves after a parent who started a petition challenged the book and claimed it promoted critical race theory.

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- A book originally pulled from Katy Independent School District is now back on library shelves.

The district announced that the award-winning graphic novel "New Kid" and the rest of the books by author Jerry Craft are appropriate for students after a meeting of the district's review committee.

Craft will take part in a virtual visit with students the week after next.

Earlier this month, a petition with about 400 signatures created by a Katy ISD parent called for the virtual event to be canceled, according to our partners at the Houston Chronicle. The parent claimed the author's books promote critical race theory and anti-white rhetoric.

"It's not that I don't like the books," Bonnie Anderson, the parent who created the petition, told The Chron. "I checked all the books out and watched all of [Craft's] interviews and he discusses microaggressions, which is a racial term coined by the conceptual founders of critical race theory. That let me know the ideology of these books."

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The removal of a graphic novel from the shelves of Spring Branch ISD elementary school is thrusting the school district and parents into the spotlight.

After receiving 400 signatures, the petition was deleted. Nonetheless, it got the attention of the school district, which temporarily pulled the book from district shelves.

According to Katy ISD, any parent can challenge a library book, and doing so will result in the book being pulled for review.

Craft's book series focuses on the experiences of a Black preteen who attends a predominantly white private school. The author said the books are based on the actual experiences of his two sons. The main character struggles to feel like he can fit in and navigate a new school culture.

Katy ISD released the following statement Thursday:

"Earlier this week, the review committee met and determined the appropriateness of the book, 'New Kid.' The reading material is already back on District library shelves and the virtual author visit is scheduled to take place on October 25 as part of the instructional day."