Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Buzz: U.K. Cuts Classic American Lit From Exams

from usatoday.com
by Kelly Lawler)


British book reports will soon feature a lot less Atticus Finch.

The list of books for U.K. national exams will be swapping out American classics To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible for titles that are more British. The decision, made at the insistence of Education Secretary Michael Gove, has been met with an outcry from writers and academics. "To Kill a Mockingbird" trended on Twitter on Monday, when many took to the site to express their outrage with the Secretary.

Mariella Frostrup ✔ @mariellaf1
Follow
To Kill a Mockingbird and Mice and Men axed as Gove orders more Brit lit http://gu.com/p/3pgjf/tw Our intellectual borders are shrinking! Help
3:00 AM - 26 May 2014

n A White Wall @onawhitewall
Follow
Cutting To Kill a Mockingbird from the syllabus is heinous, it is a life-changing book that gets more powerful and important every day.
7:51 AM - 26 May 2014

In a statement the U.K. Department of Education said that no books have actually been banned. The change in policy has been attributed to the personal taste of Gove. The British exam board OCR told the Sunday Times, which first reported the news, that "Of Mice and Men, which Michael Gove really dislikes, will not be included. It was studied by 90% of teenagers taking English literature GCSE in the past. Michael Gove said that was a really disappointing statistic."

The changes are specifically for the standardized test GCSE, the General Certificate of Secondary Education. The new GSCE syllabus for English literature, with its British titles, is set to be announced this week.