Complaint about novel could end "Ender's Game" in District 51

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. A parent complaint has District 51 taking another look at making a popular young adult novel part of the new sixth grade curriculum and even students have strong opinions on the potential decision.

In an email to the newsroom, a local sixth grader defended the use of the book "Ender's Game" for that grade level, writing about how a decision to remove it could prompt backlash for other young adult novels from classics like "Tale of Two Cities" to more recently written works like "The Hunger Games."

"Ender's Game" used to be read in eighth grade, but new academic standards caused the district to push it down two grade levels.

"You have books that explore certain themes, they explore them in a certain manner," District 51 School Board President Greg Mikolai said. "You try to include that so that students are exposed."

It was the decision to move the novel to sixth grade lesson plans that has parents questioning the appropriateness of some of the language and content of the book for children of that age range.

District 51 is forming a committee that will read, discuss and decide whether or not the book should be taken out of the curriculum.

"The school district is not looking to ban the book," Mikolai said. "The school district is looking at whether or not we should have it as part of 6th grade curriculum. If it is not part of 6th grade curriculum, it's still going to be available in the library and it's still available for students to read."

The review committee is still being put together. It will be made up of three teachers, one principal, two parents and three community members.

The goal is to have a decision out in the next couple of months.

If the committee does decide to remove the book from the curriculum, the final decision will go to the school board. If the committee decides to keep "Ender's Game" on the list for sixth grade novels, the people who made the original complaint can appeal to the school board, which will then have the final say.

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