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May I have your help with this sticky problem?

My aide brought an objectionable passage in Yankee Doodle's Cousins by
Anne Malcolmson, illus. by Robert McCloskey to my attention yesterday.
It was published in 1941 and is cataloged as a folk tale collection in
our age 3-grade 4 library. It contains tall tales, Brer Rabbit tales,
and other material.

The passage was akin to a controversial speech recently made by a
popular sports figure in our state. It (the passage) was derogatory
toward African-Americans. My aide thinks it should be removed as
"unsuspecting" young readers may come upon it and be unprepared to treat
it historically.

I have already contacted the CCBC in Madison, WI for their help in
identifying the reviews and awards this book may have garnered. They
will also send me info. regarding the retention of "classics".

My question to this group is: What do you do with books that were "from
another time" but have some merit for retaining due to being an award
winner, authored or illustrated by well regarded persons, filled with
other meaningful and useful material, etc.?

My aide is disapponted that I did not immediately remove the book.
Instead I am probing a little before I make a judgement. Your responses
will help determine the fate of this title.

Thnaks in advance.

Nancy Lieber
Lower School Library/Media Specialist
University School of Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI

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