The publishers at Riverhead Books have partnered with Vortex Doughnuts in an effort to raise awareness of the recent controversy over Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner at A.C. Reynolds High School.
In anticipation of a public meeting that will be held by the Buncombe County Board of Education on Tuesday, June 30, Vortex Doughnuts, located at 32 Banks Ave., will be giving out free copies of the book to customers from Monday, June 22 until Sunday, June 28. The meeting will present the final decision on whether the book will return to the curriculum.
After being contacted by employees at Riverhead, the owners of the popular doughnut shop decided to “bring awareness to how books are being banned,” says Benjamin Myers, co-owner of Vortex. Vortex wanted to present a platform for literature and knowledge expansion by distributing the book to community members, Myers explained, adding that he had a previous relationship with Riverhead.
Vortex is considering giving away banned books as a seasonal event to bring awareness to the issue, Myers added.
The Kite Runner was removed from a 10th grade honors English class reading list after Lisa Baldwin, a former member of the Buncombe County Board of Education and a mother of a Reynolds student, wrote to the administration on April 29 with concerns over adult subjects within the book, including rape and language that could be considered degrading to women. Reynolds students completed the semester by reading All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque instead.
Vortex Doughnuts along with Riverhead Books are encouraging the community to write to local school board members in support of the book before the June 30 meeting. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Buncombe County Schools administrative services building at 175 Bingham Road.