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‘Scary’ book cover to stay in preschool reader section

GENEVA – A muscular guy with a Darth Vader-esque facial contraption is being pursued by an equally muscular Batman – but are these images too scary for young readers?

One mom thought so and asked the Geneva Public Library to move the 24-page picture book, “The Dark Knight Rises: I Am Bane,” from its section for preschool children to a section for an older age group.

Acting library director Peggy Carlson said three staff members reviewed the parent’s request and determined that it should stay.

“We want to leave it where it is because it fits with the content,” Carlson said. 

She said the request was based “on a potential situation not an actual occurrence.”

“What might be scary to one might not be scary to another,” Carlson said. “The title is age-appropriate.”

The book challenge is listed on the agenda for the next library board meeting, scheduled to take place at 5:15 p.m. Dec. 19 at 127 James St., as part of the librarian’s report.

Carlson said she had not responded to the parent yet with the staff’s decision to keep the book where it is, but planned to do so after the library board meeting.

“We will be sending her a letter of our official response,” Carlson said.

Geneva Library Board President Esther Steel said in the 10 years she has been on the library board, it has never acted contrary to a staff recommendation.

“What I have seen us do, is move it from one section to another, but never taken one out of circulation,” Steel said.

According to the DC Comics website,, Bane is out to destroy Gotham City, and he battles with Batman.

But the children’s picture book was published in 2012 by HarperFestival, a division of Harper Collins Publishers.

According to its website,, the book, written by Lucy Rosen and illustrated by Scott Cohn, is recommended for children ages
4 to 8. 

“Bane is a super-villain with a bad attitude,” according to Harper’s description of the story. “When he decides to take over the Gotham City Stock Exchange, the city’s in big trouble! Can Batman get there in time to save the day?”

Illustrator Cohn said in an email that he drew the artwork for the book, but not for the cover.

A spokesperson for publisher Harper Collins did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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