Categories
Banned Books

Banned Books Week is Coming!

In Honor of Banned Books Week, which starts TOMORROW,
Here are 4 Banned Books for Teens

1. The Diary of Anne Frank

I’m sure most adults are familiar with the tragic story of Anne Frank and her family.  Most adults have also probably read the book in high school as a reading assignment.  To be sure, the story is depressing, tragic, and at times, unreal.  After all, it is difficult to imagine a time when people where being killed for professing a certain religious belief.

Irrespective of when you last read Anne Frank, read it again as an adult. More pointedly, as a parent.  It will change your mindset.  My heart hurts that a young girl is forced to hide for so long only to ultimately perish in one of the worst ways possible.  As a mother with a daughter of a similar age, it hurts that the girl doesnt have the best relationship with her own mother.

If this is such a classic book, why then is it on the banned book list? To be sure, the story of The Holocaust is grossly violent, but most people believe it is truth and history so worthy of being studied.  To be sure, everyone knows the young Anne dies in the end, which is tragic.  This story, however, contains more than these facts: it’s a story about relationships and the girl’s view of the world.

Anne’s death isn’t described in detail unlike much teen literature that’s available today.  There is also no description of  violence, no sex, and no vampires: reasons which other books have been banned.  Challengers to the book claim that some versions of Anne Frank’s book contain sexually explicit and homosexual scenes.  The version I had did not contain those scenes. And so what if they did?

Regardless of the version you read, you cannot ban this book because some versions have scenes which you find objectionable or because of violent back stories.  It is your right as a parent to choose what your child reads. You cannot choose what other people’s children read.

Books want to be freely read. Agree? Disagree? Want more? Go see what others are reading and talking about this week!

P.S.  There is a newish book out, fiction, I believe, about her sister Margot.  Has anyone read it?

 

2. Go Ask Alice

Revisiting Go Ask Alice:  I know schools are still requiring this book.  Since my original post I’ve discovered that research suggests that this book is truly a work of fiction and not based on a real person.

Wow. Go Ask Alice is my current read for Banned Books Week. And all I can say is: Wow. Seriously.  Supposedly based on a diary of a young teenage girl, the book had me gripped from beginning to end.

I’m sure the book was banned due to its drug use and sex references. But, unlike some books (and many movies) these  experiences are NOT glamorized at all. At ALL.  The main character (whom I do NOT believe to be named Alice, although she references an Alice) complains and suffers bitterly because of her drug use.

If she could do a PSA I’m pretty sure she would say “don’t use drugs. ever!” But, alas, she does not get the chance.

Multiculturalism is a sticky wicket in this book.  I am 100% certain that all the characters in this book are Anglo, however, the main character does interact with her Jewish friend.  The setting is a middle class neighborhood in the early 70s where mothers still stayed at home, etc.  The sticky wicket is the drug activity.  A few references to homosexuality bump this book up to slightly more pluralistic viewpoint than many of the other books I’ve read recently.

Something scary about this? I just NOW noticed that there is a face on the cover of this book.  Wow.  Never saw that before and I look at this book OFTEN.

I HIGHLY recommend that you read this book with your children. Young teens (13+) need to get this lesson.

3. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

I want to revisit this title. Again. The story is so good and the movie was so…not.  Anyway, I now see teens buying this book so I’m guessing classrooms have realized how important this work is.  As always, book is BETTER.

“What about a teakettle? What if the spot opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me? “

To be sure, Safran Foer’s new novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, is as interesting as his debut novel, Everything is Illuminated.  Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close revolves around 9 year old Oskar Schell, his family, and his father’s death after the Sept 11th events.  Do not be deceived: the story is neither for children (although possibly YA) nor a drab account of the terror attack.

Individual family members suffer with what appears to be post traumatic stress disorder through generations of terrorism and war.  Given his background, it is little wonder that Oskar suffers from anxiety as he copes with and searches for answers to his father’s death.  Safran’s story is imaginative in its presentation, providing photographs and other graphic representations: several pages are empty like pages in a blank book.  The book is clever enough to be different from every other novel, yet at times just a little too clever.

In the end I am satisfied with the author’s ending and the resolution of the character’s situations.  Multiculturally, the main characters are Jewish and while not openly practicing, appeals to my need for ethnic diversity.

 

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I’m so excited for today’s review because it was written by none other than my Pumpkin!  At 15 Pumpkin is an avid reader and I love to share books with her.  In fact, she’s the one who got me hooked on Twilight and The Hunger Games series.  So I blame her for some of my madness.

Let’s see what Pumpkin says about Perks:

he perks of being a wallflower is a great book but I can see why it is on the banned book list. There is a lot of underage drinking, sex, and drugs going on without the mention of how bad they are. Charlie, the main speaker of the story, has become one of my favorite characters out of all the books I’ve read because of how honest he is. I also felt like I could feel his emotions in the story from the vivid explanations, the story had me crying at many points!

don’t think I could find anything wrong with the book. I feel it gives a real interpretation of how a kids who gets pulled into a great friendship would react.  Although many of the characters do wrong to Charlie at some point in the book, you don’t end up hating any of them at the end of of the book because of how kind speaking Charlie is about them. He always has a way of forgiving characters or seeing past their rudeness. This is a character trait I love because nowadays, most of the books I read are about people hating people.

Schools should overlook the drug usage and such in the book because The Perks Of Being A Wallflower makes you see things through other peoples eyes and shows you good life lessons. This book has been added to my favorites list!

I couldn’t agree more: you can’t hide drug use from kids, they already know about it

What are your thoughts? Worth challenging/banning?

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Diversity Reading Challenge 2016. How’d You Do?

Diversity Reading Challenge 2016: Recap

Here’s the list from 2016.

Wanna see how I did?

A book written by or about a person of Hispanic origin. I read When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago.
A book in which a character suffers from mental illness. Ooops missed this one.
A book written by or about someone with Spectrum Disorder. I read: Rain Reign by Ann M Martin.
A book with an African-American young woman as a main character. I read The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis.
A book containing an Asian main character. I read What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?: Life in China’s Forbidden City by Chiu Kwong-chiu.
A book with an illustrator of color (think Kadir Nelson). I read: Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The illustrator is Shane W. Evans.The author is Jonah Winter.
A book with an LGBT main character. I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
A graphic novel. I read Persepolis. Also doubles as Muslim girl on cover.
A book with a Muslim girl on the cover. I read Persepolis. It also doubles as a graphic novel.
A book written by or for African American young men. (think Walter Dean Myers) I read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
A book in which the author or main character has a physical disability. I read The Six by Mark Alpert.
The Diary of Anne Frank or Night by Elie Wiesel.  I read Night by Elie Wiesel.
So, while I read a lot of books in 2016, I did not accomplish reading a book about someone with a mental illness. I thought I’d had. I’m sure I can do better in 2017.
How did you do?
Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Bad Girls Book Club Letter Z #atozchallenge

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Today’s letter is

Z

The Book

Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic

Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipovic

You might think that Zlata’s Diary is an odd choice for book club. After all, what’s so special about a young girl’s diary? Haven’t we learned by now that young girls’ diaries contain powerful observations? Hello, Anne Frank much?
To be sure, Zlata is a young girl who has much to say about her environment. And Zlata’s environment is war torn Sarajevo in the 90s. If you weren’t around to remember the conflict in Bosnia, it resembled many of the scenes straight out of WWII: food shortages, military occupations, bombings, snipers, etc. Can you even imagine being 11 and enduring war?
Neither can I. And that’s why Zlata is in the Bad Girls Club. Despite all the multiple horrific odds against her, she and her family survived the war.  She now lives in Ireland, has attained all sorts of degrees, and helps kids.

Well gang, that’s the last member of the Bad Girls Fight Club, A to Z.
What did you think? Anyone I should have added?

Thanks to visiting and I’ll see you around the internet!

Categories
Banned Books Reviews Young Adult

Revisiting Banned Book: The Diary of Anne Frank

I’m sure most adults are familiar with the tragic story of Anne Frank and her family.  Most adults have also probably read the book in high school as a reading assignment.  To be sure, the story is depressing, tragic, and at times, unreal.  After all, it is difficult to imagine a time when people where being killed for professing a certain religious belief.

Irrespective of when you last read Anne Frank, read it again as an adult. More pointedly, as a parent.  It will change your mindset.  My heart hurts that a young girl is forced to hide for so long only to ultimately perish in one of the worst ways possible.  As a mother with a daughter of a similar age, it hurts that the girl doesnt have the best relationship with her own mother.

If this is such a classic book, why then is it on the banned book list? To be sure, the story of The Holocaust is grossly violent, but most people believe it is truth and history so worthy of being studied.  To be sure, everyone knows the young Anne dies in the end, which is tragic.  This story, however, contains more than these facts: it’s a story about relationships and the girl’s view of the world.

Anne’s death isn’t described in detail unlike much teen literature that’s available today.  There is also no description of  violence, no sex, and no vampires: reasons which other books have been banned.  Challengers to the book claim that some versions of Anne Frank’s book contain sexually explicit and homosexual scenes.  The version I had did not contain those scenes. And so what if they did?

Regardless of the version you read, you cannot ban this book because some versions have scenes which you find objectionable or because of violent back stories.  It is your right as a parent to choose what your child reads. You cannot choose what other people’s children read.

Books want to be freely read. Agree? Disagree? Want more? Go see what others are reading and talking about this week!

P.S.  There is a newish book out, fiction, I believe, about her sister Margot.  Has anyone read it?

I give this book and other banned books 4 paws!

Categories
Adult Fiction Banned Books Young Adult

Banned Books as Art

I made a collage of books that I’ve read recently that are on the banned or challenged list.  What are your thoughts?

Have  you read any of these?

Categories
Banned Books Books Young Adult

#BBW A Short List of Banned Books – Update

I was cleaning up this weekend and found this old assignment from grad school: a list of banned books from 1990-2000. How funny!

How many books on the list have you read? The titles in bold are the ones I’ve read, now updated for 2012.

Check it out!

 The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–20001

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
  17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Sex by Madonna
  20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  30. The Goats by Brock Cole
  31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  32. Blubber by Judy Blume
  33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
  41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  46. Deenie by Judy Blume
  47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  55. Cujo by Stephen King
  56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  65. Fade by Robert Cormier
  66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
  67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  71. Native Son by Richard Wright
  72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  74. Jack by A.M. Homes
  75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  77. Carrie by Stephen King
  78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

I realize some of these books are pretty old. Stay tuned as I dig up more and more banned books!

Have you read any of these books?

 

Categories
Banned Books Books Young Adult

#BBW Banned Book Week – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

My new bestie, Gina, from Mom-Blog, discusses a book that I LOVE, Curious incident (as we call it at work).

In American, in 2012, books continue to be challenged and banned – annually, there is a list of someone, somewhere that is offended by something small in a book.  And I’m not talking about “50 Shades of Grey,” either.  Here is a sample from 2010-2011:

  • Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank
  • Water for Elephants: A Novel, by Sara Gruen
  • The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, written in 1899!
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Picked your jaw up off the floor yet?  There’s another book I’m going to add – the only novel I know of that’s written from the point of view of a young man with autism, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” by Mark Haddon.  Christopher John Francis Boone is the 15 year old child of single father, his mother having died 2 years before.  He finds a dog’s dead body and becomes the main suspect in its death.  Later, he finds a series of  letters from his mother, and learns what actually happened to her, who killed the dog, and about his father’s deceit.

What I liked about the book is its unapologetic look into a person who thinks differently from the mainstream.  Christopher explains what he thinks and feels clearly and literally.  For example, he titles the chapters after prime numbers: rather than “1,2,3”, he uses “2,3,5,7” because he likes prime numbers.  This book has a different tone and feel than anything else I’ve ever read, and for someone who eats books for breakfast like me, that’s a good thing.

 

This book was removed from a summer reading in Lake Fenton, MI, in 2010, because of foul language.  I have no idea how old the children were, but this is not really a book for young kids but it would be good for teens and up.

Foul language is everywhere and I believe parents have a right to protect their children from it, not school districts.  That said, this book was on the summer read list in my community and we sold LOTS of copies, so these people who challenged it are not in good company.

I agree with Gina; the boy’s outlook on life is a literal one that sometimes doesn’t make sens to anyone other than himself, but so what? That’s what makes the world special! I  loved the concept of days being certain colors.

Take a moment and go over to Gina’s blog and say hello.  She’s passionate about fighting for the rights of kids with disabilities (I’m still not a fan of that word).  Tell her Pammy Pam sent you!

isn’t she cute?

Thanks Gina for the review. Go read the book. NOW.  You won’t be sorry!