Banned Books Books

Banned Books Week

Why were these books banned?

1. I Am Jazz by Jessica Hershel and Jazz Jennings

I Am Jazz

Here’s my review. Hint: I loved it!

2. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing isn’t my favorite book but that doesn’t mean it needs to be banned! I didn’t care for the choir of people in the background. But  the book is  totally suitable for teens.

3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I read this the year it came out. Also another trip to BEA to meet the author (oh the perks of working in a bookstore)! Not sure why there’s no review.  I LOVE THIS BOOK SO HARD.



4.  It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

I am completely unfamiliar with this book but it appears to be designed to talk to kids about
their changing bodies and sex. Knowledge is power, people. We don’t want a bunch of hormone
enraged middle schoolers doing things that they don’t know the consequences of. This reminds me of those
great books by the American Girl doll people who discuss puberty with young tweens. Kids need to know that
it’s all perfectly normal, even if it feels weird.

I do NOT think this is pornography, but you be the judge.


5.  The Color Purple By Alice Walker


It may seem trite to discuss The Color Purple because it seems as if everyone is familiar with this important title.  The thing of it is, I read this book in college shortly after it came out.  Back then it was an interesting and difficult read but I had no idea how it would rock the literary and African American community.  Personally I was angry, sad, and confused by the treatment of the female protagonists.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture.

It is for these reasons that the book is challenged and banned.  The situations seem so violent and yet so personal that it’s no wonder The Color Purple is on the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books list. I think the main reason The Color Purple is so frequently challenged is that schools are concerned about exposing students to sexual violence and other aggressions.  I suppose depending on what age the students are reading the material that could be true. You certainly don’t want a child younger than 16 reading this book, but these are my personal feelings and I wouldn’t subject them on others.  For the right age group, the book is excellent insight into race and women in the South.

What are your thoughts on The Color Purple?

Come on people. It’s time to stop banning books.


2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Children

Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth a ListenUp Audio Review #DiversityReadingChallenge

It’s no secret by now that I LOVE! They’ve made the past 6 months of my life immensely more readable. I’ve been able to double the number of books I’m reading because I get to listen to books in the car while I’m driving. It’s GREAT!

 Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth

 Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth

I love this book and it’s a shame that more books with kids of color on the cover don’t get the exposure they DESERVE. This title is AWESOME. There are so many things to love about this title. Jarrett’s mother is a foster mother and is constantly bringing abused and neglected children into their home. But when Kevon and his tiny little sister come into their home, things start to change rapidly. J & K are thrown together and are forced to get along.  It’s a rocky relationship but they both learn something.

The startling life of foster kids is presented in a way that readers can understand. Not everyone has a safe home environment and I think readers will be as sensitive to the abuse as Jarrett is and or they might learn to appreciate their own situation. Or maybe even reach out for help if they need it.

Don’t let the two kids of color on the cover dissuade you from picking this title up. It’s for everyone.  Especially great is the audio quality.  I’ll be the first to admit that if I don’t like the reader in an audio book my experience generally tanks. I loved the reader: John Clarence Stewart. He brought charisma and an authenticity to the African American male voice that is missing from kid lit.  I smiled the whole time I was listening to him.

Hey JCS, call me and leave a message. I wanna listen to it alot. alot alot. I like smiling. Smiling’s my favorite.


I can’t thank ListenUp Audiobooks enough for the chance to share this book with you!

If you’re keeping up with the #DiversityReadingChallenge, this book would fit right in!

Get 50% off your first 3 months at!


What’s In My Ear? Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth

Thanks to the generosity of (LOVE) I’m enjoying Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth.

kindalikebrothers Collage

Stay tuned in a day or two for my review!