Categories
Banned Books

#BannedBooks Week. Here’s what I’ve Read

I Read Banned Books!

 

I don’t believe in banning books. I believe it’s your right as a parent to decide what books your children have access to. Otherwise, it’s hands off. You don’t get to decide for everyone. The main reasons these books were banned was sexuyal orientation or mild sex scenes. Um hello? Have you seen what your kids are watching on the internet?

Here are some of the books I’ve read from the 2016 Banned Book list:

I Am Jazz by Jessica Hershel and Jazz Jennings

I Am Jazz

Here’s my review. Hint: I loved it!

 

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.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I read this book in 2012 while traveling to NYC to BEA. I brought the book with me in hopes of getting him to sign it. He DID! Here’s a link to the recap. LOVE.

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.

Sometimes I write micro reviews on Goodreads. Check me out there…

Did you read any of these most excellent banned books? What did you think?

 

 

Categories
Banned Books

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom To Read

All this week I’ll be celebrating banned books week by highlighting challenged or banned books. Why is banned books week important? According to the American Library Association (of which I’m a member),

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

As a parent, you have a right to decide what your own children should be exposed to, but I strongly believe that you do not have the right to dictate what other children have access to. So, let’s celebrate the books that have been challenged and see if you’ve read any of them and you can make the decision for yourself. Each day of Banned Books Week I’ll highlight several of the titles that were challenged or banned last year. Let’s see how they stack up. Also? This is a blog hop so I’ll giveaway a $10 Amazon gift card to the winner!

Let’s examine two wildly popular titles today:

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

perks of being a wallflower

I love this tiny book so hard. First because it is set in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA and second because the setting is the 80s which is also when I grew up, although the author is a couple years younger than I am. Our experiences are kind of similar: no cell phones, record players, pac man and hairspray to name a few.  This is a coming of age tale that is beautifully told about the man character who suffers from some dangerous mental health issues.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

I am a tad confused about why books about teens and intended for teens should be completely sterile. Kids want to read about situations that are similar to what they are experiencing; at least when they are reading realistic fiction, right? So why then, do people insist on challenging books that  “…deals with sexual situations and drug use.” ?

Again, this is a title you should read for yourself.

 

Another wildly popular book is

Looking for Alaska by John Green

99561

This is by far my fave John Green book.

Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

Oh how this title reminds me of some of the books we read in high school: the what’s it all about and how do i make a difference in this world type of books!

The book was challenged because of sexual content.  Again. Teens, experimenting with sex. It’s what they do, right?  This one, however, is rather mild considering what I’ve read in other books.  It’s a botched BJ and while that might not be appropriate material for young teens or even middle grade readers, I guarantee your older teen has read worse. Or heard worse on the bus. Check it out for yourself before you pass judgement. As always, parents have a right to decide what’s best for their own kiddos, just not for everyone.

What are your thoughts on these two?

 

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Categories
Books

No Summer Slide Reading Picks: Young Adult

NoSummerSlideReadinglist.jpg

 

If you’re looking for my picks for  the Young Adult No Summer Slide Reading List, look no further.  Watch this video to see my picks!

Categories
Books

The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrowski Interview

Vertical-Flight-TOUR

“I’m twenty-three.

Rather than give you a witty, self-deprecating account of the trials and tribulations of my twenty-three year old, suburban, upper-middle class, went-to-a-girl’s-liberal-arts-college life, I’ll admit that I haven’t really done anything much worth reading about.

So in lieu of providing you with my biography, I will recommend that you read Desmond Tutu’s.  Here.

Why Desmond Tutu?

Well, I’ve always liked his name.”

Synopsis:

What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old philosophy student, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma’s house? This debut novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Jay Asher.

On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, philosophy student and high school senior Jack Polovsky is somewhat seriously thinking of suicide when his cell phone rings. Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Jess, has given birth, and Jack is the father. Jack hasn’t spoken with Jess in about nine months—and she wants him to see the baby before he is adopted. The new teenage father kidnaps the baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Wal-Mart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and the ex-girlfriend. As they head to Grandma’s house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates about Homer, Troy, Aristotle, the real Socrates, and the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one.

Funny, heart-wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fate, fatherhood, and myth.

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website| Blog

You might be wondering what goes on in the mind of a talented writer. Well guess what? I’ve trepanned the insides of Emil’s brain and have brought you insight inside a writer’s brain!

Just kidding. There was no trepanning. But, I DID ask some thought provoking questions, which is kind of like getting inside someone’s brain, right?

UNCONVENTIONAL LIBRARIAN:  Welcome! We are glad to have you hear. Let’s get started with with a few questions. Do you drink coffee?

EMIL OSTROWSKY: ‘Drink’ doesn’t quite cover it.  More like consume.  I am a coffee consumption machine.

UL:  Ah so you’re a consumer. I reckon you and I might need to share an IV drip. Do you like donuts or cookies? Do you dunk?

EO: I think this is a false dichotomy.  I like both.  But I do not support dunking.

UL: I applaud your use of the word dichotomy; however, we may have to break up over your lack of dunking ability. Allow me to get serious for a moment. How did your book get started?

EO: With the first word!

UL: Touche. What else have you written?

EO: I’m currently revising a novel set in a university for terminally ill youth.  I’ve written lots of other stuff, though, including a fifteen page tragic love story about a hummingbird and an apple. 

 UL: Wow. That topic sounds pretty depressing. Those poor hummingbirds.  If you could have any superpower what would it be?

EO: The power to get on the New York Times bestseller list.

UL: Yes, I understand many writers wish they had that superpower. What makes you happy?

EO: Friends.  Poems.  Stories.  Random acts of kindness and humanity.  Sushi.  Philosophy and/or beautiful ideas.  Caramel Frappuccinos.  

UL: Acts of kindness and humanity are pretty great. So are Frappuccinos.  Wrapping up now, anything else you want to tell us?

EO: I also write short stories!  If you’re interested, check out my latest (available for free) at: http://www.wordriot.org/archives/6768

UL: You heard it here first, folks. Check out the  link and get free stuffs!

THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT by Emil Ostrovski

Release Date: September 24, 2013

Hardcover, 260 pages

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre: Contemporary / Realistic Fiction / Tough Issues / Suicide

 

Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Goodreads

Categories
Books Young Adult

The Genius of Little Things by Larry Buhl

Happy Monday!

Here’s a video book review I cooked up just for you…

bon appetit!

This is a great sleeper, don’t let it pass you by; it reminds me of John Green mixed with Napolean Dynamite.

genius

I give it four paws due to the OCD and foster family issues!

Unconventional Librarian 4paws

 

Categories
Books Conferences

#BEA and New York City Here I Come!

I’m so happy to announce that I’m attending BEA this year! What’s BEA you ask?  BEA, or Book Expo America, is the biggest, most ginormously fun book conference on the planet!

BEA

BEA is THE conference to attend in the book industry; everyone and anyone who likes books is there.  So you’ll have book bloggers, book sellers, librarians, authors, book publishers, book illustrators, coffee (goes with books), reporters, and more from all over the world to discuss books.  I went last year and had the time of my life.  As you’ll see from the collage below, there isn’t anything I didn’t do, except sleep much!

BEA12Collage

I’d like to thank Thien-Kim of I’m Not the Nanny and Rachee of Say it Rah Shay for tolerating me last year.  Kim and Rachee and I are in the From Left To Write, an online book club so we knew each other going into the trip. Rachee and I are in the Philly area and I stalk see her as much as I can.   Fun fact #1: Rachee is a real live librarian who works in a library!  Fun fact #2: I’m a certified librarian, but I work in a bookstore!

So anyway, you can see from the collage that the three of us met everyone, took every book, and met every challenge that was presented to us!

I expect this year to be no different: I’ve got a full agenda lined up and I hope to meet some new book blogging friends, learn about some new books, and maybe make some new connections.

My dance card is filling up so if you want to get next to me while I’m in New York, leave a message down below, I love making new friends!

Categories
Books Challenges Giveaways Reviews Young Adult

Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Giveaway

Unless you’ve just arrived on this planet you know that John Green is my BF.  I love his writing and his personality and with each book I grow more and more obsessed enamored of him.

PammyPam loves John Green

What’s so great about John Green is that he has his own YouTube Channel and each of his books has either won a prize or been nominated for top literature prizes.

And ALL of his books have been optioned for movies by Hollywood. YAY!

I took a minute from my super very busy and important schedule to read The Fault in Our Stars.  I had the pleasure of drooling on meeting him and receiving a copy in June at BEA and couldn’t wait to dive into it.

I was not disappointed. I will NOT spoil it for you and this is one book where I did not read the ending first (not that it would have helped).  If you love sappy sick-kids-dying-so-lets-say-mushy-stuff type books, move along.  There is none of that here.  What you’ll find is funny, insightful, and some of the best YA literature available.  It’s no wonder he’s winning awards all over the place! I’ve already given him the award as BF, what more could he want?

He could want, you, my friend, to read this book.  And I’m going to help you.  I have an extra copy to share (YAY!!) and I’m giving it away just in time for Christmas!! Happy Dance!!

Easy peasey lemon squeezy entries: leave your comment and tell me either a) your best John Green quote or book and b) if you’ve not read John Green (whut??) who your fave author is.  Winners will be chose by Random.org.

Contest begins December 9th at midnight and ends December 17th at midnight (that’s Sunday to Sunday). Sorry to my international sisters and brothers but US only this time: I need to be able to get this to you superquickfast!

GOOD LUCK! I hope you win!!

Categories
Books Children Young Adult

what should i read next?

Hi friends! I have a rare quick minute in which I’m not scheduled to read a book and i wanna read a kids book! Problem is, i have seven on my MUST READ NOW list and i can’t decide.  Can you help me pick what i should read next?

Here are the choices:

unconventional librarian

From the bottom:

  • Son, the final book in Lois Lowry’s The Giver quartet
  • Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green (my bf) and David Levithan
  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green (my bf)
  • Matched by Ally Condie (famous famous writer)
  • The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street!)
  • STAT by Amar’e Stoudemire (famous basketball guy)
  • All the Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers (National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature)

 

Help me choose, they all look SO GOOD!

p.s i smell a giveaway…

 

Categories
Conferences

#BEA Recap

Book Expo America was tons and tons of fun.  As I’ve said before, I laid Gotham to waste.  There was so much to see and do during the day that it hardly seemed fair that there were also fun parties to attend at night! If you’ve been following my Tweets or my FB page, you’ll know that I had the PLEASURE of stalking meeting a few of my fave authors.

I’ve compiled a collage of some of the authors and characters I met while at BEA.

PammyPam

Not sure who is who? There’s

  • John Green (Looking for Alaska)
  • Patricia MacLachlan (Sarah Plain and Tall)
  • Chris Colfer (of Glee fame: new book coming out in July)
  • Capt Underpants
  • Olivia
  • Actor and author Bob Balaban (Creature from the seventh Grade: coming out in Sept )
  • Jerry Pinkney (Caldecott award winning illustrator!)
  • Anouk Markovits (I am Forbidden)

And that’s just a few of the snaps that make sense! I can’t wait for BEA 13!!

 

 

Categories
Books

Here’s What I’m Reading, #BEA12 edition

So you may have heard by now I’m at Book Expo America (BEA). 

Hopefully you’ve been enjoying revisiting some of my old posts you may have missed.

I also wanted to let you know what I’m reading, cuz, yes I’m still reading!

I’ve brought two books WITH me to BEA which are

looking for alaska by john green

and

the girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making by Catherynne Valente

These are two authors I HOPE to catch up with while at BEA.

wish me luck!