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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: bannedbooks, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 8 of 8
1. Crank - Banned Book Review


Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Publication Date: 5 Oct 2004 by Simon Pulse
ISBN 10/13: 0689865198 | 9780689865190

Category: Young Adult Realistic Novel in Verse
Format: Paperback, Hardcover, eBook/Kindle
Keywords: Based on a True Story, Addiction, Drugs, Sex, Banned




Alethea's review:

Ellen Hopkins's debut YA novel is a cautionary tale first and foremost. This collection of poetry tells the story of her daughter Kristina--a bright, pretty, but damaged girl who makes some painful and disastrous decisions in her young life. Underlying it all is tragedy--the author's family drama made public. The scandalous subject matter coupled with adults' perception of how a tale like this might affect its intended audience--teenagers and other young people made to witness mature topics "before their time", has led to its being challenged and banned in various communities.

Kristina seems to go from zero to sixty into a drugged-out, sexed-up downward spiral--this abruptness is what I liked least about the book, though I can see both that a) it's very possible it really happened this way and b) for storytelling purposes, it still works better than a gradual decline. The language is cutting, crystalline, harsh--the alignment (disalignment? malignment?) of the printed words emphasize the disorder and compulsions that drive Bree, nee Kristina, to waste and wither even as a new life develops within her body. The overt lessons in Crank are quite direct--don't do drugs, don't be careless with sex, seek help when you need it, but miss that last hit of credibility. The voices of the character and the author both seem unreliable somehow. However, while Crank is not my favorite of Ellen's books, it's a must-read to set the stage for the rest of her stories. 

I have met Ellen Hopkins and I trust her writing. I have listened to her read from some of her later books (Fallout, Perfect) and her words have moved me to tears. I believe that, dark as it is, her narratives are important and even necessary to touch topics no parent wants to have to talk about with their kids. It's hard enough to do it as a preventative--what do you say when your child is, or--heaven forbid--you are the one with the addiction? Hopkins will touch the topics no one else will touch. She wrestles with the monster in the hopes that other Kristinas (and maybe even Adams) will be saved; not just to prevent teens from using drugs, committing crimes, or being sexually abused, but also for those teens who have been there and done that, and who no longer believe

1 Comments on Crank - Banned Book Review, last added: 10/2/2011
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2. And Tango Makes Three - Banned Book Review



And Tango Makes Three
by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell & Henry Cole (illustrator)
Publication date: 26 April 2005 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 10/13: 0689878451 | 9780689878459

Category: Children's Fiction
Format: Hardcover, paperback
Keywords: Diversity, animals, love, family, adoption


From Goodreads:

In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango's family is not like any of the others. This illustrated children's book fictionalizes the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick in the Central Park Zoo.

Thuy’s review:

I had never heard of this book until I started looking up books to read for Banned Book Week. When I saw that a children’s picture book was one of the most challenged books on the list, I was intrigued.

And Tango Makes Three is the true and incredibly sweet story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who live in New York’s Central Park Zoo. Roy and Silo are always together, neither of them having taken a female mate. Roy and Silo try to imitate the other penguins by sitting on a rock, hoping that it will hatch into a baby penguin. One day, a zoo worker gives them an egg that needs to be taken care of. Roy and Silo love it and nurture it and then Tango is born.

This is a lovely little read for people of all ages. I found this true story to be incredibly touching and the penguins are adorable. The illustrations are well done and compliment the story. It’s a quick read that kids will find cute and entertaining.

This book has been banned for having themes of homosexuality. Well yes, the story is about two male penguins raising a child but it’s also about love and family. It shows that a family can be many things, be it two fathers, a single mother, a grandparent, or adoptive parents. For children who do not have a “traditional” family structure, Tango allows them to be represented in literature and shows that there is a more than one way to define family.

Will reading the book prompt children to ask their parents about homosexuality? Maybe--maybe not. The book is subtle and I think young children will see it as a cute animal story more than anything else. But what if they do ask questions? That isn’t a bad thing. Speaking openly with our children and exposing them to diversity early on will help them grow into more open minded, well rounded, and accepting individuals.

I really enjoyed this book and its message that love comes in all shapes in sizes. I would not hesitate to recommend it to my friends and their children.


Find out more about Ju

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3. illegal library in my locker?

“Is it OK to run an illegal library from my locker at school?” a student asks Yahoo Answers. [thanks shannon]

14 Comments on illegal library in my locker?, last added: 6/4/2009
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4. Banned Books Week Hop - Giveaway



Thanks so much to Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Jen of I Read Banned Books for hosting this blog hop.

My co-bloggers Thuy (RNSL Nite Lite) and Kimberly (The Windy Pages) and I all agree -- book banning is the pits! While we understand and respect parents' concerns about what their kids encounter in their lives, we believe in everyone's "freadom" to read and enjoy whatever they want.

Speaking for just myself (my co-bloggers will chime in throughout the week) reading about "objectionable" things doesn't necessarily mean the reader becomes a bad person. There's a lot of nature and nurture that shapes a person's thoughts and actions, so I think laying the blame on "bad" books is a poor job of scapegoating. I believe reading expands the mind and helps to show us perspectives about our crazy world that we might not have discovered on our own. I also believe that reading is a safe way to help people form a mental scale for right vs. wrong and good vs. evil without putting themselves in the peril that books' heroes and heroines often find themselves facing. Most of all, I believe in the reader's right to choose what to read and what not to read--and that with some guidance, kids can learn to make the reading choices that are best for themselves.

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THE GIVEAWAY

To celebrate Banned Books Week, we will be posting themed reviews and articles throughout the week and giving away a banned juvenile book to a lucky reader in the US or Canada! See the Rafflecopter widget below for the details. Please DO NOT leave personal info in the comments section--the Rafflecopter widget will collect your contact info so we can tell you if you have won.

The winner gets to choose their book prize (within the guidelines stated below) and will be notified by email through Rafflecopter. Our sister-site Nite Lite will be doing the same (but you can win an adult book instead).

Here are some banned book reading suggestions from the RNSL team. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the Goodreads page for each book.

Alethea recommends:

The Marbury Lens
by Andre

55 Comments on Banned Books Week Hop - Giveaway, last added: 9/27/2011
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5. Twenty Boy Summer - Banned Book Review


Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Publication Date: 1 June 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0316051594 | 9780316051590

Category: Young Adult Contemporary
Keywords: Contemporary, romance, death
Format: Hardcover (also available in paperback and eBook)

Alethea's note: The synopsis at the beginning seems to give away major plot points, but it really doesn't--you'll find the same info in the jacket copy :) So don't fret!



Thuy's Synopsis: 

Anna, Frankie and Matt have been best friends forever. She and Frankie are like sisters and Matt (Frankie's brother) is her best-friend-that's-a-boy. On her fifteenth birthday, Anna's deepest desire comes true when Matt kisses her. Matt convinces Anna not to tell Frankie about their relationship just yet. He wants to tell her in a few weeks during their annual family vacation to California. 

Anna doesn't like keeping secrets from Frankie but she agrees, believing that Matt knows what's best for his sister. They spend the next month meeting secretly at night and stealing moments with each other when they can. Then the unthinkable happens. Matt dies, leaving Anna and his family grief-stricken. Anna decides never to tell Frankie about what happened between her and Matt. 

A year later, Frankie's parents decide to make the trip back out to California and invite Anna along. Frankie decides to make this the Twenty Boy Summer, but how can Anna think about meeting boys when the only one she ever cared about is gone? 

Thuy's Review: 

Contemporary YA fiction isn't usually my favorite but I couldn't put this book down. Twenty Boy Summer is a beautifully written and emotionally intense account of love, friendship, loss and finding the strength to move on. My own heart felt like it was breaking at times and I teared up more than once (which I never do). 

Both Anna and Frankie are really great characters. They are emotionally complex and are dealing with their loss in different ways. Anna is the strong one, always looking out for Frankie and putting her own feelings away. Instead, she writes in her journal and pens heartfelt letters to Matt that he'll never see. 

A sweet new summer romance throws Anna into a new maelstrom of emotions. I really understood what Anna was feeling--the conflict and guilt she feels as well as the overwhelming loss of what might have been. Frankie is a fascinating character. It's obvious that the wounds from Matt's death are still raw. She's dealing with it in her own way, becoming a boy crazy super-shopper almost overnight. I admit that I was often annoyed by her, as she seemed oblivious to Anna's feelings most of the time. However, by the end of the book, I started to understand Frankie a little more and she began to grow on me.

Despite the heavy subject, this book was surprisingly funny

3 Comments on Twenty Boy Summer - Banned Book Review, last added: 9/26/2011
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6. Banned Books Week 2011, a web content rundown

It’s time for my semi-regular round up of Banned Books Week websites. You can look at past posts on this topic by checking out the bannedbooksweek tag here or here is a list of the annual posts More on the Chicago Defender.
Here are my old Banned Books Weeks posts: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. I skipped 2005.

As usual, you get a neat real-time look at what’s going on by following the Twitter hashtag. As usual there are two “main” sites the ALA site at ala.org/bbooks and the bannedbooksweek.org site. ALA has their usual site, links to shopping, links to the main site (which is a 404, oops), links to advocacy materials. They decided to do a virtual read-out instead of an in-person event and I’ve been clicking through some of the YouTube videos on the BBW channel. All the stuff I’ve seen so far seems like it would be what we call SFW [safe for work] and I’m vaguely curious if there could be something so racy that you’d get one of those “You have to be 14 to see this video” warnings up because, hey, that’s its own form of limiting speech. But I think that stuff is only for photos of people in their underwear, or maybe self-reported. The Banned Books Week main site has been up and down today and seems to mostly be pointing to the same stuff. They have a Twitter account but have never used it. The design gets better every year.

Here is the list of organizations who are co-sponsors. Let’s look at their websites.

  • American Booksellers Association – hasn’t mentioned Banned Books Week on their site since 2009 if the search is to be believed. BBW does not show up under “advocacy” or “news” however a link to their blog does have news about their ongoing auction for BBW which appears to be a project of ABFFE. There are other BBW posts but no tag to find them all, though this listing is close.
  • American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression – has a wordy page with information about the Read-out and the auction and a link to their Twitter feed which is mostly about the auction.
  • American Library Association – has that clicky sli

    6 Comments on Banned Books Week 2011, a web content rundown, last added: 10/2/2011
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7. Warming Island, Greenland

bens-place.jpg



Warming Island, Greenland

Coordinates: 71 33 N 1 47 W

Population: 0

Oftentimes surprises make us happy, and these unexpected events or discoveries provoke good feelings. Once in a while however, we are unpleasantly surprised and greeted with a sudden occurrence that comes more as a rude awakening. Greenland’s Warming Island—also known by the less-easily pronounced Uunartoq Qeqertotoq—is a recent geographical example of the latter. (more…)

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8. The right to read, the right to think, the right to express opinions

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Worth fighting for.

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