Banned Books Club discussion

Choosing December's Book: Young Adult

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message 1: by Satia (new)

Satia Hello Everyone,

It's a little early but time to start thinking about December's book. (I'm busy with schoolwork so forgive me for jumping the gun a day early.)

We were thinking that choosing a young adult novel for December would be ideal because so many of us are super busy during the holidays and young adult novels are typically, although not always, shorter and therefor easier to read. And by young adult I'm thinking anything from middle grades on up.

So let's begin thinking and discussing what books we might want to put into a poll. And to help facilitate things further, let's try something new.

If you wish to recommend a book, give the title and author (as we've always done) but also give a little blurb about the book (you can always copy whatever blurb is here in goodreads) and why it was either banned or challenged. This will make Barbara's job as our official librarian a little easier.

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
A brief, off-beat tale that has great charm, poignancy, and touches of fantasy . Weetzie, now 23, is a child of Hollywood who hated high school but loves the memories of Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, plastic palm-tree wallets, and the roller-skating waitresses at Tiny Naylor's. She wears a bleached-blond flattop and Harlequin sunglasses, covers her '50s taffeta dresses in glittery poetry, and sews fringe down the sides of her minis in sympathy with the plight of the Indian. Nobody understands her, least of all her divorced bicoastal parents, until she meets Dirk, who takes her slamdancing at the hot clubs in L.A. in his red '55 Pontiac. (From School Library Journal)
Why Challenged This novel is one of the first young adult novels during the post HIV/AIDS eras to deal with how this new STD impacts relationships. This novel can be read in a day; in fact, it's so short it can truly be read in a single sitting. Nevertheless, it deals with: homosexuality, death, divorce, sex/sexuality, pregnancy, and, as I've already suggested, HIV/AIDS. I believe it's been challenged for the usual: homosexuality, sex out of wedlock, illegitimate children, etc.

Any other suggestions?

message 2: by Julia (new)

Julia | 23 comments I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
Adam's father is in hospital and Adam has set off to visit him. It's a long, cold journey; as he travels along, Adam gets tired, and to take his mind off his exhaustion, he traces the events that led up to his father being taken to hospital. He had testified against government level corruption and the family became the subject of a government-orchestrated protection plan. The journey is a kind of odyssey, a search - through the mysteries of the mind. Adam must unlock the past and really remember it if he is to survive.
It was challenged, according to sparknotes, because "The novel incited protests from parents and teachers, who disapproved of the mature language and themes of a book that was supposed to be for teenagers. The book was often banned in schools, and Cormier spent much of the remainder of his career defending the work. Still, he continued to produce great books for both adolescents and adults, such as 1979's After the First Death and 1999's Frenchtown Summer."

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

IN 1974, AFTER SUFFERING rejections from seven major publishers, The Chocolate War made its debut. An uncompromising portrait of conformity and corruption, it quickly became a bestselling—and provocative—classic for young adults.
It was banned because of sexuality, language and the portrayal of evil.

The Chocolate War, I read, and I think is absolutely perfect for this book club, however I've always wanted to read I am the Cheese, which based on its description I think is equally suitable.

message 3: by Satia (new)

Satia I'll add I Am the Cheese to the poll. I've read both. The former when I was a teenager and the latter when I was a teenager and again when I took a young adult literature class.

Interestingly, I'm reading the ARC for Girlchild and the protagonist is also reading I am the Cheese. Of course, she reads quite a few books and this is just one of several but I remember thinking, "Wow. I remember reading that book when I was her age."

Okay. So maybe that's only interesting to me but it's funny how the same book keeps popping up like that.

message 4: by Julia (new)

Julia | 23 comments That's actually really funny! I love it when you read a book and you find literary references to others which you've read.

message 5: by Satia (new)

Satia So far we have two books for the poll. Any other recommendations/suggestions? Is there a book from a past poll we've dropped that we should put back on this month's list?

message 6: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hi ladies, I am going to sit out and take a break for this month. The titles all sound interesting and I hope y'all enjoy it!


message 7: by Satia (new)

Satia Hmmmm . . . Julia, if Serena is bowing out in December and we should happen to choose I Am the Cheese, would you be willing to lead the discussion? I am not reading any book by men this year and I've made it this far without compromising my commitment so we'll need someone to lead the discussion. (I'd have sent you a private message but goodreads says you aren't accepting messages so I had no other choice to ask you in this thread. Sorry for putting you on the spot like this.)

message 8: by Satia (new)

Satia Here's a list from the American Library Association's website of the top 100 books challenged/banned between 2000-2009. Not all of these are young adult, obviously, but I didn't want to accidentally delete one that should have remained. Any young adult novels in this list we should add to the poll?

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

message 9: by Julia (new)

Julia | 23 comments I wouldn't mind leading it at all! As soon as I finish my current read, Wuthering Heights, I'll get started on it. :-)

message 10: by Satia (new)

Satia Well let's see if it is chosen to be the book for December first. But I can't help loving your enthusiasm. I'll be creating the poll tomorrow and if no other books are added, it will be down to just the two choices so there's a 50/50 chance you'll be leading the discussion.

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