Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Banned Books on my To Read List
Meme , Top Ten Tuesday / September 26, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.¬†This week the theme is Top Ten Books with ____ Characters. However, since it is Banned Book Week, I chose to deviate and develop my own list. So MY theme for this week is: Top Ten Banned Books on my TBR. Banned Books Week is an annual celebration in America hosted by a national alliance of diverse organizations called the Banned Books Week Coalition. They seek to “engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about book censorship.” I always try to host some banned book awareness posts each year during banned books week. So, I did a takeover of the Top Ten Tuesday list. I’m sure The Broke and the Bookish don’t mind. ūüėČ   All titles below are links to the book’s Goodreads page.   Top 10 Banned Books on my To Read List   I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel This book is at the top of my list because, in 2015, Jazz Jennings was slated to come to a nearby community and read her book to the students of the Mount…

Fahrenheit 451
Book Review / July 5, 2017

Title: Fahrenheit 451 Author: Ray Bradbury Genre: Speculative Fiction Publisher: Simon and Schuster Release Date: June 2012 Format: Hardback Pages: 249 Source: Library First Published: 1953 Sixty years after its publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel¬†Fahrenheit 451¬†stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before. “Fahrenheit 451- The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns.” Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. The sixtieth-anniversary edition commemorates Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Neil Gaiman; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by…

Book Review / March 31, 2017

Title: 1984 Author: George Orwell Genre: Speculative Fiction Publisher: Plume Release Date: 2009 Format: Hardback Pages: 294 Source: Library First Published: June 8th, 1949 Nineteen Eighty-Four (mostly written 1984) is a 1948 dystopian fiction written by George Orwell about a society ruled by an oligarchical dictatorship. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control. Oceania is ruled by a political party called simply The Party. The individual is always subordinated to the state, and it is in part this philosophy which allows the Party to manipulate and control humanity. In the Ministry of Truth, protagonist Winston Smith is a civil servant responsible for perpetuating the Party’s propaganda by revising historical records to render the Party omniscient and always correct, yet his meager existence disillusions him to the point of seeking rebellion against Big Brother.¬† (via Goodreads) Amazon   It’s obvious why 1984 is considered classic literature. Originally published in 1949, Orwell’s story projects a future for post-war England right at the start of the Cold War. A 1950’s atomic war transformed the globe and now is divided into 3 super-countries which control their population through shortages, surveillance, torture,…

How We Can Support Intellectual Freedom
Between the Lines / October 1, 2016

              Between the Lines is a series of posts focused on better understanding books, trends in writing, and the labels associated with these. Banned Books Week¬†is wrapping up today. But just because a week celebrating Banned Books is ending doesn’t mean we can’t continue to celebrate banned books ourselves, discuss censorship in literature, and how it can best be combatted. I recently got into conversations with 4thhouseontheleft and M Reads Books around how we can make a difference when it comes to understanding why books are challenged and banned in our communities. I mentioned a few things in my first 2016 Banned Books Week post, but I barely scratched the surface. Therefore, to wrap up our week, let’s explore what we can do! Note: On the United States Banned Books Week website there are additional resources broken up by your relationship to banned books. Feel free to stop here and explore more!   Read Banned and Challenged Books As I mentioned in my Understanding Challenged Books post, reading and reviewing books on the banned/challenged list are critical. By spending our time, money, and resources on these books we are making a statement to libraries,…

5 Classic Challenged Books You Should Read
Between the Lines , List / September 29, 2016

              Between the Lines is a series of posts focused on better understanding books, trends in writing, and the labels associated with these. ¬†Banned Books Week¬†is almost over. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to read banned and challenged books! I hope that you will continue to keep reading and talking about banned and challenged books through the rest of the year. In this post, we will explore some of my favorite Classics which have been challenged or banned.   1 — The Lord of the Rings¬†by¬†J.R.R. Tolkien What is it?¬†The¬†Lord of the Rings is the fantasy series that completely changed how fantasy is written. J.R.R. Tolkien was a linguistic genius who spoke over 10 languages. He began inventing functional languages for fun, and then developed a world in which they were spoken, which required a series of legends to support it… which led us to the creation of High Fantasy. The pinnacle of High Fantasy Adventure stories, we follow Frodo Baggins on a complex journey to destroy the One Ring. It’s a work of genius. Why is it challenged?¬†The Lord of the Rings has been challenged for various reasons since its publication…

Book Review / September 28, 2016

Title: Slaughterhouse-Five Author: Kurt Vonnegut Genre: Classic Publisher: Dell Release Date: November 3rd, 1991 Format: Paperback Pages: 215 Source: Library First Published: 1969 Prisoner of war, optometrist, time-traveller – these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim, hero of this miraculously moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocalypse. Slaughterhouse 5 is one of the world’s great anti-war books. Centring on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden in the Second World War, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know. (via Goodreads) Amazon   A commonly banned book, Slaughterhouse-Five, Or the Children’s Crusade¬†is a powerful piece of classic American literature.¬†Believe it or not, this was my first time reading a Vonnegut novel. Sometimes, I reflect back on my public school English curriculum, and I wonder what my teachers were thinking. There are so many classic authors I have never read. But then again, there are a lot of classic authors‚Ķ I digress. Kurt Vonnegut was a prolific American author who had a perchance for the darkly comic in his writing. His writing quickly became classics of American counterculture and he was an…

5 Challenged Diverse Books You Should Read
Between the Lines / September 26, 2016

    .         Between the Lines is a series of posts focused on better understanding books, trends in writing, and the labels associated with these. As we have entered¬†Banned Books Week, let’s address some frequently challenged books that are worth your time. Specifically: books featuring diversity. Diversity in literature has been a hot topic lately. With campaigns such as #WeNeedDiverseBooks,¬†blogs like Naz’s Read Diverse Books popping up all over the place, and hashtags such as #OwnVoices taking over twitter we know this isn’t a phase. At some point in the future, I’ll wax eloquent on my reasons why we need diversity in literature.¬†But, until then, check out the books below that highlight diversity in literature: 1 —¬†And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell What is it? A children’s picture book illustrating the true story of a same-sex penguin couple in the Central Park zoo. Two male penguins, Roy and Silo, start taking turns sitting on rocks during brooding season, and get quite depressed when it doesn’t hatch. Noticed by a zoo keeper, Roy and Silo are given a real egg that was abandoned by the mother and begin to create their own family….

The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian
Book Review / September 24, 2016

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Author: Sherman Alexie Genre: Fiction Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Release Date: September 12th, 2007 Format: Hardback Pages: 230 Source: Library Illustrator: Ellen Forney Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike. (via Goodreads) Amazon The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a book that is simultaneously hilarious and heart-breaking. A powerful story told with a dry sense of…

Bridge to Terabithia
Book Review / May 14, 2016

Title: Bridge to Terabithia Author: Katherine Paterson Genre: Young Adult Fiction Publisher: Trumpet Club Special Edition Release Date: January 1st, 2996 Format: Paperback Pages: 143 Source: Library First Published: 1977 Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He’s been practicing all summer and can’t wait to see his classmates’ faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys’ side and outruns everyone. That’s not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits. (via Goodreads) Amazon   I read this for the first time in my 3rd grade accelerated English class. I was not prepared at the time for this book, but reading and discussing this set me up for a lifetime of book groups. This isn’t the book that really started my reading addiction, but it is a book that helped me realize you can learn a lot from literature, and discussing these ideas with others. The smarter…

I Am Malala
Book Review / May 11, 2016

Title: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban Author: Malala Yousafazi, Christina Lamb Genre: Memoir Publisher: Little, Brown and Company Release Date: November 1st, 2012 Format: Audiobook Pages: 327 Source: Library I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.¬† Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate. I Am Malala¬†is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and…

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