Graphic Novel

All posts in the Graphic Novel category

Banned Books 2017 – APRIL READ – Habibi by Craig Thompson

Published April 24, 2017 by bibliobeth

bannedbooks

What’s it all about?:

From the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets (“A triumph for the genre.”Library Journal), a highly anticipated new graphic novel.
 
Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.

At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.

bannedbooks

Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to the fourth banned book of 2017! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book. If you would like to read along with us, here’s what we’ll be reading for the rest of the year:

MAY – Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan – Jeanette Winter

JUNE – Saga, Volume Two (Chapters 7-12) – Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

JULY – The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

AUGUST – Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

SEPTEMBER – Scary Stories – Alvin Schwartz

OCTOBER – ttyl – Lauren Myracle

NOVEMBER – The Color Of Earth – Kim Dong Hwa

DECEMBER – The Agony Of Alice – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

But back to this month….

Habibi by Craig Thompson

First published: 2011

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2015 (source)

Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit and unsuited for age group

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH:  As a fairly recent release (2011), there aren’t going to be many differences in my opinions as I don’t really believe attitudes have changed that much in the past six years or so. I’m finding expressing my opinions about this graphic novel quite difficult and apologies if my words aren’t coherent! I have such mixed views on this book, you see. The good, the bad and the downright ugly. Can I see why it was challenged/banned? Well, er….yes I kind of can. This is NOT to say that I agree with banning books, not in the slightest! I can however see why this book may have been controversial. There are a LOT of adult themes in the books that may not be suitable for younger readers mainly involving rape and graphic sexuality. Of course the book should be available to read but perhaps not in settings where much younger children have access to it.

CHRISSI: Like Beth, I don’t agree with banning books as I don’t think people should be ‘told’ what they can and cannot read. However, this book is one of those books that it’s easy to see why it’s challenged. It’s certainly controversial and it deals with many contentious issues. There’s some quite graphic sexuality, nudity and rape which isn’t suitable for younger readers in my opinion. I’m not sure if this book is intended to be for adults, but that’s certainly what it came across to me. A work of adult literature!

How about now?

BETH: See previous answer! So the reasons for banning/challenging this graphic novel are nudity which there is an abundance of. Seriously, every other page seems to have a naked character on it (probably 95% of them are female, I have to say which I’m not going to even get into but which made me slightly uncomfortable for my own feminist sensibilities). Then there’s the fact it’s sexually explicit and that is certainly the case. Naked bodies are not a bad thing don’t get me wrong but some of the sexual scenes which mainly involve sex that is non-consensual are incredibly graphic. Finally, it states that it’s unsuited for the age group. Here’s where I have a bit of confusion. I don’t know what age group it’s actually meant to be aimed at? Yes, it’s a graphic novel which may make you automatically think of younger readers, however the themes are so adult that it cannot be anything but an adult read. 

CHRISSI: I can see why it’s challenged. I read a wide range of literature, but this one made me feel particularly uncomfortable and that’s quite something!

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: First of all, this book is absolutely beautiful. It’s a beast at about 700 pages long but don’t be intimidated by it’s size, I read it quite easily in two sittings in the space of a couple of hours. The illustrations are fantastic and some parts of the story I really enjoyed but other parts….I could just see why it may be offensive, especially to some cultures and religions. I didn’t really enjoy the stories within stories that talked about the similarities between Christianity and Islam as religions either which is strange as I normally like that sort of thing. In this novel however, it just made the narrative feel quite bumpy – if that’s the right word!

CHRISSI: Despite my uncomfortable feeling whilst reading this book, it didn’t take me long to read at all. I found it interesting in parts and offensive in others. It was a mixed bag for me, like Beth, but I’m leaning more towards not enjoying the reading experience.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: I’m going to say maybe as I think some people will love it, other people will not so much. It’s a Marmite kind of book!
CHRISSI: It’s not for me!- Others might enjoy it,  but it was too much for me.

3 Star Rating Clip Art

Join us again on the last Monday of May when we will be talking about Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter.

Banned Books 2017 – MARCH READ – Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Published April 3, 2017 by bibliobeth

bannedbooks

What’s it all about?:

In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

bannedbooks

Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to the third banned book of 2017! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book. If you would like to read along with us, here’s what we’ll be reading for the rest of the year:

APRIL –  Habibi – Craig Thompson

MAY – Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan – Jeanette Winter

JUNE – Saga, Volume Two (Chapters 7-12) – Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

JULY – The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

AUGUST – Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

SEPTEMBER – Scary Stories – Alvin Schwartz

OCTOBER – ttyl – Lauren Myracle

NOVEMBER – The Color Of Earth – Kim Dong Hwa

DECEMBER – The Agony Of Alice – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

But back to this month….

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

First published: 2006

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2015 (source)

Reasons: violence and other (“graphic images”)

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH:  This is one of those books where I don’t necessarily agree with the reason for challenging/banning it but I can understand why someone may have had problems. I don’t think a book should ever be banned outright and people should always have access to it but in some cases, it might not be suitable for younger readers. There is however one reason I’d like to point out as I’m confused about it – the violence part. Now I’ve just finished this graphic novel/memoir and I really am racking my brain to remember any specific incidence of violence. There is a couple of slight incidents at the beginning where Alison’s father hits her or her brothers but it isn’t portrayed terribly graphically which I was a little relieved about as that would hit a bit too close to the bone for me.

CHRISSI: I can somewhat understand why this book has had some issues. There’s some er… rather risque moments that I can imagine would be a bit difficult to handle in the classroom. That’s not to say that I don’t think it should be challenged and banned completely, but from a teaching perspective… I wouldn’t dream of having this in the library unlike some of the other books that we’ve read for this feature.

How about now?

BETH: This book is now over ten years old and still reads as very contemporary so I don’t think attitudes would have changed too much in that short period of time. I was surprised at the graphic sexual imagery that there is, I wasn’t really expecting that and although I wasn’t personally offended by it it might be a bit too much for very young readers. It shows a lesbian scene and I was quite pleased that this kind of thing is being included in graphic novels. The other graphic image is of a naked male corpse which again I wasn’t perturbed by but might frighten those of a more sensitive disposition. 

CHRISSI: I’d have to agree with Beth, there are some images that might be a bit too much for some. I’m happy that it’s an LGBT graphic novel/memoir, but the male corpse was a little bit too much for me!

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: Unfortunately I was really disappointed by this book. I thought Alison Bechdel certainly led an interesting life, being brought up in a funeral home with a gay father and coming out as homosexual herself later in life made for a fascinating read. However, I didn’t really get on with the story as a whole, the literary references to Proust and Fitzgerald seemed a bit over the top and unnecessary at times and I would have enjoyed it more if she had specifically focused on the relationship between herself and her late father.

CHRISSI: Beth asked me what I thought of it before she started it and I didn’t want to spoil her reading experience. However, I really didn’t like this book. I thought it was going to be really interesting, it certainly has potential to be a fantastic read but I felt the story as a whole didn’t gel well for me. I was bored at points which isn’t what you want from a book. 

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: Probably not.
CHRISSI: It’s not for me! – This book didn’t capture my attention.

1194984978279254934two_star_rating_saurabh__01.svg

Join us again on the last Monday of April when we will be talking about Habibi by Craig Thompson.

 

Banned Books 2016 – SEPTEMBER READ – Bone Volume One (Issues 1-6) by Jeff Smith

Published September 28, 2016 by bibliobeth

bannedbooks

106134

What’s it all about?:

After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert.

One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures…

Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone.

bannedbooks

Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to our ninth banned book of 2016! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book. Here’s what we’ll be reading for the rest of 2016…

OCTOBER – The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

NOVEMBER- Gossip Girl- Cecily Von Ziegesar

DECEMBER – My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

But back to this month….

Bone, Volume One (Issues 1-6) by Jeff Smith

First published: 1993

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2013 (source)

Reasons: political viewpoint, racism, violence

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: I can’t believe this graphic novel is over twenty years old! It was first published in 1993 which doesn’t seem that long ago to me and I don’t think attitudes have changed too much in the past twenty years so, as with most of our banned books, I don’t agree with the reasons for it being challenged when it was originally published. I was struggling with reasons why this book had been challenged as I read it and I deliberately don’t look at the reasons why until I write this part of the review. To be honest, I’m pretty dumbfounded. The violence – yes, I get to a point…but political viewpoint and racism? I must have been reading a different book?

CHRISSI: Like Beth, I was really searching for a reason why this book was banned. I read it over a week ago and nothing has stuck in my mind for a reason why it should be banned. Political viewpoint and racism- I really couldn’t pick out ANYTHING, so if anyone does know why then please enlighten me! Yes, there were certainly some violent scenes but nothing overly shocking, although I can understand why some educators wouldn’t want it in their classroom or libraries.

How about now?

BETH: In a open, liberal society (we would hope!) there’s even less reason for any book to be banned or challenged (the exception is if it is being considered as a taught text for some age groups in schools). As I mentioned above, I struggled with two of the reasons for this graphic novel being challenged as I don’t really remember any instances of either political viewpoint or racism in the narrative! The only thing that made me a bit wary of it being available for all age groups is that some of the monsters in it, known as the rat creatures, are a bit scary and I can imagine it being a bit too frightening for certain children. I still think it should be available in case they fancy scaring themselves a bit though!

CHRISSI:  I have said before that censoring a book can make children (and adults alike) more keen to try it out. Like Beth, I understand that the violence and scariness might be unsuitable for certain children, but in the main part, I don’t see that it should be banned now. Children can see much worse on the TV, in the news, or computer games.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: This was a bit of a strange one for me. I liked the artwork and some of the characters like Thorn and her grandmother were very endearing, (others very irritating) and I did laugh out loud at a couple of points in the story. However, I wouldn’t rush to read the next one in the series. Apparently Neil Gaiman is a fan though, which makes me slightly more curious to read on.

CHRISSI: I didn’t really like this book. I wasn’t hooked by the story. The artwork was good, but it didn’t capture my attention.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: Maybe!
CHRISSI: It’s not for me!

BETH’S personal star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

Join us again on the last Monday of October when we will be discussing The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

 

Banned Books 2016 – JUNE READ – The Adventures Of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants #1) by Dav Pilkey

Published June 27, 2016 by bibliobeth

bannedbooks

207266

What’s it all about?:

Pilkey plays with words and pictures, providing great entertainment. The story is immediately engaging – two fourth-grade boys who write comic books and love to pull pranks find themselves in big trouble. Mean Mr. Krupp, their principal, videotapes George and Harold setting up their stunts and threatens to expose them. The boys’ luck changes when they send for a 3-D Hypno-Ring and hypnotize Krupp, turning him into Captain Underpants, their own superhero creation. Later, Pilkey includes several pages of flip-o-ramas that animate the action. The simple black-and-white illustrations on every page furnish comic-strip appeal. The cover features Captain Underpants, resplendent in white briefs, on top of a tall building. This book will fly off the shelves.

bannedbooks

Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to our sixth banned book of 2016! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book. Here’s what we’ll be reading for the rest of 2016…

JULY – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl- Tanya Lee Stone

AUGUST – Bless Me Ultima- Rudolfo Anaya

SEPTEMBER – Bone- Jeff Smith

OCTOBER – The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

NOVEMBER- Gossip Girl- Cecily Von Ziegesar

DECEMBER – My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

But back to this month….

The Adventures Of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants #1) by Dav Pilkey

First published: 2000

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2013 (source)

Reasons: offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: No way! In no shape or form! Not only because of the relatively recent publishing date (2000) but because of the frankly stupid reasons that are given for it being challenged. I’ve just finished this entertaining book for younger readers and am struggling to remember where exactly the offensive language was and as for the “violence,” it’s all portrayed in the best possible way, in the form of a superhero who fights back against the bad guys. For goodness sake, kids see worse than that in children’s television cartoons!

CHRISSI: Not at all. Yes there’s some fighting but it’s no worse to what children see on TV, As for offensive language? Really??? I was trying to think of what I wouldn’t feel comfortable reading to my class and there was absolutely nothing that I could see. Roald Dahl used ruder sayings than Dav Pilkey and I’ve used his work all year. It’s absolutely ridiculous!

How about now?

BETH: Again, see previous answer! This is a really fun read that had me chuckling at many points and is a book that I think children will just love. Amongst the text are some great illustrations and I really enjoyed the parts near the end where by swiping back and forward on my Kindle I could make a cartoon come almost to life. I took a picture of the page just before the book begins – perhaps this is the reason why it may be challenged? 😊

IMG_0884

CHRISSI:  I really don’t get why this book was banned. Perhaps someone can enlighten me? I know I’d read it to children. They’d love it. I honestly can’t think of a single reason why it would be banned.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: It was great! The humour throughout is fantastic and I loved the characters of Harold and George, two small boys who love playing pranks and designing their own superhero in the form of Captain Underpants. It had everything going for it including an exciting plot with some very mild peril and a very happy ending. Brilliant children’s book!

CHRISSI: It was so much fun. It didn’t take me long to read at all and it had me smiling throughout. I loved our main characters and the trouble they got up to. I’d love to read it to my class.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!
CHRISSI: Of course!

BETH’S personal star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

Join us again on the last Monday of July when we will be discussing A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone.

Banned Books 2016 – MAY READ – Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Published May 30, 2016 by bibliobeth

bannedbooks

13436373

What’s it all about?:

PLACES, EVERYONE!

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

bannedbooks

Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to our fifth banned book of 2016! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book. Here’s what we’ll be reading for the rest of 2016…

JUNE -Captain Underpants- Dav Pilkey

JULY – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl- Tanya Lee Stone

AUGUST – Bless Me Ultima- Rudolfo Anaya

SEPTEMBER – Bone- Jeff Smith

OCTOBER – The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

NOVEMBER- Gossip Girl- Cecily Von Ziegesar

DECEMBER – My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

But back to this month….

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

First published: 2012

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)

Reasons: sexually explicit 

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: As one of our most recent releases (2012), I don’t believe things have really changed much in the past four years so my answer is the same for both this and the next question, which is of course a resounding NO! I try and approach every banned book we read in the same way – with an open mind and also without reading the reason for banning/challenging this book in the first place (although usually I can kind of guess!) When I first started reading this super-cute graphic novel, I thought I had hit the nail on the head on why it may have posed a problem, namely that there is some homosexuality in the book which I know can be an issue for some people. However, I was supremely surprised when I saw that the actual reason is that it is “sexually explicit.” Well, blow me down with a feather, I am struggling to understand where exactly the explicit parts of the book were! Honestly, in my opinion there were none.

CHRISSI: I have to agree with Beth. I didn’t look up the reason why this book was banned, prior to reading it. To find out that it was because it was sexually explicit…well, I can’t even begin to think about what was supposed to be sexually explicit anywhere in the story. There was homosexuality- which is why I thought it was going to be banned, as I know that’s a ‘problem’ for some readers. I honestly don’t see anything or any reason why this book should be banned. AT ALL.

How about now?

BETH: See previous answer! And if “sexual explicit” was a fancy term for disapproval of the fact that there was teenage homosexuality afoot, then especially not. I like to think that we live in an open, accepting society nowadays but unfortunately there will always be those people that challenge others who are attracted to the same sex and discrimination of any kind really gets my hackles up. I think it’s a fantastic book for demonstrating that people who are gay just happen to be human beings like the rest of the heterosexuals in society and should not be judged as a result.

CHRISSI: It should not be challenged in my opinion. I think it’s important that every individual is respected and represented and I loved to read a story where homosexuality was represented in a book that was aimed at teenage readers who might be going through similar experiences.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: I loved this book so much! I am just dipping my toes into the world of graphic novels and am so glad I have, this is a wonderful example of great graphics, awesome characters and a plot that is off the cuteness chart. I have previously heard of the author, through her other graphic novel “Smile,” which Chrissi and I were tempted to pick up before reading this but now I for one will definitely be picking up for sure!

CHRISSI: It’s adorable. It’s quick and easy to read. The artwork is simple, yet effective. I’d definitely read another book by this author. I hope many people aren’t put off by the fact that this book is banned. It’s so worthwhile.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!
CHRISSI: Of course!

BETH’S personal star rating (out of 5):

imagesCAF9JG4S

Join us again on the last Monday of June when we will be discussing Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey.

 

Banned Books 2016 – MARCH READ – Saga Volume One (Chapters 1-6) by Brian E. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Published March 28, 2016 by bibliobeth

bannedbooks

15704307

What’s it all about?:

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Collects Saga issues #1-6.

bannedbooks

Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to our third banned book of 2016! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book. Here’s what we’ll be reading for the rest of 2016…

APRIL – A Stolen Life- Jaycee Dugard

MAY – Drama- Raina Telgemeier

JUNE -Captain Underpants- Dav Pilkey

JULY – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl- Tanya Lee Stone

AUGUST – Bless Me Ultima- Rudolfo Anaya

SEPTEMBER – Bone- Jeff Smith

OCTOBER – The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

NOVEMBER- Gossip Girl- Cecily Von Ziegesar

DECEMBER – My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

But back to this month….

Saga Volume One (Chapters 1-6) by Brian E. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

First published: 2012

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit and unsuited for age group.

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: Okay, so here’s where things might get a little bit interesting. I am very much against the idea of ANY book being banned as we should all have the freedom to read anything we desire without restrictions or fear of recrimination but ever since starting this feature and with what I’ve learned from my sister as she became a primary school teacher, I can see why books might be challenged in certain situations and with certain age groups. I’m afraid Saga is one of those graphic novels that I can understand why it might be appropriate to restrict access in schools for the younger children. I think it’s probably one of those books it would be terrific to discover as a teenager (and perhaps either hide from your parents or share with your parents if they are particularly cool!)

CHRISSI: I TOTALLY understand why it is challenged. I don’t think it’s particularly a book for teenagers even though I’m sure they’d lap it up if they found it. It’s incredibly explicit and definitely geared towards adults. It even says in the synopsis ‘sexy subversive drama for adults.’ Sure, teens may really enjoy it and have a good giggle. Like Beth says, I can imagine some discovering it and hiding it from their parents. I’m all for them reading it eventually, but being promoted in a school? No. Just no.

How about now?

BETH: As this book is a relatively recent release, please see previous answer. I have a bit of an issue with one of the reasons for the challenge though, the anti-family one, as from what I’ve read so far and that’s only the first six chapters, there is a clear family in the novel – Alana, Marko and baby Hazel, the mother and father despite being two aliens from separate planets who are in the midst of a very bloody war, seem to have a very loving and protective relationship. Just because something in literature isn’t the conservative “norm,” doesn’t make it “anti-family,” in my opinion and it makes me cross when this is brought up, especially as a reason to avoid a particular piece of literature. The other reasons, well I have to admit to being shocked by exactly how graphic this novel gets. I was going to reproduce an example in the post but don’t want to intentionally offend anyone. Maybe just do what my sister and I did and flick through a copy in your bookshop? Warning – you may snigger uncontrollably.

CHRISSI: Oooh, look at Beth on her soap box there. I have to say, I agree with her though. There is a family involved. It’s not a conventional one, but it’s a family nonetheless. I know there are some pretty strange family units where I work and that’s everyday life, not another world! I do agree with the explicit, sexual content and offensive language bit though. There’s plenty of it in there, so if it’s likely to offend you then I’d stay clear…

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: As soon as I heard about this book and as soon as Chrissi and I found ourselves a copy in Foyles (marvellous UK bookshop) to look through I knew I had to have it and add it to our banned books list for this year. I enjoy reading a diverse range of fiction and we both desperately wanted to get more into graphic novels, a genre we have both been tentative about approaching in the past. I’m so glad I’ve finally started the series, I can see it being something I will carry on with and look forward to future releases. The artwork is amazing, the story original and intriguing and I really enjoyed the anticipation of flipping over a page – it was soon guaranteed that there would be something to surprise, shock or indeed, inspire me!

CHRISSI:  I am really jumping on the bandwagon with graphic novels. I really didn’t think Saga would work for me. I’m not heavily into fantasy, I don’t usually read gore-y, violent stuff but for some reason I really enjoyed Saga. I think this is largely down to the artwork and the shock factor!

Would you recommend it?

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

Beth’s personal star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

Join us again on the last Monday of April when we will be discussing A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard.

bannedbooks

 

Banned Books 2016 – FEBRUARY READ – It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

Published February 29, 2016 by bibliobeth

bannedbooks

20697448

What’s it all about?:

The definitive book about puberty and sexual health for today’s kids and teens, now fully updated for its twentieth anniversary.

For two decades, this universally acclaimed book on sexuality has been the most trusted and accessible resource for kids, parents, teachers, librarians, and anyone else who cares about the well-being of tweens and teens. Now, in honor of its anniversary, It’s Perfectly Normal has been updated with information on subjects such as safe and savvy Internet use, gender identity, emergency contraception, and more. Providing accurate and up-to-date answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and STDs, It’s Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need—now more than ever—to make responsible decisions and stay healthy.

bannedbooks

Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to our second banned book of 2016! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book. Here’s what we’ll be reading for the rest of 2016…

MARCH – Saga Volume 1- Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

APRIL – A Stolen Life- Jaycee Dugard

MAY – Drama- Raina Telgemeier

JUNE -Captain Underpants- Dav Pilkey

JULY – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl- Tanya Lee Stone

AUGUST – Bless Me Ultima- Rudolfo Anaya

SEPTEMBER – Bone- Jeff Smith

OCTOBER – The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

NOVEMBER- Gossip Girl-  Cecily Von Ziegesar

DECEMBER – My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

But back to this month….

It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

First published: 1994

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)

Reasons:  Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it is child pornography”

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: No, not really. Even though the book was published just over twenty years ago I still count it as a fairly recently published book. The nineties was still a somewhat “enlightened age,” if that makes sense and I don’t think anything about this book is so shocking that it should be challenged/banned. Also, can I just say – one of the reasons for being challenged is “sex education,” why on earth should that be a reason to challenge a book? Surely sex education is a good thing? In my opinion it is anyway. Some of the cartoons in the book are perhaps a little surprising as they are quite graphic (and I have to admit to having a little childish chuckle over some of them) but everything is very honestly presented, no holds barred, useful and factual information.

CHRISSI: Not at all. I think it is a decent book to teach preteens about important information that they need to know. Yes, it could be… er… interesting in the classroom, but what’s not to say that a book like this can’t be available in the library? In my opinion it certainly should be available. I understand that some of the cartoons are rather graphic, but not overly so and I wouldn’t call it ‘child pornography’. No, just no!

How about now?

BETH: *sighs* Especially not now! With the wealth of sexual information out there for teenagers who are considering having sex, I would rather that they are well informed of the risks they are taking rather than being mis-informed or knowing very little and ending up in a situation where they are suddenly forced to confront a potential child, a STD or worse. I remember my sex education at school which unfortunately wasn’t great – they just showed us an excruciatingly embarrassing video and BOOM that was it, we were expected to be experts. On the lighter side, I do remember Chrissi coming home from school and telling us very excitedly that she learnt all about “pyramids” at school that day. You know, the ones you have once a month?! I can remember so clearly our parents being in absolute hysterics.

CHRISSI: Ha, ha, ha! Sorry, just reading my innocent comment from my childhood. I can’t say that I really remember the sex education that I received at school, but I do recall a video and it was awkward. I think it needs to be less awkward in schools so that preteens and teenagers are ready and educated about important information. A book like this is just a starting point.

What did you think of this book?

BETH: I thought it was pretty great. We need more books like this to teach teenagers the right information about sex so they can make the most appropriate and hopefully best choices for themselves at that time. I really think this book will give them the answers they need and help deal with the difficult times that are practically guaranteed with puberty and adolescence.

CHRISSI:  It made me chuckle. Some of it would go over children’s heads, especially the very science-y parts, however I think it’s important and informative and it should definitely be a book that young teenagers should be reading. It gives answers to the questions that they may be unsure about and delivers it in a real and honest manner. I certainly don’t think it should be banned!

Would you recommend it?

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

Beth’s personal star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

Join us again on the last Monday of March when we will be discussing Saga Volume 1 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

bannedbooks