Banned Books Week: Two Boys Kissing

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Two Boys Kissing
By David Levithan

Reasons for Challenges: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection.”)


This is one of the most beautiful books that I’ve read in a long time.

The language use and way the story is structured are very poetic, a style of writing that I admire and would love to be able to emulate. Based on a true story, it is, at a very basic level, about two boys trying to break the world record for the longest kiss, but it is about far more than that. (There’s a good review of the book here)

Told through the haunting voices of those who have died from AIDS. It creates a sense of hopefulness and regrets – the reflections and comments in the story are worth paying attention to.  

We wish we could show you the world as it sleeps. Then you’d never have any doubt about how similar, how trusting, how astounding and vulnerable we all are.

We no longer sleep, and because we no longer sleep, we no longer dream. Instead we watch. We don’t want to miss a thing.

You have become our dreaming.  -Two Boys Kissing

This book has faced a few challenges, with the arguments that it is obscene.  One case in Virginia saw an argument arguing that cited the Virginia Code, which “defines obscene as materials that as a whole appeals to an apparent interest in sex and excites lust,” and claimed that the book fell into this category. 

The school board voted (unanimously) against banning the book.

One of the things that is always reassuring about looking at books that have been challenged is when the community responds in a positive way.  When they stand together against the challenges and present arguments about the importance of freedom of speech, about the importance of representation, and don’t allow the important voices of the story to be oppressed.

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5 thoughts on “Banned Books Week: Two Boys Kissing”

  1. Sounds like a fascinating book, and my curiosity is definitely piqued. Over 32 hours of kissing! It makes me wonder how it all worked out for them, but it doesn’t sound crude or improper at all, more like an interesting perspective on teen relationships. Definitely want to read more. I didn’t even know it was banned books week either. Thanks for sharing this one.

    Like

  2. Haven’t read this one yet, but David Levithan is always amazing. He’s written some of the landmark gay YA books, but I’ve also read some straight ones and they’re just as good, which I think indicates a great writer. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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