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#WeekendCoffeeShare: Wait… Friday?

Join us for some coffee time!Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday September 28th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday October 1st at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

Where did this week go? Seriously. Is it hiding somewhere? I mean, I know I need to clean my room but I don’t think an entire WEEK could actually hide in it….

For a blur of a week, not a whole lot has happened on a personal level. I’ve been trying to keep up with Banned Book’s Week posts (and here, and now, I once again resolve to be far more ahead of the game for next Banned Book’s Week. They release the list in April, I should be able to get a few decent blog posts done between then and September. I really should).

This weekend I’m going to do a lot of laying low, more cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry… But first, Friday night.

Friday night a crew of friends and I are continuing our Friday Food Fun Night adventures. Sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay in (and conduct food experiments, in the name of SCIENCE!) This week we are going out – one of my friends loves mole, and hasn’t been able to find a good place locally. So we’re going to try remedying that for her by exploring some local mole places.

I am realizing that I haven’t actually had much mole – I tried a little of hers once when we were out but that’s it, so I’m going to be trying some and deciding if I’ll participate in the mole-adventure or if I’ll pick my own menu item to explore… we’ll find out Friday, and pictures will be shared on my Instagram.

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#BannedBooksWeek: The Kite Runner


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It’s been quite a while since I read The Kite Runner, but was intrigued when I saw it on this years top ten list. According to the ALA Field Report there were some challenges that resulted in the book remaining on  the school reading lists, but there were some where the book was removed from the list (and not even offered as an alternate reading). 

This is not the first year that The Kite Runner has made the list. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund put together a good article about the decision to pull this book this year — and it is noted in the ALA field report that “Students spoke up about the censorship and as a result, the administration shut down the high school newspaper.”

One of the things that is highlighted about this is the process that is used in deciding if a book is going to be pulled from curriculum or from the library shelves. As noted in the CBLDF article, sometimes it comes down to an individual to make the call (such as the superintendent), which allows for a lot of individual bias to come into play.  Especially when you look at the numbers of who is bringing these challenges.

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Library patrons and Parents are the largest groups of challengers, but 14% of challenges are brought by Boards or administrations.  That’s more than Librarians, teachers, political and religious groups, elected officials and students COMBINED.

While we’re looking at the numbers… the vast majority (over half) of all Challenges take place within public libraries.  These also seem to be the ones that we hear a lot less about, perhaps because there isn’t the same level of reaction that we see when a book is challenged in a school.

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I can’t help but reflect on how strong the voices of students have been in the past year (and before) when it comes to standing up for their rights, and against things that are wrong in our world… and it makes me wonder if the fact that we hear about so many of the challenges within schools is tied to this phenomenon. Students are raising their voices. Speaking out when they see injustice – I hope we continue to foster this in our younger generations.

(My apologies if this is a bit of an all-over-the-place post. That’s what you get when I end up writing before my morning coffee!)

Are you going to be writing about Banned Books this week? Feel free to share your posts on this Linky-List!

 

#BannedBooksWeek: This One Summer

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This book had been on my “To Read” list for a while, since it appeared on a Banned Books List a few years ago. But it took me until this year to actually pick it up and read it. I’ll admit, I wasn’t wowwed. It was good, but I had a hard time really connecting with the characters. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read a lot of Graphic Novels – it’s generally not a medium that I connect to as well (when it comes to more serious matters. I love it for light and fun reading). It was a good enough book, but not one I really found myself drawn to. But, just because I didn’t particularly enjoy it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great book for some, and certainly doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made available! Intended for ages 12+ it seemed a perfectly reasonable book for that age group.

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.  – summary from Goodreads

This One Summer was on the top 10 banned list for 2016.  The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has a good article about the challenges to this book, making note that the fact it received a Caldocott Award may have contributed to some of the negative attention it recieved, “A few people, believing the book is aimed at younger readers because it is a Caldecott Honor Book, have been shocked to find that the award winning graphic novel is intended for audiences age 12 and up. Instead of acknowledging their responsibility for knowing the content of a book before purchasing it, some of these people have instead attacked the book, calling for its removal.”

Check out the Office of Intellectual Freedom write-up about This One Summer, and the challenges to it.

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Are you going to be writing about Banned Books this week? Feel free to share your posts on this Linky-List!

#BannedBooksWeek: The Hate U Give

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With a movie coming out soon, this book has garnered additional attention lately. I had been intending to read it anyhow, and finally got myself off of the wait-list for the ebook from the library.

I really, really, enjoyed this book. Yes, it deals with a very difficult topic. Yes, there is swearing in it. Yes, there is reference to drugs, there is violence…. And yes, these are all realities. And it deals with very timely, relevant issues.
Angie Thomas did a stellar job painting a picture of Starr’s life, drawing us into a world. A world very different from the one I live in, and an important one for all of us to glimpse.

The story summary, from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

This book was banned in a school district in Texas which led to a flurry of activity on Twitter. This included some teachers speaking out, and the twitter conversation led to people working to get the book into that area as best they could, delivering it to Free Libraries in the area and donating to public libraries.
A South Carolina police union was looking to remove the book from a recommended reading list.

Reasons given for people wanting to ban this book tend to be based on the “language,” “drug use,” and “vulgarity.” I find these reasons to be pretty ridiculous, and highly recommend that you read this book – and then share it with someone else to read.

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More Articles about The Hate U Give:
An article about what teachers can do when they discover books have been removed from the shelves of their schools.
More about the banning of The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas on YA Fiction, Being Black in America and More
Angie Thomas: Burn It All Down or Use Those Emotions in My Art
‘The Hate U Give’ Explores Racism and Police Violence
The Hate She Received: Why the Banning of Angie Thomas’ Book was an Insult to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

An update from the author during banned Books week!

Are you going to be writing about Banned Books this week? Feel free to share your posts on this Linky-List!

#BannedBooksWeek: Revisiting George.

BBW18PosterGeorge, by Alex Gino reappeared on the top ten list of banned and challenged books this year. I really enjoyed this story when I read it last year, and was pleased to see that Oregon included it in their Battle of the Books list this year.

But then… then a few school district decided to not participate in the Battle of the Books because of the book. George is about a 4th grader, and the decision to opt out of the ENTIRE Battle of the Books was made by a handful of administrators in the district. Here’s the thing – they said it was because 3rd graders were too young to read this type of content… but it’s a completely optional program, and not all kids read all the books – the excuse for removing themselves from the competition (one that has the goal of exposing children to quality literature and is divided into three groups: 3rd through 5th, 6th through 8th, and 9th through 12th) seems very thin, at best.

The Office of Intellectual Freedom put together a good Blog Post about this book.

Article about the Library Associations support of the inclusion of George in OBOB

More reading about George

Are you going to be writing about Banned Books this week? Feel free to share your posts on this Linky-List!

Welcome to #BannedBooksWeek 2018

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This year I’ll be doing a mix of things. There will be a few reviews, a few reflections on articles I’ve come across in the past year, and I’m hoping to participate in the “Dear Banned Author” program.

Will you join me?

All week long I’ll be posting about Banned Books — and every post will include a link to a linky-list where you can share links to your own Banned Book blog posts!

Let’s begin with a look at the top ten Banned Books for 2017!  This years list includes some old “favorites,” and some newcomers!

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[Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017.  The American Library Association tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2017. Of the 416 books that were challenged or banned in 2017, here are the top 10 most challenged:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Reason: Suicide.
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: profanity, sexually explicit.
  3. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier. Reason: LGBT content.
  4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Reasons: sexual violence, religious themes, “may lead to terrorism”
  5. George, by Alex Gino. Reason: LGBT content.
  6. Sex is a Funny Word, by Cory Silverberg. Reason: sex education.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Reasons: violence, racial slurs.
  8. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. Reasons: drug use, profanity, “pervasively vulgar.”
  9. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reason: LGBT Content.
  10. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. Reason: gender identity.]

The theme of Banned Book Week this year is “Banning Books Silences Stories. Speak Out!” A particularly important point this year, looking at the stories that are being told in the books that were most frequently challenged this past year.

Of the books on this list I have read 6, and am on the wait list for one, and just got off the wait-list for one more. One I read AGES ago and kind of want to reread, one I couldn’t get at my library but completely intend to read, and one I have no plans to read.  Are you familiar with some of these books?

Are you going to be writing about Banned Books this week? Feel free to share your posts on this Linky-List!

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Time to Relax?

Join us for some coffee time!Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday September 21st at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday September 24th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!


If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

Hello again!

This weekend I am determined to leave the house as little as I possibly can get away with. I need to rest. My room is in dire need of attention. My cat has determined that he’s been downright neglected.

Last weekend was fun, but it was very busy and I came back with a bit of a cold. My niece is 15 months old now, and quite the vocal, mobile little gal! My older brother was up visiting as well, and now that my dad and step-mom live about a short drive from my sister

So some rest will be much welcome… and it’s starting to get a bit colder here so I need to dig through my clothes and find more fall/winter outfits in there. Or, rather, the long-sleeve things I wear over my summer clothes to turn them into fall/winter outfits.

There is that whole MEAL PLANNING thing I need to do as well, and the meal prep to go with it. This week has been a little bit of buying meals out and a lot of trying to make meals out of whatever I happen to have on hand. It’s been working okay, but it is really time to get myself some new food and plan out a few meals.

I also want to do some work on my blog because this week is Banned Book Week! I do love Banned Book Week – and will be posting things throughout the week here – including some activities and invitations for you all to join in! Be sure to visit — starting on Sunday I’ll even have a Banned Book Week Linkup available for people to share what they’re writing (and to find other Banned Book Week posts!) One of the things I wanted to do was read more of the books that have been banned or challenged… and two of them just made it off of the wait-list from the library for me (I do love seeing the challenged books with long waitlists!) so we’ll see if I can get through them!
And I wonder why even my “relaxing” weekends end up feeling busy….
What are you up to this weekend?