Banned Book Week

  When Sheila @ Book Journey posted about her week of Banned Books and asked if anyone wanted to join in the fun I quickly jumped on the banned wagon. 🙂 Swing by her blog and check out what she’s reading and all the other cool bloggers participating!

I decided to read Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler because I’d heard great things about the book and yet nothing that would indicate why it would be banned. I didn’t know much about Banned Book Week or even how book get banned, so I checked out the ALA website before I got reading. I found out that the top four reasons books get banned:

1. Sexually explicit

2. Offensive language

3. Violence

4. Unsuited to age group

And that parents were by far the largest group of people who sought to get a book banned. Oh, and CHALLENGED means an attempt to remove a book from a library, school, etc., while BANNED means a book has been removed from that institution.

All things I never knew!

First, I LOVED Twenty Boy Summer. I thought it was a perfect example of how good books get banned needlessly. I think that, yes, I have become a bit desensitized when it comes to reading about sex or language or even a little violence. However, I read Twenty Boy Summer with the mindset of “this is a banned book because of it’s sexually explicitness and, gee, I wonder why.”  Even with that in mind I found only one scene that I wouldn’t consider graphic in which two teens consent to have sex. In my curiosity I found that the book was actually banned in a Missouri school when a man, who didn’t even have kids at the school, said that the book contained values contrary to the Bible.

I can’t even begin to rant on how this infuriates me. But then I think about all the kids who will go out and find Ockler’s book simply because they are told they shouldn’t be reading it. Awe-some. After all the book isn’t about sex at all. Sex may be a by product, but it is a far cry from the point of the story. The book is about grief and the ways the soul tries to mend itself as it heals. As a matter of fact Twenty Boy Summer may be the best book on how to move through and beyond heart-wrenching grief that I’ve ever read. And as everyone grieves differently, then seeking the physical company of someone through a hard time isn’t too difficult to understand.

And to celebrate this great novel I am giving away two copies of Twenty Boy Summer to two lucky winners. Yay! 😀 All you need to do is comment on what your favorite banned book is and why. Two bonus points for commenting on another blog about banned books (add the link to your comment) and three bonus points for subscribing to my blog. Easy-peasy. I will notify the winners next Wednesday, Oct. 5. 😀

Happy Banned Books Week!

  1. I like a lot of the books on the banned book list so it is hard to pick my favorite. I may have to go with the whole Harry Potter series. I love them and read them over and over.

  2. Fantastic thoughts on this Samantha, I had read this about a year ago and felt the same – I enjoyed the read. Thanks for the review!

  3. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite banned books. Twenty Boy Summer turned out to be a good read, at first I was not sure I was going to like it. (Don’t enter me).

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