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#BBReadathon: TBR

Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week and the #BBReadathon. I am co-hosting the Banned Books Readathon with two lovely people I met on Twitter: Laura and Liza; we are very excited to be raising awareness about Banned Books Week and the proliferation of bannings and challenges that literature is still facing.

For more information, check out my announcement post or visit the dedicated Twitter account: @BBReadathon. Alternatively, Liza has made an announcement on both her blog and Youtube channel.

The aim of this coming week is straightforward: have fun and read banned or challenged titles. Even though I am working more days next week than I have any other week during September, I have compiled a rather ambitious TBR.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Why is it a banned or challenged title?: The Cape Henlopen School District Board once voted to add The Miseducation of Cameron Post to its summer reading list. However, the decision appeared to cause controversy, and the entire list was removed from the program. Officials claim that the decision was made due to the bad language and not the sexuality of the main character; however, many, including the author, do not believe this to be true. In an open letter to the school board danforth (who writes her name in lower case), displays her disappointment at the ‘insidious form of homophobia’ (danforth, e., 2014) the board was displaying. She also expresses pride that her book has made the list of banned and challenged titles. Noting the power banning a title can have, she says ‘It seems that everyone except you knows that censoring, or even attempting to censor a book, only makes it more appealing to curious readers’ (danforth, e., 2014). (Wong, C., 2014).

The night Cameron Post’s parents died, her first emotion was relief. Relief they would never know that hours earlier, she’d been kissing a girl. Now living with her conservative Aunt in small-town Montana, hiding her sexuality and blending in becomes second nature to Cameron until she begins an intense friendship with the beautiful Coley Taylor. Desperate to ‘correct’ her niece, Cameron’s Aunt takes drastic action. Now Cameron must battle with the cost of being her true-self even if she’s not completely sure who that is.

Persepolis I and II

Why is it a banned or challenged title?: Since Publication in 2003, initially in French, Persepolis has remained a controversial and banned title in Iran. This is unsurprising given the subject matter of this graphic memoir; it tells the story of Marjane Satrapi, her childhood in Iran and her migration to Vienna and Paris after the Iranian revolution (Masters, K., 2007). More surprising was the sudden censorship this book became subject to in Chicago, March 2013. Circumstances around this abrupt decision remain murky. However, emails between school officials seem to indicate that the decision was made after attention was drawn to a few panels which depicted torture (The comic book legal defense fund., undated). However, many students argued that these panels were no worse than images widely shown in history lessons during topics such as the Holocaust or slavery (Williams, M., undated).

Persepolis 1 and 2
The Story of a Childhood and The Story of a Return.
The intelligent and outspoken child of radical Marxists, and the great-grandaughter of Iran’s last emperor, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life.
This is a beautiful and intimate story full of tragedy and humour – raw, honest and incredibly illuminating.

Flowers for Algernon

Why is it a banned or challenged title?: Flowers for Algernon has a long and extensive history of being banned and/or challenged- it was the 43rd most banned book in the United States 1990-1991 (Tahersh., 2017) –  many of these refer sexually explicit content. For example, this sci-fi novel was banned in Emporium, Pensylvania over concerns from parents that the sexual content would awaken their children’s ‘natural impulses’ (Munley, K., 2008).

Flowers for Algernon
Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper and the gentle butt of everyone’s jokes – until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental tranformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.

Fire and Fury

Why is this a banned or challenged title?: If ever there was a book which proved emily danforth’s statement about intrigue and book censorship, it is this one. Fire and Fury dominated book-talk during the latter part of 2017 and the early months of this year. An expose on the chaos within the Trump White-House, Fire and Fury, led to the severing of the Trump-Bannon relationship but also led to the American President calling for legal action, a ban on publication, and for people to disregard every page as lies and slander (Gambino, L, Smith, D, Siddiqui, S and Helmore, E., 2018). However, Trump’s fury about the book has done the opposite. Rather than preventing people from reading it, this book shot to the number 1 spot on Amazon and the press, both negative and positive, encouraged the publishers to push the release date forward. Attempting to ban this book created a bestseller (Ha, T., 2018).

Fire and Fury
The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous – and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.
In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Never before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.

What will you be reading for the #BBReadathon? Let us know by tagging @BBReadathon – happy reading!


3 thoughts on “#BBReadathon: TBR Leave a comment

  1. If I had to rate the books I’ve read in the past three years, I think “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” would be at the top of the list. It is a magnificent novel that goes far beyond the LQBT identification tag. Also the fact that it has been banned does indeed raise it even higher in my estimation.

    Very interesting post. Thank you, Rachel, for sharing.


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