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August 2009
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October 2009

Banned Books Week


Image by Literaticat. 

Happy Banned Books week.  Learn more here. If some people had their way, you'd never be allowed to read Harry Potter, or TTYL, or Forever, or Huckleberry Finn, Gossip Girl, The Golden Compass or The Catcher in the Rye.

What kind of world would that be?

Speak out. Talk to your English teachers and librarians and get a dialog going in class. Or just talk to your friends about it.  The more we are educated about these issues, the less power the censors will have. 

Here is NY Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins'  manifesto for Banned Books Week.

lame blogger

Okay, Typepad (which is my blogging interface software thingee) just completely redesigned.  Hopefully this will solve my problems with typefaces changing on me, but I don't know. 

I have been the worst blogger since returning from tour.  Sorry. My brain is fried. But to answer your questions, Roo 4, aka REAL LIVE BOYFRIENDS, will come out in Fall 2010.  It is finished. 

I know what happens!  And I'm not telling. 

I am enjoying the back-to-school feeling of fall, working on some new projects, and trying to get organized. I am also buying an apartment, so dealing with that (paint colors!  why are there so many of you?) is taking up a good amount of my time.   

For you booksellers, I'll be at NAIBA and NEIBA next weekend;  come and say hello. 

This is probably the dullest blog post I've ever written. Scroll down and read the one about the book challenge if you want a thrill.



Boy Book Challenge

Sometimes the author is the last to know. 

In April, it turns out, The Boy Book was challenged in a Texas school.  

I love how the article  quotes my story at length on what kind of bra you should wear if you have puny frontal equipment.  Hee hee hee.
But my very favorite bit is this beautifully tangled sentence: 
"Despite racy chapter titles and content, some say it is too adult for young eyes."

The awesome school district officials upheld the inclusion of the book in the library system, pointing out  that  "the district relies on reviews from quality national journals written by certified librarians."  Huzzah! 

I do acknowledge that not every kid is ready to read about the stuff in every book. And not every community is the same in terms of what the dominant morality is.  But the material about the boobs is at the very very beginning of The Boy Book, and the sub-title of the novel is "a study of habits and behaviors, plus techniques for taming them" -- so it is completely obvious to anyone picking up the book and giving it even the most casual glance that there's some content connected to sexuality in there.  If a reader is uncomfortable with content relating to the "taming" of boys by girls (which is a joke, by the way), that reader should choose another book. 

Also, I am sad for the kid whose mom made the fuss. Because that kid's mom has just said to her: "Don't come to me with questions about your developing body. Don't come to me with questions about drinking. Don't come to me with questions about boys and how to negotiate intimate situations. Because these things are SO UNSPEAKABLE that I will wage a serious battle, devoting significant time and energy,  to make sure no one in your whole school even reads about them.  This door is CLOSED between you and me."
How sad is that? To be thirteen and know that you can no way talk to your mom about any of those subjects. 

What if they'd read the book together and discussed it?  The mom could have disagreed with everything in the whole book, and the communication channels would still be open.

Anyway, Banned Book Week is coming up, so I wanted to share these thoughts with you.  


PS. I don't know whether the case went further -- whether a formal review was requested, or what the outcome was. 

Liar, etc.

The other day I finished Liar, by my friend Justine Larbalestier. I have loved JL's other books, in particular the witty, exuberant and utterly imaginative How to Ditch Your Fairy -- and Liar is SPECTACULAR. Amazing plot twists. 

It's all about this girl, Micah, whose boyfriend has disappeared. Or been murdered. 
But was he really her boyfriend?
And was she really where she says she was that night? 

Nothing is stable in the story, because Micah is a liar. On a grand scale.
Only: she promises to tell us, the readers, the truth. About why she lies, and what the story is. 
THen when she tells you the truth: you can't believe it. But is that because she's lying? Or has she become a liar because her truth is so hard to understand?

Read it, read it.

 Liar by Justine Larbalestier: Book Cover

Now I am reading an early copy of Ally Carter's Heist Society.  Nana nana boo boo.