Monday, October 04, 2010

Banned Books Week: Thursday

Yeah, I know. We're a little off on the days of the week. And Banned Books Week is technically over. But it takes work to run the store and we don't always have time to blog. It is worth highlighting good books, though, so we're keeping this going until the end.

Today's book is by an author who is not just a funny writer of young adult novels, but a great blogger as well. I mentioned Maureen Johnson and her blog a little while ago, and I was even talking about this specific book. But in celebration of good books getting challenged, I'll do it again.

The Bermudez Triangle
is a book about three best friends and how their relationship changes when two of the girls start dating each other. It's a sweet story about Figuring Everything Out, and it's had a Staff Favorites card pretty much since it came out. Also, it gets challenged or banned every once in awhile, mostly because there are gay characters. It's actually pretty dang tame for a young adult novel, especially a young adult novel about first love. But that ends up being beside the point.

When Bermudez was pulled from a library in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 2007, the whole thing got pretty dramatic (librarians lost & quit jobs over it). If you want to get deep into that story, you can follow it on Maureen's blog here (I grabbed the highlights, there's probably much more):

I Am A Very Dangerous Person (April 27, 2007)
Showdown in Bartlesville (May 1, 2007)
Big Bad Bartlesville Update (June 8, 2007)
News Flash: Victory in Bartlesville (Sorta, Kinda) (June 20, 2007)
Totally Righteous (August 14, 2007)

Then again in 2009 it got challenged in Florida, and you can read Ms. Johnson's interview after that with The Kids' Right to Read Project here.

At the Kids Desk we watched the whole thing with a lot of interest, partially because Maureen Johnson made the whole thing funny and entertaining even when it was clearly hard for her to keep talking about it. But also because we try to keep an eye on book challenges, because it seems like bookish people should know when a book is attacked (we feel a disturbance in the Force). And also because it's a great excuse to highlight good books (like this whole blog series is trying to do). So when Bermudez got challenged, we put it on display, and it sold. And we did it again for Banned Books Week, and it sold. And a short time ago when I blogged about it as a used book, that sold. Because the book is good. And funny, and smart (which are my favorite characteristics in both books and people). Yay.

-Anna, Kids Books

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