Today RART reelected Holley W as moderator for the 2022-2023 year and selected topics for the 2023 meeting dates. A date for resuming meetings at other library locations is TBD.
February 8, 2023 – Romance
April 12 – Afrofuturism
June 14 – Graphic novels/manga
August 9 – Disability Representation
October 11 – Emerging/Debut Authors
December 13 – Gender Representation
Please keep great audiobook versions in mind to mention during all discussions.
At today’s Zoom meeting, participants shared Banned Book Week display ideas and favorite banned/challenged titles.
11 people in attendance:
Holley W, O’Neal
Joi M, Homewood
Kelly C, Homewood
Erika W, BPL Powderly
Teddy R, Central
Shannon H, Hoover
Bridget T, Homewood
Michelle H, Irondale
Shawn C, Pinson
Riana M, Pinson
-staff photos holding their favorite title
-bookmarks with reason for ban/challenge
-barebones display, just signage noting it is for banned/challenged books
-involve patrons: bookmarks with a reason for the ban/challenge and room for patrons to make comments. They drop them in a comment box and can be displayed on or near the books
-match the book to the ban/challenge reason, turn in ballot for a prize drawing
-a “versus” jar (book vs book, ban/challenge reason vs reason, etc)
Seeing highly regarded classics on the list is often shocking for some readers. For more information on book bans/challenges, visit the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks
Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (sexual material and homosexual themes)
The Holy Bible (religious viewpoints)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (use of racial slurs)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (racist language and the plot centers on an allegation of rape)
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (glorifying witchcraft, promoting the occult, tones of death, hate, lack of respect and sheer evil, leading children to hatred and rebellion, confusing children)
Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien (originally banned in various US states because it was considered Satanic)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (challenged for dark imagery, violence, Holocaust)
The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (challenged for religious veiwpoints)
Individual titles we discussed today that have been banned and/or challenged:
Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
Barbara Park’s #1 New York Times bestselling chapter book series, Junie B. Jones, has been keeping kids laughing—and reading—for more than twenty-five years. Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Remember when it was scary to go to school? In the first Junie B. Jones book, it’s Junie B.’s first day and she doesn’t know anything. She’s so scared of the school bus and the meanies on it that when it’s time to go home, she doesn’t.
Melissa by Alex Gino
When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. Melissa thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. Melissa really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part... because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, Melissa comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry020100000465
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, and Henry Cole
At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, Marlon Bundo, and EG Keller
HBO's Emmy winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a children's picture book about a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever...With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming bunny book for kids explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this better Bundo book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.
Chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history for adults, teens, and kids.
Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist
Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You by Sonja Cherry-Pau, Jason Reynolds, et al.
The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
Fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins are a couple of class clowns. The only thing they enjoy more than playing practical jokes is creating their own comic books. And together they've created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school: Captain Underpants! His true identity is SO secret, even HE doesn't know who he is!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
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.
All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys. Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren't Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father into an astonishing retelling of one of history's most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.
This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson with contributions by David Levithan
This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it's like to grow up LGBTQ also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Then e created Gender Queer. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fan fiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: It is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.
Go With the Flow by Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams
Sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. Hazelton High never has enough tampons. Or pads. Or adults who will listen. Sick of an administration that puts football before female health, the girls confront a world that shrugs―or worse, squirms―at the thought of a menstruation revolution. They band together to make a change. It’s no easy task, especially while grappling with everything from crushes to trig to JV track but they have each other’s backs. That is, until one of the girls goes rogue, testing the limits of their friendship and pushing the friends to question the power of their own voices. Now they must learn to work together to raise each other up. But how to you stand your ground while raising bloody hell?
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn't exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley's life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it's really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley's starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley's real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything. From debut author Jeff Garvin comes a powerful and uplifting portrait of a modern teen struggling with high school, relationships, and what it means to be human.