October Tweens Talk Banned Books

Celebrating Banned Books Week – October 1st-7th, 2023!
Tweens Talk Banned Books
American Born Chinese & Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy
Grades 4-6
Thursday, October 5th at 4:30-5:30 pm
Location: Galaxy Hall
Registration required. Register here

Join us in the Trove for a special-edition, double-title book club designed for tweens in grades 4-6 – Tweens Talk Banned Books – to celebrate Banned Books Week 2023 and discuss challenged books!  Our book discussion will seek to engage in open and honest conversations about diverse books and sometimes difficult material as an alternative to book banning. There will be a BINGO game (with sweet treats for the winners!), and we will provide a free copy of the books to the first five individuals to register. When the books are available, we will email to arrange pickup; please list an email address when registering.

We will be reading the graphic novels, American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang & Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo.You can place a hold on the print or eBook graphic novel, American Born Chinese with your library card here, and also the eBook on Libby here. For Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, you can place a hold on a print copy here and the eBook on Libby here.

American Born Chinese
A tour-de-force by New York Times bestselling graphic novelist Gene Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny's life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. American Born Chinese is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax.

American Born Chinese was one of more than 20 books removed from general circulation by Mississippi Madison County School officials in their district's school libraries in April of 2022. Since then, students in Madison County must have parental permission to check out one of the restricted books in the district’s elementary, middle, and high school libraries. For further information, read Mississippi Today’s article here.

American Born Chinese is the winner of the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award, a 2006 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature, the winner of the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, an Eisner Award nominee for Best Coloring, a 2007 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a New York Times bestseller.

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy
In Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, creators Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo have given Little Women a modern-day twist: four sisters from a blended family experience the challenges and triumphs of life in NYC in this beautiful full-color graphic novel. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are having a really tough year: with their father serving in the military overseas, they must work overtime to make ends meet…and each girl is struggling in her own way. Whether it's school woes, health issues, boy troubles, or simply feeling lost, the March sisters all need the same thing: support from each other. Only by coming together–and sharing lots of laughs and tears–will these four young women find the courage to discover who they truly are as individuals…and as a family.

Following complaints from christian homeschooling groups, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy was one of 15 children’s books ordered removed from the children’s section by a minority of LA Lincoln Parish Library Board members in mid-November of 2020. In December of that year, the library’s levy was defeated as many local citizens apparently used the election to protest what they saw as library censorship. Shortly after the levy defeat, the Board reversed its previous decision and voted to return all the books in question to their original locations. For more info, read the Ruston Daily Reader’s article, “Back to the Shelves.”

In its review, Horn Book wrote of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, “This graphic-novel adaptation updates Little Women in setting and in many story elements, with welcome diversity in ethnicity and sexuality among the March family members and their friends.”  Publishers Weekly wrote, “This graphic novel retelling of Little Women reimagines the March sisters as a blended family—Meg and her father are black, Jo and her mother are white, and their younger siblings, Beth and Amy, are biracial—in a modern-day Brooklyn setting…Smart and thoughtfully rendered, this modern retelling will resonate with today’s readers.” And Kirkus Reviews stated, “In this modern, graphic retelling, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are all offspring of a blended, interracial family that lives in a New York City apartment. It works surprisingly well, both in Terciero's colloquial dialogue and Indigo's clean, well-paced sequential panels (her pencils were inked and colored by a team), and lovers of the classic will enjoy seeing how the reboot corresponds to the source texts.”

Recommended Reads:

A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat
(Grades 4-6)
Library Catalog

“Conveying milestones that include first Fanta, first kiss, and first disco, this emotionally perceptive graphic novel memoir from Caldecott Medalist Santat follows a teen’s arc from invisible to invincible. ‘Life was good’ throughout Santat’s childhood in small-town Camarillo, Calif., where the only child helped his mom with errands, hung out with friends, and ‘did normal kid stuff.’ Middle school, however, is one mortification after another, and Santat feels trapped by his self-imposed isolation—a protective measure against bullying. But in the summer of 1989, just before he starts high school, Santat’s parents nudge him into a three-week European tour, and life is never the same. Interstitials in a simplified color palette flash back to prior school humiliations, while exuberant full-color panels in Santat’s signature style convey the trip, including the dreamy reality of early freedoms, the nervous comedy of teen antics, and the wonder of viewing ‘things I’d only seen on postcards, in textbooks, and in movies.’ As Santat finds friends and a way of being himself, what slowly emerges is one person’s hope in and relief at experiencing the world as a bigger place, finding a space in it, and realizing that both adults and peers are rooting for him.” –Publishers Weekly

Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir
(Grades 4-6)
Library Catalog

“A modern and fresh graphic novel adaptation of the beloved Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Thirteen-year-old, red-haired Anne Shirley has been taken in by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who are temporarily fostering her while her next-of-kin is located. Hewing very close to the source material, the work introduces best friend Diana, school rival Gilbert, and inspiring teacher Muriel Stacey. The creative and daydreaming protagonist also gets into familiar scrapes—the missing brooch, mistakenly intoxicating Diana, and giving herself a horrendous haircut. However, new additions to the plot are included, such as her interest in robotics and a female love interest, making this a relatable narrative. This is Weir's second outing in the ‘Classic Graphic Remix,’ following her Secret Garden adaptation. The full-color panels offer engaging and arresting art; the dynamic design will draw in fans of Raina Telgemeier and Kayla Miller. Anne, Marilla, and Matthew have brown skin, and Diana and Gilbert appear to be white. VERDICT A charming retelling for fans of the classic novel and middle school–themed graphic novels.” –School Library Journal

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