Banned Books Week September 18 – 24, 2022
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Top 4 Most Banned books
Genre: nonfiction, diary, addiction
About the Book:
A teen plunges into a downward spiral of addiction in this classic cautionary tale.
After you’ve had it, there isn't even life without drugs…
It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth—and ultimately her life.
Read her diary.
Enter her world.
You will never forget her.
For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl’s harrowing descent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful—and as timely—today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.
It's a powerful read, and it should be read by many
Go Ask Alice is a powerful read, as it is the story of a young girl, and the words of her life that she shares through her diary. I remember when I first read this book, I was probably about 13 or 14. It shares the life of "Alice" and comes from a diary of a young girl, who is introduced to LSD when her drink is spiked. Her life is full of ups and downs, including addiction to not just drugs, but also an eating disorder. She is attracted to people that aren't the best influence on her. From the way she talks about her life, I'm guessing it takes place in the sixties, and the fact that the first edition was printed in 1972. To be honest, it is a story that continues to happen to teens (and older and younger) every day. It's a story that should be told, and it should be read by as many as possible, parents and teens alike. When the diary ends, the reader feels like "Alice" is going in one direction, when in fact, she goes in another direction (according to the epilogue). This book is a popularly banned book, and it should not be banned or censored. It is one of those horrors of teen drug addiction, and how misunderstood teens or those whose parents don't seem to listen, are more likely to find that high or low to escape their world, whether it's an escape from school or just home life. There are other books in the "Anonymous Diaries" and even though I haven't read those yet, I plan on it. A definite attention grabber, so much I couldn't put it down. This book is on a list of banned books. Go Ask Alice is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews.
About the Book:
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. Now, Gender Queer is here. 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 fanfiction, 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.
Review Link: https://writeramyshannon.wixsite.com/bookshelfreviews/post/gender-queer-a-memoir-by-maia-kobabe
Interesting memoir with excellent graphics within the graphic novel
What an interesting memoir in the form of a graphic novel, in Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe. I read this book because I saw that it was on a few lists as a banned book. When I sat down to read it, I read it in two sittings. I learned a lot that I didn't know about someone who was born female, but didn't really want to be male or female, just who Eir was. The "Eir" is not a typo, Maia Kobabe uses e/em/eir pronouns. The book has wonderful graphics, and a lot of note and thoughts of the author, and how e met others, some were like Eir and others identified themselves as either lesbian or gay, or bisexual. For a while, Eir identified as bi, and there were a variety of gender identifications that Maia thought maybe would work, but they did not. I understand the title being "Gender Queer" and I found that this was a book that anyone confused about identity should read, even those who are young and trying to figure things out. I enjoyed this read, and as I said, I learned a lot. I also liked that Maia read so many books, and the titles that stood out, were listed so others can read those books as well. I was proud at the ending, finally feeling good with body, soul and clothes, and wearing them with pride. There may have been a couple of graphics that showed nudity or sexual situations, but nothing that should deter people from reading this book, especially people trying to figure out things about the body people live in. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. This book is on a list of banned books, and I am proud to have read it, and reviewed it.
Shelagh McNicholas (Illustrator)
About the Book:
The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere
"This is an essential tool for parents and teachers to share with children whether those kids identify as trans or not. I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions. I found it deeply moving in its simplicity and honesty."—Laverne Cox (who plays Sophia in “Orange Is the New Black”)
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
A brave and smart young transgender girl
What a remarkably brave story in I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. Jazz was, as she says, "I have a girl brain but a boy body. This is called transgender. I was born this way!" She seemed to know who she was since she was little, correcting people if they called her a boy. Unfortunately, her parents only let her wear dresses around the house, but had to be a "boy" in public. Eventually, her parents finally understood her, and let her be herself. She became Jazz. This is an amazing story of someone who knew who she was, even if her body didn't. I applaud this child, and am totally shocked at how this could be on a banned book list. If more people read this story, and had an open mind, many children wouldn't feel like they have to hide. I Am Jazz is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. This book is on a list of banned books. After you read the book, visit Trans Kids Purple Rainbow Foundation for more information.
Genre: Classic, Poetry
About the Book:
When Walt Whitman self-published Leaves of Grass in 1855, he rocked the literary world and forever changed the course of poetry. In subsequent editions, Whitman continued to revise and expand his poems--but none matched the raw power and immediacy of the first edition.
This beautifully-designed volume presents the original edition Leaves of Grass in its entirety, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous letter to Whitman.
Review Link: https://writeramyshannon.wixsite.com/bookshelfreviews/post/updated-review-leaves-of-grass-by-walt-whitman
Whitman is a genius
If you have the chance to read Whitman do it. He was a man well before his time. He was always true to himself. His words painted a beautiful picture of how he saw the world. From love to nature to majesty he wrote about the world. He wasn't afraid to write and write about feelings. Worth the second and third read. Keep this on your reading list indefinitely. Whitman is definitely my favorite, and I love his poetry, and the fact that he wasn't afraid to be himself. His work always inspires me, so if you love reading the classics, this is a great book to start with. Introduce yourself to Walt Whitman, and yes, this book has been on many of the banned, and burned books list. His books have been burned since he first published his works, and just because they were about his feelings, and lovers.
Genre: LGBTQ+, Detective, Crime
About the story:
Vincent Pollack is a serial killer, whose evil roots were planted during a traumatic childhood, with an agenda to rob and kill women for financial gain. It is down to Mavis Bone, a forty-year-old Australian, lesbian Private investigator, and her German lesbian secretary, Gertrude Stick, to try and foil his murderous plans. Together they make up the Mavis Bone Detective Agency based in Wimbledon Broadway, London SW19.
It is a hands-on job to chase down this ingenious killer, and Mavis is not afraid to get them dirty. Dirty with the blood of her prostitute philandering husband, and the blood of a problem client that could send her secretary to prison for a war crime. Both detective’s and killer’s paths, have already crossed during their troubled youths, but as the murders pile up, they move towards a final conflict.
Mavis’s hard Australian outback childhood, led to her sexual and gender choices, as well as some questionable racist opinions. Not to mention the drug habit she picked up as a student, while backpacking in South America. This, making her, not your average South London Private Eye.
Review Link: https://writeramyshannon.wixsite.com/bookshelfreviews/post/b-p-smythe-mavis-bone-and-the-fledgling-killer
B.P. Smythe - Mavis Bone and the Fledgling Killer
Enjoyed this story!
What a grand story in Mavis Bone and the Fledgling Killer by B.P. Smythe. This is the first book of this author that I've read, and I have become a fan. I like how it shows a bit of the backstory of not just Mavis, but the killer. Everyone has a reason why they do things, even if it doesn't make sense to others. I really liked Mavis, and she is a strong, and "knows what she wants" kind of a person, and somehow, that led her to being a private investigator. This author brings the story to life. The characters had a lot of depth, and were very realistic. It is a very well-written plot, and I enjoyed it. It was a honor to read this book. Definitely an unpredictable story, my favorite kind! This book is on a list of banned, burned, challenged or controversial. The author brought this book to my attention, and I was intrigued to want to read it. Mavis Bone and the Fledgling Killer is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. I hope to read more books by this author.
Genre: Covid, current events, conspiracy, controversial
About the Book:
hen Covid first showed up in 2020, it presented us with a choice: to respond with fear, or to respond with love. This book is an appeal to love, seeing in the 'virus' an agent of social reform, setting us free from the structures of exploitation and enslavement that have assailed mankind for millennia.
And there is no better author to deliver this message than Abdiel LeRoy, a Bible scholar and former journalist, a storyteller and poet, who has discerned and set out for us Covid's prophetic mission, likening it to the role of plague when wielded by Moses to abolish slavery in ancient Egypt.
Weaving between entertaining stories, prophetic analysis, and searing poetry, LeRoy hails the transformational power of this virus while denouncing the mindless response of world leaders who have no better answer than to enrich pharmaceutical companies. You will find here no flag-waving for party or candidate but recognition that the political system, with its imperial structures, is starting to break apart, that it must break apart for the good of planet, peoples, and species.
Whether you are a seeker of Bible prophecy or simply love great storytelling in poetry and prose, this message of awakened hope will call to your heart.
Not a suprise that this one is incredible!
LeRoy pens a poetic message in The Covid Prophecies. I am a big fan of LeRoy, and mainly because his words are painted across the page, and he tells it how it is, and what he thinks. LeRoy has such an incredible background, that his thoughts, ideas, and prophetic messenges are reflected as magnetic. His message is policitical without being political, his message is clear and a must read. Anyone with any beliefs about conspiracy theories or the government, or just wanting this pandemic to end so the world can move forward, should read this. I'm glad I did, and I read it twice. LeRoy shares with his prolific, and poetic words that move the reader. I have yet to find another author who writes in this classic and epic way, to share thoughts, ideas, and life's current status. The virus speaks, "Dear Humanity, I wish it had not come to this but, as you have so long silenced and persecuted the prophetic voices in your midst, I am come forth to ensure your hard-hearted leaders and pharaohs understand my message. Let me begin by assuring you I am not the enemy. I laugh at your pundits and politicians, in their little brief authority, who talk of defeating me, "combating the virus", likening the situation to war." I look forward to reading many more stories by this author. The Covid Prophecies is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews.
Contributors: Amy Sonnie, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, Alegria Sonata Barclay, Alix Lindsey Olson, Andromeda, Anna Mills, Antigona, Ariana Banias, Attar of Nishapur, Beth Ann Dowler, Bree Zuckerman, Cecilia Isaacs-Blundin, Chris Cotrina, Colleen K. Donovan, Dana Nicole Robinson, Dani Frances Montgomery, Daryl Vocat, De Anne Lyn Smith, Emil Keliane, Gina de Vries, Gloria Ng, Jason Roe, Jerome C. Boyce, John Frazier, Katherine Heather Grobman, Kevin Rolfe, Kohei Ishihara, Lisa Lusero, Liz Gaden, Margot Kelley Rodríguez, Maria Poblet, Mario Anthony Balcita, Matt Wiedenheft, Meicha, Meliza Banales, Mollie Biewald, Nzinga Akili, Qwo-Li Driskill, Rachel Josloff, Ryan Pesigan Reyes, Ryn Gluckman, S. Asher Hanley, Sara Frog Davidson, Shane Luitjens, Sherisse Alvarez, Siobhan Brooks, T. Rowan, Thea Gahr, Tim Arevalo, Uchechi Kalu,
purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Revolutionary-Voices-Multicultural-Queer-Anthology/dp/1555835589/
About the Book:
Invisible. Unheard. Alone. Chilling words but apt to describe the isolation and alienation of queer youth. In silence and fear they move from childhood memories of repression or violence to the unknown, unmentored, landscape of queer adulthood, their voices stilled or ignored. No longer. Revolutionary Voices celebrates the hues and harmonies of the future of gay and lesbian society, presenting not a collection of stories but a collection of experiences, ideas, dreams, and fantasies expressed through prose, poetry, artwork, letters, diaries, and performance pieces.
Amazing true stories of strength and self-identity
What a magnificent collection of revolutionary voices, edited (and contributed) by Amy Sonnie, and all of the multi-culutural queer youths that contributed to this book. If first found out about this book, when I was researching banned books. After reading everyone's story, some more than once, I still can't believe why it is a banned or challenged book. Everyone who contributed to this book, told their personal story in different ways, whether it was art, poetry, letters, diary, or just an essay or article, about their journey and every obstacle and triumpths they had to go through. Some of the stories were unimaginable, and heartbreaking, while others were uplifting. Actually, even the heartbreaking stories helped the person who wrote about the experience. I learned a lot about things I didn't know, and I took the time to read the glossary at the end of the book. Some of the stories are about coming out, gender or sexual identity, and some were about race and the culture that surrounds the person who is figuring out who they truly are. One of the stories that stood out in my mind, was when a person told a parent about being "bisexual" and the parent's response was can't you just make up your mind? There was another emotional story, and it ended with the quote, "We were there because we should not be living in a time where one must weep over the memory of bathing another human being." Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews.
Genre: Black & African American Historical Fiction/LGBTQ
purchase link: https://smile.amazon.com/Color-Purple-Alice-Walker-ebook/dp/B005NY4QGM
About the Book:
Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.
In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning twenty years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all.
The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award–nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation), and remains a wrenching—yet intensely uplifting—experience for new generations of readers.
What a brilliant story in The Color Purple by Alice Walker. It is remarkable as the first time i read it. It's a diary of Celie, who writes to God. It's the 20's and 30's (in the previous century) and the story tells of the horror of men having sex with their daughters. The majority of the characters are African-American, and I believe that should be mentioned, because the story revolves around their culture, and the treatment of each other, and how they were also treated by white people. The daughters of these men are getting pregnant (referred to being "big"), and then the babies are sold. Sometimes the girls don't know if their child is alive or dead. The daughters, the ones that are the strong silent type and "know their place" are being given to other men (yes, older men) as wives. The wives are beaten into submission so they know the rules and their place. However, Celie is a strong character, but she even keeps her smile to herself, until she falls pretty much in love with her husbands "mistress" Shug. Celie is very close to her sister, Nettie, but Celie's husband is mad when Nettie won't let him have sex with her, so he breaks up the two and sends Nettie away. Nettie, however, taught Celie how to read. Both the book and the movie are tremendously powerful. I read the book and then rewatched the movie. I hope to read more books by this author. The Color Purple is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. This book is on a list of banned books.
About the Book:
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.
In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
Anne Frank- Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl
Heartbreaking and yet, very interesting
The Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl book is not just about a young girl and most of her family whose fate was held in Hitler's hands, and sent to "camps" with deplorable conditions. It is a heartbreaking story because we know the end of the story, but it's the beginning and everything leading up to the fate of the Frank family that shows the humanity. Anne was a 12-year-old girl, smart and loved her family, yet, she favored her father more. She had a rough relationship with her mother and sister. She couldn't understand why she couldn't connect with her mother and sister, though she tried. She started writing in a journal that she named "Kitty" so it was her sharing her feelings, and what was going on. After awhile it was not about talking to Kitty, but the surroundings and having to be quiet, hide, and still get word from the outside world. Darkened basements, warehouses, no light, hoarding and saving food, and some sneaking out to find out what was going on in the world. Who did they take? Did that person go to the camps to die, or somewhere else? It’s definitely un-put-downable! Anne writes in one of her entries, "I've learned one thing; you only get to know someone after a fight. Only then can you judge their true character." (This book also has some family photos and sketches that Anne did). Anne Frank was born in 1929: Her parents were Edith and Otto Frank. She had an older sister, Margo. Otto was the only one who survived, and was determined for the world to see Anne's words. At the end of the book, you find the information about the inhabitants of the Secret Annex and their real names. Edith died of starvation and exhaustion, Margo and Anne died of Typhus. No one ever knew who betrayed them. Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. This title is on a list of banned books.
Note about the book: Anne Frank's father was the only survivor of their family, and he made the decision to publish Anne's diary so the world would know her story. Their Story.
This book was banned, even though it is a magnificent symbol and story of the experiences the Jewish suffered during the Nazi regime because it was "believed" to include "sexual material" or "pornographic" material, and this is because of some of the entries of Anne was her curiosity about her body, why others were "boy crazy," and her exploration of herself as a young girl wanting to live and turn into a woman.
Genre: Dystopian, drama, women
purchase link https://smile.amazon.com/Handmaids-Tale-Margaret-Atwood/dp/038549081X
About the Book:
In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic.
Incredible dystopian story that just makes you really think.
What a remarkable story in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This is the first book of Atwood's that I've read. I have to admit it's been on my bookshelf for quite a while, and I have been meaning to read it, but other reads came first. So, I finally sat down and read this book. At first, I wasn't sure what the story was about, what a Handmaid was, and then, you figure it out as you go along. This is a world when women weren't anything but baby making machines for other women who was one of the "Wives" who couldn't have children. The world had been taken over, by powerless men with guns, yes, the rise of the Republic of Gilead has begun. Here she was in this town that used to be a university town. The handmaids wore red with white hats with wings that covered most of their faces. There were also what she referred to as the "Marthas" which pretty much were the cooks, and others, had names. Even the handmaids, who could remember, once had names, now they were referred to as Of (and then the name of the man they belonged to, at least until a child was born, or the handmaids were no longer able to have children. Offred lost her name, her child, her husband, and her mother, but she holds on tight to those memories. Even though sometimes she tells her story how she wishes it was, but then she tells it how she remembers it. How she lived it. I know there is a show based on this, and eventually, I will watch it. If you have watched it, read the book too. If you haven't watched it, I recommend reading the book first. Masterfully written! This author not only tells the story but shows it with words as well. And the ending is very unpredictable. The Handmaid's Tale is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. I will add more of this author's books to my bookshelf. This book is on a list of banned books. I also recommend reading the historical research at the back of the book. I found it most interesting.
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