What I’m Reading & Writing Wednesday

whatimreadingandwritingwednesday

Hello and happy Wednesday! I missed What I’m reading and writing Wednesday again last week, so here’s a super fun and long one to catch you all up! This is a weekly feature (at least it’s supposed to be) that is my spin on WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and My Week in Books hosted at Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Woohoo… I finished reading these books!

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Banned Book: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of  a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is currently #1 on the list of most banned or challenged books in the United States.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Pulled from a school district in Idaho because it “discusses masturbation, contains profanity, and has been viewed as anti-Christian.” (www.ala.org)

It has been challenged in Wilmington, NC because “the book contains numerous depictions of sexual behavior, as well as instances of racism, vulgar language, bullying, and violence.” (www.ala.org).

Let’s take a look at the Goodreads Synopsis for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian:

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

My Thoughts:

Wait— hold up a second.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is based on Sherman Alexie’s own experiences. Meaning that there are many kids today that are going through similar experiences, and this book could help them to see that they are not alone. To ban this book means to silence their voices and their experiences, something that history has done to the voices of too many Native Americans and other people of color.

There is sexual content in this book?!? That’s not appropriate!!! (not me saying this by the way)

Let’s think about it this way. This book is about a teenage boy. He’s in high school. If you don’t think that teenagers think about sex, you’re wrong. Even those who aren’t sexually active at least think about it.

But vulgar language, racism and bullying are bad.

Yes, bullying and racism are bad. In this book, we see these topics through the eyes of Junior, the person who is bullied for being different. He is made fun of for the way he looks, for how he talks, and for being a Native American. Through him, the reader sees the way Native Americans are treated by our society. While bullying and racism are terrible things, seeing  them through Junior’s eyes shows how children and adults are effected by these things.

And to be honest, the vulgar language used in this book is the same language you’d hear in the halls of any high school, any bus, any public place.

Watch Sherman Alexie brilliantly read an excerpt from this book where (gasp) an example of this “vulgar language” is used– come on folks, if you’re mad about the word “boner” than you’re missing the entire point of the book.

Overall:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian needs to be in our schools. Students need to have exposure to it. It shows a very realistic portrayal of the lives of people that live in our own country, people that we turn a blind eye to far too often. This book brings to light the injustices faced by Native Americans and other marginalized and oppressed groups in America.

It’s heartbreaking, it’s hilarious, and it’s brilliant. This book has a place in schools.  It can speak to children and adults in ways that no other books can. And if for no other reason, that is why it’s needed by children.

Find Sherman Alexie Online:

Learn more about Banned Books

Banned Books Week- Celebrate your right to read

Banned Books Week

www.ala.org/bbooks

This week, Sept 27 – October 3 is Banned Books Week 2015.

This week on Amanda’s Nose in a Book we will be celebrating our right to read during Banned Books Week. I for one was always the child who became more curious about a book as soon as I found out it was challenged or banned. I sought out those books and devoured them, often loving them and recommending them to my friends.

It might surprise you, as it does me every single year that books written for Young Adults continue to be censored and banned or challenged by adults who believe that they are not appropriate for children.

Yes. This is still happening. In 2015.

Mind blown, right? Shouldn’t we be past this?

Books are banned for many reasons, but most are banned due to the subject material being seen as inappropriate for children or teenagers by other adults. See reasons why books are banned here and here.

That brings us to the question: what is appropriate or inappropriate for students to read?

Answer, it depends on the child. Some kids might be able to handle certain topics or subjects better than others. Most books that are published today have an age group in mind and while they talk about difficult subjects, they are done so with the experiences many children face every day in mind.

Authors don’t just talk about sex, assault, racism, poverty, or other tough subjects without the age level and the maturity of the audience that will be reading that book in mind. Think about it. Kids today see and go through a lot of terrible things. Talking about these topics in books not only tell kids that they are not alone, but they help to educate kids about what their peers might be going through.

So should books be banned at all?

No. Not even the crappiest of all crappy books. Censoring books because a  parent or group thinks they’re “bad” due to the content is wrong. Don’t get me wrong– if a parent doesn’t want their child to read a book, that’s fine and dandy. But trying to make it so that book isn’t accessible to a school, district, or kids in any school is B.S.

And I can almost guarantee that children will seek out the book that parents/teachers/school districts are so up in arms about. Telling a child a book/show/movie is forbidden will only make them want it more.

Learn more about Banned Books Week from the American Library Association

What I’m Reading & Writing Wednesday

whatimreadingandwritingwednesdayHello and happy Wednesday! What I’m Reading & Writing Wednesday is my own spin on WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Another great feature is My Week in Books at Lipsyy Lost & Found.

I just finished…

shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. This is my re-read for the month of September and I want to finish the whole trilogy by the end of next month! Continue reading

Top 10 Unfinished Series

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is a freebie so I’ve decided to talk about last week’s theme. Top 10 Unfinished Series. I love series and trilogies, but often have to stop in the middle, or wait a while before finishing them. Here is my list of Top 10 Unfinished Series.

  1. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024This is actually a trilogy that I plan on finishing this fall as I already took books one and two out of the library. I read book one last year and am currently re-reading it before continuing.

2. The Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd

MMD+final+cover+hi-resI read the first two books in this trilogy but haven’t been able to get book three out of the library. Continue reading

Life Lessons: Starting a New Chapter

Life Lessons- Starting a New Chapter

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my decision to leave my job and pursue something that I was passionate about.

Since then, my two weeks at the office have come to an end and I find myself looking forward to the future with a fresh, new perspective. I’m starting a new chapter in my life, one that is much needed and necessary. While the position I just left was what I needed at the time I got it, it was not something that I could see myself doing and being happy with in the long run. And if life is too short to not be doing something that you love, life is definitely too short to be doing something you don’t enjoy. Continue reading

Life Lessons- Do What You Love.

This year i’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. It’s been hard, but there have been many great lessons and experiences along the way.

I’m 28, I have a masters degree, and I’ve done nothing but work in jobs where I wasn’t using my education. The people I worked with were amazing and there were things I loved about each job– but I wasn’t happy. In fact I was utterly depressed.

And miserable.

One day, my boyfriend and I were talking about different employment options I had around where we live. After another year of looking (and admittedly not looking hard enough) nothing had come up. I was still not using my degree. Still not able to pay back those student loans. But I’d allowed myself to get comfortable in the job I was in. Continue reading

What I’m Reading & Writing Wednesday

whatimreadingandwritingwednesday

I didn’t do this last week because there were a million other things going on, so here’s two weeks of what I’ve been reading and writing! What I’m Reading and Writing Wednesday is my spin on WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Another awesome feature is This Week in Books over at Lipsyy Lost & Found!

I just finished Reading…

I read both Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire in less than a week. I also bought The Assassins Blade, which I will be reading before I get Queen of Shadows. With the a new job situation I will talk to you about later , I don’t know if I will be able to afford Queen of Shadows anytime soon, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Will probably talk more about my new book buying budget in a post very soon. Continue reading

If I Taught YA Fantasy 101!!!

I missed last week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish. But it was such a fun topic, that I thought, hey let’s do that post anyway!

YA Fantasy is one of my favorite genres. And as a teacher, I feel like YA fantasy would be a fun class for students. So here are the top ten books that would be on my YA Fantasy 101 Syllabus for both high school and college students.

Let’s get to it!

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

hp1This is a given for me. I feel like it is something that everyone is familiar with and I could use it to teach different archetypes that we’d see in other fantasy novels. Continue reading