Banned Book Recommendation | DAY THREE

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

9516Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

“A New York Times Notable Book
Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”
San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.”

I read this book whenever I was in high school because it sounded interesting and I loved the fact it was a true story told within a graphic novel. I ended up loving it and I think I gave it around 4 stars. I had no idea the book was banned until recently!

Why is it banned?

“The day after Dignam’s email, district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent another email to principals claiming that the intention was never to remove the book from libraries, but only from classrooms due to “graphic language and images that are not appropriate for general use.”” (source)

“Possibly as a result of publicity from the 2013 CPS ban, Persepolis faced three more school challenges in 2014, landing it the #2 spot on the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for that year. First, a parent in Oregon’s Three Rivers School District demanded the book’s removal from high school libraries because of “coarse language and scenes of torture.” After some contentious school board meetings, the graphic novel was ultimately retained in the school libraries without restriction.” (source)

 

Here’s some interesting articles about this book being banned:

 

Find Persepolis at your local bookstore!

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Pumpkinheads [MINI REVIEW]

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“Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?”

On Sale Date: August 27th, 2019
Publisher: First Second (MacMillan)
ISBNS: 9781626721623, 1626721629
Edition: Paperback & Hardcover
Page Count: 224
Genre: Graphic Novel / Young Adult Contemporary

My Rating:  5 stars ★★★★★out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

 

This review is SPOILER FREE!

I’ve been waiting for this book since I came across a blank page, no cover listing on Goodreads titled “Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell. It was unclear what it was (obviously) and I didn’t find out until MUCH later that it was a graphic novel. To be honest with you, I love all of Rainbow Rowell’s books. She’s never failed me as a reader so I’m not hesitant to pick up a graphic novel written by her. Also, if you’ve ever read any of her books, you’d know her undying love for the Fall season. All of her books tend to take place in the Fall/Winter so it was no surprise she wrote an entire story based on a pumpkin patch.

As someone who also loves Fall more than anything, this graphic novel was a match made in heaven. I’m no stranger to a pumpkin patch and who knew I needed a romance set in one this bad? Rainbow Rowell was able to build the perfect seasonal friendship between Deja and Josiah. Not to mention, Faith Erin Hicks did a wonderful job illustrating them. I was rooting for them from the very beginning. This entire graphic novel is about Deja trying to be Josiah’s wingman because it’s their last shift at the pumpkin patch before college and he really wants to talk to this girl. Deja is the sweetest, most supportive friend in the WORLD so she spends her last day convincing him to talk to her and eventually, they look for her together.

If there’s any word for this graphic novel, it’s wholesome. The entire thing was enjoyable from start the finish. The illustrations make it 10x more captivating as they’re so beautifully done. I already want to re-read this graphic novel because it’s so adorable, witty, and again, wholesome. I also wanted to quickly add that even though this is a cute, light contemporary read, it’s also has so much intellectual depth. There’s a few pages in here where Deja and Josiah are talking about fate and how they both feel entirely different about the subject. Josiah thinks things happen for a reason and it’s just fates fault but Deja thinks otherwise. She talks about how these things happen because you make them happen and I just LOVED that entire conversation. They’re truly perfect for each other.

If you’re in the mood for a quick adorable and seasonal read, definitely pick up Pumpkinheads. I can’t imagine anyone hating this novel!

 

As I’m posting this, Rainbow is still doing personalized copies from Bookworm Omaha! You can check them out here.

Find Pumpkinheads at your local bookstore!

 

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Things to Read After Stranger Things 3

So, you just finished watching Stranger Things 3 after sitting there for nine hours straight. This might even be your second time watching it. What now? Well, I’ve compiled a list of all things Stranger Things to read after watching season three!

I haven’t read any of the Stranger Things books or comics but I plan to pick up the comic!

1. Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

40535559._SY475_“A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.

It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be further from the front lines of Vietnam or the incendiary protests in Washington.

But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch from the sidelines. When word gets around about an important government experiment in the small town of Hawkins, she signs on as a test subject for the project, codenamed MKUltra. Unmarked vans, a remote lab deep in the woods, mind-altering substances administered by tightlipped researchers . . . and a mystery the young and restless Terry is determined to uncover.

But behind the walls of Hawkins National Laboratory—and the piercing gaze of its director, Dr. Martin Brenner—lurks a conspiracy greater than she could have ever imagined. To face it, she’ll need the help of her fellow test subjects, including one so mysterious the world doesn’t know she exists—a young girl with unexplainable, superhuman powers and a number instead of a name: 008.

Amid the rising tensions of the new decade, Terry Ives and Martin Brenner have begun a different kind of war—one where the human mind is the battlefield.”

 

2. Stranger Things: The Other Side 

41392452.jpg “The hit Netflix series from the Duffer Brothers is now a spine-tingling comic that recounts Will Beyers’ harrowing survival in the treacherous Upside Down!

When Will Byers finds himself in the Upside Down, an impossible dark parody of his own world, he’s understandably frightened. But that’s nothing compared with the fear that takes hold when he realizes what’s in that world with him!

Follow Will’s struggle through the season one events of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things! Written by Jody Houser (Mother Panic, Faith) and illustrated by Stefano Martino (Doctor Who, Catwoman)”

 

 

3. Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Companion

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The official behind-the-scenes companion guide to the first two seasons of Stranger Things and beyond, featuring exclusive color photos and stunning concept art.

Note: This book has been designed to mimic a used book. The marks, scuffs, and tears on the cover and pages are an intentional design element.

Stranger things have happened. . . .

When the first season of Stranger Things debuted on Netflix in the summer of 2016, the show struck a nerve with millions of viewers worldwide and received broad critical acclaim. The series has gone on to win six Emmy Awards, but its success was driven more than anything by word of mouth, resonating across generations. Viewers feel personal connections to the characters. Now fans can immerse themselves in the world—or worlds—of Hawkins, Indiana, like never before. Inside you’ll find

• original commentary and a foreword from creators Matt and Ross Duffer
• exclusive interviews with the stars of the show, including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, and David Harbour
• the show’s earliest drafts, pitches to Netflix, and casting calls
• insights into the Duffers’ creative process from the entire crew—from costume and set designers to composers and visual-effects specialists
• deep dives into the cultural artifacts and references that inspired the look and feel of the show
• a map of everyday Hawkins—with clues charting the network of the Upside Down
• the Morse code disk Eleven uses, so you can decipher secret messages embedded throughout the text
• a look into the future of the series—including a sneak preview of season three!

Adding whole new layers to enrich the viewing experience, this keepsake is essential reading for anyone and everyone who loves Stranger Things.”

 

4. Runaway Max by Brenna Yovanoff

 “Don’t miss this gripping, emotional prequel to the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things! The never-before-told backstory of the beloved Dig Dug maven, Max Mayfield, written by New York Times bestselling author Brenna Yovanoff.

This must-read novel, based on the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things, explores Max’s past–the good and the bad–as well as how she came to find her newfound sense of home in Hawkins, Indiana”

 

 

 

 

5. Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher 

 “Chief Jim Hopper reveals long-awaited secrets to Eleven about his old life as a police detective in New York City, confronting his past before the events of the hit show Stranger Things.  

Christmas, Hawkins, 1984. All Chief Jim Hopper wants is to enjoy a quiet first Christmas with Eleven, but his adopted daughter has other plans. Over Hopper’s protests, she pulls a cardboard box marked “New York” out of the basement—and the tough questions begin. Why did Hopper leave Hawkins all those years ago? What does “Vietnam” mean? And why has he never talked about New York?

Although he’d rather face a horde of demogorgons than talk about his own past, Hopper knows that he can’t deny the truth any longer. And so begins the story of the incident in New York—the last big case before everything changed. . . .

Summer, New York City, 1977
. Hopper is starting over after returning home from Vietnam. A young daughter, a caring wife, and a new beat as an NYPD detective make it easy to slip back into life as a civilian. But after shadowy federal agents suddenly show up and seize the files about a series of brutal, unsolved murders, Hopper takes matters into his own hands, risking everything to discover the truth.

Soon Hopper is undercover among New York’s notorious street gangs. But just as he’s about to crack the case, a blackout rolls across the boroughs, plunging Hopper into a darkness deeper than any he’s faced before.”

 

I’ve heard iffy things about some of these so let me know if you have read them or if you’re going to! I’m interested in the comic but that’s about it.

Saga Vol. 9 [MINI REVIEW]

“The multiple Eisner Award-winning series returns with a spacefaring adventure about fake news and genuine terror. Get ready for the most shocking, most impactful SAGA storyline yet.”

Edition: Paperback, #49-54
Page Count: 152 pages
Published: October 2nd 2018
Publisher: Image Comics

NO SPOILERS!

Well, I decided on whim to finally pick up the latest Saga while I was on my lunch break at work. Then, I got embarrassed because there’s definitely nudity within two pages. It feels good to be reading Saga again, but God, why wasn’t I expecting that? I left the Cafe to the back corner of the bookstore to read. I read it all during my lunch break, probably coming back later than I was supposed to.
I love Saga for so many different reasons but one of them is that it never leaves you unsatisfied. There’s always something going on and it’s never boring. It’s far from boring, actually. I usually leave Saga comics feeling kindly overwhelmed and waiting for what’s next.
While I finished this one, it definitely gave me a heavy feeling in my chest. This comic covered layers and layers of emotion and showed character development in the most heartbreaking way. I hate that I have to wait after Brian K. Vaughan’s year long planned hiatus. It sucked having to wait so long for this volume to come out but I don’t know what I’m going to do while I wait an entire year. I guess I’ll just pick up his other comics for now.
As always, the art in Saga is stunning. This one was no let down. The coloring is beautifully done and makes the story feel so much more lively. I loved all the cliff hangers at the end of every chapter but this ending didn’t seem to feel like one in a good way. I can’t wait for whatever’s next but I’m definitely hoping for some serious magic.
If you’ve recently read Saga Vol. 9, PLEASE let me know. I totally need someone to cry to.

Buy this book for yourself at your local bookstore or at Barnes & Noble!

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