Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Read Banned Books: Twenty Boy Summer

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

The week of September 27 through October 3, 2015 is Banned Books Week. During this week, teachers, librarians, and book advocates from around the country and world are teaching people about banned books and the reasons as to why they were banned. They are also celebrating these great books and encouraging readers to read them.
I've always loved Banned Books Week because it's interesting to see what new books were banned or what older ones are causing waves again. The week is also one of my favorite events of the year because I just love reading and learning about everyone's experiences with banned and challenged books. I love catching up on the news on banned books,  but mostly, I love celebrating the fact that I read banned books.
This week, I've been sharing a few of my favorite banned and challenged books with my readers. I hope you're enjoying these posts and getting to learn about some of my favorite banned books.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

5231173Many, many years ago, I read a wonderful little book entitled Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. This novel is one of the first YA books that I had ever read, and I immediately loved it. I loved Ockler's very emotional writing style. I loved how Frankie was carefree and ready for a summer full of boys for her best friend, Anna. I really enjoyed Anna because she was hiding a huge secret from her best friend, and didn't know how to tell her. It was just the perfect mashup of characters, setting, and plot to create a book that's stuck with me through the years.

Soon after reading it, I found out that it, along with a few other popular YA books, was banned from a school district in Missouri. and I thought it was insane! I wondered why somebody would work so hard to remove such a touching story from the eyes of teenagers. Then I found out that the parent, Wesley Scroggins, who was fighting to have the book removed didn't even send his children to that school. It was definitely one of the more unfair bans that I've come across since I've been researching banned books.

Why the Ban?

Favorite Banned Books, a blog that focuses on banned books has a ton of information on Ockler's banned book. According to the website, Wesley Scroggins, a parent and college professor, fought hard to have Twenty Boy Summer and other books removed from the Republic Missouri School District. After a year-long battle with the district, Twenty Boy Summer and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut were removed. According to the district's superintendent, Ockler's book was removed because it focuses on "sensationalizing sexual promiscuity". The book was also removed for underage drinking and drunkenness, teenagers lying to their parents, and questionable language.  

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