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Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week

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

Reasons for Challenge: Offensive content, including references to masturbation

Born with water on the brain into a poor reservation with an equally lousy school, Arnold Spirit a.k.a. Junior is a bright and talented cartoonist. In fact, it’s his cartoons and his friend Rowdy that keep him going. That is until a teacher impels him to seek out a better education in a white school 22 miles away where the only other Indian is the team mascot. Ironically, he’s accepted by the students there and starts for the school’s basketball team but becomes a pariah to everyone at the rez but his family.

Its protagonists’ clever cartoons make this book a quick, emotional experience. You’ll be drawn  into  its heart-wrenching sorrow and laugh-out-loud comedy. It  pulls no punches in addressing alcoholism and  the life of the poor and deprived, even while its story offers resistance, humor and hope.

Tina Zubak, CLP – Beechview

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The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Reasons for Challenge: Sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, unsuited to age group

Virginia is the oddball in her chic and accomplished  family: she’s overweight, unambitious and gawky. Her mother, an adolescent psychologist, drops what she considers helpful suggestions and schedules appointments with nutritionists  but  only makes Virginia feel more out of place. Her father comments on thinner women while  sabotaging her diet.  Her brother, Byron, earns accolades for  attending the suitably prestigious Columbus  University and her sister Anais measures up in every way but is rebellious enough to join the Peace Corps. To top everything off, Virginia’s best friend has moved to California. Then, one day, Virginia’s  parents get a call from Columbia. Byron, accused of date rape, is suspended from Columbia. Why is Virginia the only one who  thinks about the girl involved?

Challenged for its sexual content, being anti-family, offensive language and  unsuited for age-group, this book has also garnered a Printz  honor, one of the most prestigious awards for a teen book. Virginia’s pain feels real as does her growing self-confidence as she comes to realize there’s more to her than her body size and her families’ expectations.

Tina Zubak, CLP – Beechview

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These books — all on lists of frequently challenged and banned books — have been reviewed by teens right here in Pittsburgh.

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round, Things by Carolyn Mackler

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Teen Review

Looking for a great book to read? Want one that somebody thinks you shouldn’t be reading? Try one of these, reviewed by CLP Staff.

ttyl by Lauren Myracle

Whispers From the Dead by Joan Lowery Nixon

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

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

Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Staff Review

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Reasons for Challenges: Sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, unsuited to age group


This book was about a girl who was slightly over weight. She struggles with that through the entire book. Her family is perfect until they get a phone call saying that her brother was being suspended for date rape. Virginia is on bad terms with her mom and runs away to Seattle for Thanksgiving. When she gets back, she stands up to her mom and starts losing weight. Her mom is then happy.

Review by Hannah

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Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Reason for Challenge: “Pornographic”

Prep is an extremly long novel, so if your going to read it, be prepaired to be in it for the long run. It’s pretty much the entire high-school career of Lee Fiora. It stats in her freshman year, and goes a bit past her senior year. Mostly a narrative, it’s all from Lee’s point of view, and a lot of it is just her opinion on random, daily life. A long, easy read, great for those long summer days of doing nothing.

Review by Sophia

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Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Teen Review

Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Reasons for Challenge: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

This book got me into reading the whole series. I never really watched the show and I am sorry I didn’t because this book was great. The only thing I didn’t like was the cliffhanger at the end.

Review by Megan

This book is very detailed and is very specific. Though it was a good book overall, it contained too much inappropriate language and more. I think that kids under 13 or 14 should not read it due to the content it beholds.

Review by Kelly and Alaina

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Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Teen Review

ttyl by Lauren Myracle

Reasons for Challenge: Descriptions of sex and drug use.

ttyl

18r

omg

g2g

If you spend a lot of time online you probably know, or can guess, what these shorthands mean.  If you don’t ask a teenager.  Teens these days spend a lot of time IM-ing and texting.  They use these short hands even in day to day conversation.  One of my favorite commercials recently is the Cingular commercials where the daughter talks to her mother in these shorthands (idk, my bff jill!).  It’s a hilarious commercial and speaks to how obsessed we have become with IM-ing and texting.

Lauren Myracle’s novel ttyl is as series of online conversations between three teenagers girls.  The girls talk about everything from boys to classes to female ejaculation. Nothing is sacred while IM-ing.  Angela, Zoe and Maddie have promised to stay friends no matter what drama they encounter in high school.  As they begin to find their own identities away from each other they begin to struggle with keeping this promise.

A breakthrough novel that is perfect for teen readers who can relate not only to the format of the book, but also the struggles to maintain friendships while navigating the perils of high school.  The author manages to define each character, each in her own font and screen name, and also with her own voice.

Review by Julie Helt, CLP – Carrick

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Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Staff Review