Saturday, November 3, 2018

George by Alex Gino

I read George weeks ago, although admittedly not during Banned Books Week like I'd planned, but still forgot to blog about it.  I have to say, though, George was one of the most enjoyable banned or challenged books I've read for Banned Books Week in a long time.

From the point of view of someone who has a couple of transgender friends, I liked the fact that George addressed the gender issues very simply and straightforward: The narration referred to George as "she" throughout.  So there was never any question in the reader's mind about George's gender.  It was in the interactions with other characters where it became obvious that everyone else saw her as a boy.  And honestly, that way of dealing with it is probably what got the book challenged so much.  It probably made a lot of people's brains explode.

But honestly, I think that simple, straightforward way of addressing it is what makes sense for kids.  A few weeks ago, a girl I babysit for who was almost eight at the time told me that one of her friends has a sister and a brother.  Then she said, "She used to have two sisters but her other sister felt like a boy, so now she has a sister and a brother."  Like George, it was simple and straightforward, and she had utterly no confusion about it, despite what trans rights opponents would have you believe.  I think it's adults who muddy the issue, not kids.

In any case, I highly recommend George, for adults and kids alike.  I think it's a difficult book to recommend to kids, because I wouldn't want a kid to think I was saying something about what I thought of them, but maybe having it lying around in a classroom or a library would encourage kids to pick it up and read it without inadvertently seeming like you're implying anything.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Banned Books Week!

Yep, it's that time of year again: Banned Books Week.  Longtime followers of my blog will know that I love Banned Books Week.  I always take advantage of the opportunity to read something that has been so challenged or banned the previous year that it made it onto the top 10 list.

Last year, I read Sex Criminals, Vol. I.  It was a graphic novel, which meant way outside of my comfort zone.  But I actually rather enjoyed it.  I need to finish them, but at the time the second book wasn't available from my library.

This year the list of the top 10 banned books of 2017 is a bunch of old favorites.  There are certain books that crop up fairly regularly, and this year has plenty of them.  Here's the list of the top 10 banned and challenged books of 2017:

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sci-Fi Fantasy reading list for 2018

Looking for something good and geeky to read in 2018?  Barnes & Noble released a list of 25 sci-fi and fantasy debuts in the genre that will be released this year.

Some of these books look really good, although of course it'll be quite a wait for most of them.  I think I'll save this list and check back later in the year!