Archive for September, 2014

Neil Gaiman’s novels are getting the audio book treatment faster than most! Next week Tuesday The Graveyard Book will be available for all to listen to! Audible has it available for pre-order, and Harper Audio is ready to take those pre-orders as well. If you thought hearing Neil Gaiman read his book himself was fun, take a listen to the talent flooding this NEW fully casted audio book!

I remember starting this book with my 4th graders in our morning reading groups last year. The kids loved it. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s about a boy who wanders into a graveyard and is raised by ghosts! About a week into the book, however, we had reached Chapter three and I began receiving some angry and concerned emails from parents that this book was too scary for their child, or was too inappropriate for 4th graders to hear. So, at some point in week two I decided to call it quits on The Graveyard Book. My class was upset by this, but they understood.

It’s hard for me to comply with parents who judge stories, not on their content, but on the little snippets of things that, ultimately, aren’t that important in the grand scheme of the lesson’s that the main characters learn before the story’s end. I understand that there ARE kids who do get scared very easily, and books like That Graveyard Book might be too much for them as a 9 or 10 year old. But it’s evidence that I grew up much more differently than the majority of students that attend the school I’m no longer employed at.

What I loved about this book was, amongst all of the hocus pocus, ghosty whosting, and demonic praising, the book is about kids growing up and how difficult it can be. I saw this in my 4th graders early on and decided they needed to hear a story they can relate too – about how tough growing up is. A story that doesn’t present the struggles of life in a simple way, but portrays it as honestly and horrifically as it should be. The Graveyard Book is about a boy who deals with his terrifying struggles on his own and triumphs. It doesn’t matter though, unfortunately. Parents only look for the bad and none of the good. All they could see was, at the book’s beginning, a man, with a knife, who came into a house at night and murdered a boy’s parents. And the little boy would have been a victim too had he not gotten away.

Wait, isn’t there a multi-million dollar selling children’s book that starts out just like this? About a boy who becomes a wizard?

Neil Gaiman-Weird Al-George RR Martin

Next week, on Sunday the 21st, is Banned Books Week! This is a week to celebrate the freedom to read whatever the heck we want and not worry about what the censors say or what schools say is “good” or “bad” literature. Below is an excerpt from the Banned Books Week website explaining how it started and why…

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2013 were:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey. Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence

  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James. Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya. Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith. Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

So what about you? Will you pick up a banned book and read it? It’s a full week! If you have a chance to, you should! I’m happy Neil Gaiman, Weird Al Yankovic, and George R.R. Martin support the movement. I might give Bone a shot.

Hey folks! Sorry for the lac of posts! Something happened that didn’t allow me access to my WordPress account, but it’s all been figured out, at long last! And just in time to post some hilarious stuff! I do love IKEA, but I do wonder if some of their names for things are from a mythological realm. Enjoy!

Ikea joke comics