Banned Books #23 Drama by Raina Telgemeier

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Welcome to our banned books feature where this month Beth and I have read Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

Drama

Synopsis:

PLACES, EVERYONE!

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

First published: 2012
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)
Reasons: sexually explicit

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: As one of our most recent releases (2012), I don’t believe things have really changed much in the past four years so my answer is the same for both this and the next question, which is of course a resounding NO! I try and approach every banned book we read in the same way – with an open mind and also without reading the reason for banning/challenging this book in the first place (although usually I can kind of guess!) When I first started reading this super-cute graphic novel, I thought I had hit the nail on the head on why it may have posed a problem, namely that there is some homosexuality in the book which I know can be an issue for some people. However, I was supremely surprised when I saw that the actual reason is that it is “sexually explicit.” Well, blow me down with a feather, I am struggling to understand where exactly the explicit parts of the book were! Honestly, in my opinion there were none.

CHRISSI: I have to agree with Beth. I didn’t look up the reason why this book was banned, prior to reading it. To find out that it was because it was sexually explicit…well, I can’t even begin to think about what was supposed to be sexually explicit anywhere in the story. There was homosexuality- which is why I thought it was going to be banned, as I know that’s a ‘problem’ for some readers. I honestly don’t see anything or any reason why this book should be banned. AT ALL.

How about now?

BETH: See previous answer! And if “sexual explicit” was a fancy term for disapproval of the fact that there was teenage homosexuality afoot, then especially not. I like to think that we live in an open, accepting society nowadays but unfortunately there will always be those people that challenge others who are attracted to the same sex and discrimination of any kind really gets my hackles up. I think it’s a fantastic book for demonstrating that people who are gay just happen to be human beings like the rest of the heterosexuals in society and should not be judged as a result.

CHRISSI: It should not be challenged in my opinion. I think it’s important that every individual is respected and represented and I loved to read a story where homosexuality was represented in a book that was aimed at teenage readers who might be going through similar experiences.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: I loved this book so much! I am just dipping my toes into the world of graphic novels and am so glad I have, this is a wonderful example of great graphics, awesome characters and a plot that is off the cuteness chart. I have previously heard of the author, through her other graphic novel “Smile,” which Chrissi and I were tempted to pick up before reading this but now I for one will definitely be picking up for sure!

CHRISSI: It’s adorable. It’s quick and easy to read. The artwork is simple, yet effective. I’d definitely read another book by this author. I hope many people aren’t put off by the fact that this book is banned. It’s so worthwhile.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!
CHRISSI: Of course!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher-A lovely week to finish the half term!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching 6-7 year olds. My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

I had a lovely last week at school this week before our week’s break. The children were just exhausted from the SATS testing last week. As a school we decided to have a week as an outdoor learning week. We were blessed with the weather. The sun was shining beautifully for us each day and the children had an amazing time, even if they were shattered by the end of the week. Outdoor learning is so beneficial!

Now, I’m coming into my last 6 weeks of my first year of teaching. I may be exhausted, I may have been stressed (with some more stress to come) but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year of teaching. I know that it’s been worth it. I’e been blessed with an amazing class and I can’t wait for our last 6 weeks together! It’s gonna be a fun one!

As for the bookish side of me, I’m very excited to have a week off. I can’t wait to rest, read and blog!

Comparing ‘Poppy’s Place’ by Katrina Charman

Poppy's Place

Synopsis:

Isla Palmer is CRAZY about cats — SUPER-IN-LOVE crazy — but her vet-nurse mum has never let her have one. Then Isla meets Poppy, a gorgeous cat in need of a loving home, and comes up with the perfect way to convince Mum.

It’s not long before Poppy has transformed life at the Palmers’ – everyone is happier, especially Gran, and even Isla’s older sister Tilda admits she likes having Poppy around. But Poppy isn’t the only one in need of a home and soon their
house is full of cats. With Mum at her wits’ end, Isla needs to come up with a plan and fast!

Thoughts before you started reading Poppy’s Place?

CHRISSI: It looks so cute and it’s something I could add to my classroom at school too. Ha! Always thinking of the job…
LUNA: It looks adorable.

What did you think of Isla?

CHRISSI: She’s a sweet character. I liked that she was cat mad and determined to get her own way!
LUNA: Isla is likable and kind, plus utterly cat mad. There probably isn’t has much character depth as there could be for Isla (or the rest of her family and friends) but I didn’t mind. In a way it’s quite nice to just have a straightforward character profile and for this story it’s suitable.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: It was just utterly cute. The fact that I enjoyed it so much when I’m NOT a cat person says it all really.
LUNA: That’s kind of difficult to answer since I just enjoyed everything about Poppy’s Place from page one. Probably the sheer cuteness of the whole book – plus all the cat moments?

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I don’t have a worst bit!
LUNA: Nothing, zilch, nadda. I have no complaints. Katrina Charman fulfilled the requirements I was after.

Favourite character/moment?

CHRISSI: Isla’s concern for her Gran. So adorable.
LUNA: Ugh…so many to choose from. I’m going to pick when everyone banded together to convince Isla’s mother to take Poppy home, because that started the whole thing.

Was Poppy’s Place what you expected?

CHRISSI: Yes. I wanted cutesy, I wanted something light to read. This was exactly what I needed.
LUNA: Yes. I was nearing a bit of a reading-slump and wanted something cute, fun and easy to read and Poppy’s Place ticked all these boxes. Plus Lucy Truman illustrations are beautiful so that was an extra bonus.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Of course! I can’t wait to add it to my bookshelves at school.
LUNA: Absolutely, I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Fairy Tale Friday- The Swineherd

This week’s Fairy Tale is was The Swineherd, a tale I hadn’t heard of before. I’m loving this feature for picking out little gems. I enjoyed reading this little tale.

This tale centres around a prince. He’s not very rich but is trying to woo the emperor’s daughter with a rose and a nightingale. The emperor’s daughter rejects him because his gifts are far too humble for her liking. The prince disguises himself as a swineherd and tries to bribe her with some enchanted toys. He bargains to get kisses from her if he gives her the toys. The emperor found them kissing and was enraged with his daughter. He chucked her out. The swineherd let his disguise go and the emperor’s daughter is shocked to see he was the prince she refused. The prince tells the emperor’s daughter that he despised her now as she was happy to kiss a swineherd for toys, but not be with the prince for more humble gifts.

Next Fairy Tale- Holger Danske

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Second Chance Summer
Since You’ve Been Gone

Synopsis:

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

Thoughts:

I think I’m one of those rare bloggers that didn’t really like Morgan Matson’s Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. For me, it was okay, but not the best. However, with Second Chance Summer and Since You’ve Been Gone, I understood what the fuss was about Morgan’s writing. Personally, I didn’t enjoy The Unexpected Everything as much as the previous two books. Don’t get me wrong, it was still enjoyable and I still adore Morgan’s writing. I just feel that this book was too long and could’ve easily been shorter to increase the pace significantly.

At the heart of The Unexpected Everything is a story about famiy life. There’s a bit of romance (of course, it’s contemporary!) and a story about growing up and learning to cope with loss. Our protagonist is Andie who is a congressman’s daughter. Andie is determined and willing to strive for her dreams. She thought she had her summer sorted out, until her father’s political scandal ruins her plans. She’s forced to find another job for the summer and never anticipated that she’d be walking dogs.

There are some fantastic characters around Andie. I found her father to be completely frustrating, but at the same time, I understood that he was going through his own battles. I loved Andie’s group of friends too. The romance is sweet, believable and had me rooting for it!

The only reason I didn’t give this book a higher rating was because of the (in my opinion) totally unnecessary length which certainly dampened my enjoyment.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A cute contemporary about family life!

This Week In Books #35

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads!

You Know Me Well The Unexpected Everything Sophie

You Know Me Well Nina LaCour and David Levithan– I’ve just started this book which seems like it’s going to be my sort of thing all about first love.

The Unexpected Everything Morgan Matson– I enjoyed this cute contemporary read even though I don’t think it’s Morgan’s best!

SophieJennie Sargam– I don’t know a lot about this book, so I’m excited to go into it not having expectations. The plain and simple cover really appealed to me.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by! Happy Reading!

Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are ten books we feel differently about after time has passed. This has been a tricky one, but good to look back and reflect.

(Images go to Goodreads!)

More of Me- Kathryn Evans

More of Me

Initially, I gave this book 3 stars, but looking back on it, it should have been lower. I really didn’t enjoy it. It was such an interesting concept, but

Another Day- David Levithan

Another Day (Every Day, #2)

I don’t think this book added much to the story of Every Day. It would’ve been fine without it!

All The Rage- Courtney Summers

All the Rage

I should have rated this book higher. I absolutely adored it!

Dear Killer- Katherine Ewell

Dear Killer

Here’s another book that I should have rated higher. I was so torn between it, as I absolutely hated the main character. However, this book still makes me think about it months on!

Of Scars and Stardust- Andrea Hannah

Of Scars and Stardust

I really enjoyed Of Scars and Stardust it was unique and an interesting reading experience! I should have rated it higher.

This Girl- Colleen Hoover

This Girl (Slammed, #3)

I initially really liked this book, but mainly because I was attached to the characters. It wasn’t really necessary to the series.

Only Ever Yours- Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours

This book still makes me think and question long after reading. It should have been a 5 star from me!

Cruel Beauty- Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe #1)

I read Cruel Beauty on holiday last year and raced through it. I should have rated it higher!

What We Left Behind- Robin Talley

What We Left Behind

This book just did not sit right with me, which was a shame as I loved the author’s debut.

After You- Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)

I was torn between reading this book or not, because I absolutely adored (and still adore) Me Before You. I wish I hadn’t read it as I don’t really think it was needed. I missed Will way too much!

What have you put on your list this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!