Jump to content

Gay Teen Novel 2nd Most Banned


Recommended Posts

Geography Club, a 2003 gay teen novel by Brent Hartinger, has come in at number two on this year's Banned Books Book Sense Top Ten Picks (http://news.bookweb.org/booksense/4639), an annual list of "favorite" banned books voted on by members of the American Booksellers Association. The release of the list precedes Banned Books Week, starting Sunday, September 24th, a national celebration of "the freedom to read" and an effort to call attention to efforts at censorship and intellectual suppression.

"Geography Club came in just after To Kill a Mockingbird, but above Harry Potter," Hartinger said. "How ridiculous is that?"

"In all seriousness," the author continued, "my book has been challenged frequently all over the country, and is occasionally banned outright. I'm thrilled, honored, and humbled to be named to this list of great books."

Other books on the list include The Giver by Lois Lowry, Forever by Judy Blume, and We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Geography Club is the only gay-themed work.

"People don't like to think that censorship is happening right now in America because the very act of censorship is so un-American," Hartinger said. "But it is happening, and gay books are very frequently the ones being challenged."

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, an advocacy group founded in 1982 by the 1200+ bookstore members of the American Booksellers Assocation.

Hartinger's latest novel is Grand & Humble, a teen thriller. A sequel to Geography Club called The Order of the Poison Oak is now out in paperback.

Link to comment
Geography Club, a 2003 gay teen novel by Brent Hartinger, has come in at number two on this year's Banned Books Book Sense Top Ten Picks...

Hartinger's latest novel is Grand & Humble, a teen thriller. A sequel to Geography Club called The Order of the Poison Oak is now out in paperback.

I checked the Contra Costa County Library on-line catalog and they have both Geography Club and The Order of the Poison Oak. Both are listed as YA (Young Adult). Geography Club is currently checked out, but The Order of the Poison Oak is at the Clayton branch. I'll request both of them the next time I'm at the Walnut Creek library. The page for TOOTPO lists this summary:

"After "coming out" at school, sixteen-year-old Russel decides to take a counselor job at a camp for burn victims to get away from the antagonism of his classmates, but finds ten-year-old boys have just as many problems as he does."

There are links on the page to reviews, character information, excerpts, and annotation, all of which have information (the annotation is the summary I quoted above).

I found "Leave Myself Behind" by Bart Yates at the Walnut Creek library, checked it out, and loved it so much I bought my own copy. The protagonist is a gay high school student. I gave it to my mom to read and she thinks it's a great story too.

Our county library system doesn't ban books. They don't make value judgements about which books should and should not be on the shelves. They don't make decisions about what kinds of books a 16-year-old like me can or can not check out. That's the way all libraries should be run. Just my opinion.


Link to comment

The Fall 2006 Banned Books Book Sense Top Ten Picks

1. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, by Harper Lee (Harper Perennial, $12.95 paper, 0060935464; Deluxe Paperback Classic edition, $15.95, 0061120081) "One of my all-time favorite books is also on the list compiled by the American Library Association of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books. Do yourself a favor and read Lee's novel, which examines prejudice and racial injustice and which reminds us of the difference one person can make." --Patti McCall, Queen Anne Books, Seattle, WA

2. GEOGRAPHY CLUB, by Brent Hartinger (Harper Tempest, $6.99 paper, 0060012234) "Repeatedly challenged by school districts, and in 2005 banned in a Tacoma, Washington school, Geography Club is one of the few young adult novels dealing with gay teens in a straightforward, engaging storyline. An important book for and about a group of young readers who have few other titles that speak to them." --Cheryl McKeon, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

3. THE GIVER, by Lois Lowry (Laurel Leaf, $6.50 paper, 0440237688) "This book about a 12-year-old boy singled out by his community for a special role conveys a powerful message and should be read by all who are concerned about government going too far." --Elizabeth Taylor, Poor Richard's Books, Frankfort, KY

4. THE STORY OF LITTLE BLACK SAMBO, by Helen Bannerman, Christopher H. Bing (Illus.) (Handprint Books, $17.95, 1929766556) "This edition of Bannerman's story features illustrations from Caldecott Honor-winning artist Bing and will be welcomed by all those who read it as a child or had it read to them. It spells out why the book fell into disfavor and how the illustrator viewed the story and how his work reflects it." --Dorothy Dickerson, Books & More, Albion, MI

5. THE BLUEST EYE, by Toni Morrison (Plume, $14 paper, 0452282195) "This novel from the Nobel Laureate is an absolutely brutal depiction of a young black girl's desire to be 'pretty.'" --Donna Hawley, Howard's Bookstore, Bloomington, IN

6. BRAVE NEW WORLD, by Aldous Huxley (Harper Perennial, $13.95 paper, 0060929871; Deluxe Paperback Classic edition, $13.95, 0060850523) "Huxley's novel of a utopian World State explains the world and creates characters with whom you will empathize. Beautiful!" --Katie Redding, Top Shelf Books, Palatine, IL

7. FOREVER, by Judy Blume (Pocket, $6.99 paper, 0671695304; Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $17.95 hardcover, 0689849737) "Blume's brilliance is that she writes frankly about teenage sexuality. But, beyond that, Forever is about teens taking responsibility for their lives and dealing with the consequences of their actions. Still controversial, this novel continues to speak to readers today." --Sweet Pea Flaherty, King's Books, Tacoma, WA

8. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $8.99 paper, 059035342X) "God bless J.K. Rowling, who has brought millions of children and adults around the world to books and reading. Her Harry Potter books have set children's imaginations alight -- and have created an extraordinary new batch of both readers and writers of fantasy fiction." --Elisabeth Grant-Gibson, Windows A Bookshop, Monroe, LA

9. WE, by Yevgeny Zamyatin (Modern Library, $12.95 paper, 081297462X) "One of the very first dystopian novels ever written, and the only full-length novel ever completed by the Russian writer Zamyatin, who was constantly under arrest or exiled for his subversive writing. It's the story of D-503, a mathematician who falls in love and then must decide between his new love and his beloved state." --Michael Karpus, Books & Books at Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, FL

10. WHALE TALK, by Chris Crutcher (Laurel Leaf, $6.50 paper, 0440229383) "In a war between the jocks and the freaks, T.J. Jones gradually becomes a wise and fair 'Everyman,' representing all that is good in our society. This book should be required reading for every freak, geek, and jock living the American dream/ nightmare of high school." --Collette Morgan, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN

Link to book list

Link to comment
Brave New World on the banned list? It was REQUIRED reading when I was in high school. What the heck? :icon6:

Yeah, well it seems like some political leaders studied it at school and thought that Brave New World was a handbook on how to run a society.

I thought we already had become worse than the Brave New World that Huxley depicted.

:blush: The thought police :blush: are everywhere. :icon6:

say nothing :icon13:

Link to comment
Brave New World on the banned list? It was REQUIRED reading when I was in high school. What the heck? :unsure:

Huxley's Brave New World is usually banned because of "drug use". In Huxley's world, citizens use a drug called "soma" to "rightthink". :lipssealed:

I think that it just makes right-wingers nervous.

Wait till they get a load of V for Vendetta. I own a Guy Fawkes mask. :w00t:


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...