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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Module 15: Go Ask Alice

Module 15: Censorship Issues

Go Ask Alice
Author: Anonymous

Book Summary:
      Go Ask Alice is based on the actual diary of a fifteen year old girl. It begins with her “normal” teenage problems of moving to a new school and finding new friends. However, when she goes back to her hometown to visit her old friends, she is invited to a party and inadvertently tries LSD. After that incident, drugs become a huge part of her world. The rest of the book follows her through the times she ran away from home, her weeks of being sober and then using again, and her various friendships and sexual conquests.
APA Book Reference:
Anonymous. (1971).Go ask Alice. New York, NY: Simon Pulse.

     I hate the idea of censorship and book challenges. However, while I think teenagers should have the right to read this book, I can see why people would challenge it. It mentions a lot of controversial topics, mostly drugs. The book goes into detail about the girl’s drug use and what happens to her when she’s on the various drugs. She even becomes a dealer at one point and sells to a nine year old boy. Despite the controversial content, I do not think this book should be banned or challenged. This book is marketed as being a real diary and an honest story. If nothing else, it could even be a cautionary tale considering what happens to the girl as a direct result of her drug use. 

Professional Review:
Kirchhoff, H.J. (2006, February 18). Paperbacks. The Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved from: http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2052/hottopics/lnacademic/?verb=sr&csi=303830
“Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous, Simon Pulse, 214 pages, $9.50
This is the 35th-anniversary edition of this young adult classic, in which the anonymous teen diarist tracks her own fall from middle-class comfort to the mean streets that, ultimately, killed her.”

Library Uses:
     Go Ask Alice could be used in a library program about writing. It could be used to encourage people to keep diaries or journals as part of the writing process. The book could also be used to start a discussion about controversial topics; it could be used in a display with other books with the same type of subject matter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Module 14: Exposed

Module 14: Short Stories and Poetry 

Module 14: Exposed
Author: Kimberly Marcus

Book Summary:
Liz Grayson is a high school senior who seems to have it all, a “forever best” friend named Kate, a loving older brother in college, a boyfriend, and enough talent to go to college to be a photographer. However, when a Liz and Kate have a fight at their Saturday night sleepover, something happens that will change Liz’s relationships with everyone. Kate accuses Liz’s brother of rape, and Liz is forced to choose sides. Who does Liz believe- her brother or her “forever best?”
APA Book Reference:
Marcus, K. (2011). Exposed. New York, NY: Random House Children’s Books. 

      I liked that this novel was told in verse. I’ve always been a fan of poetry, so this book caught my attention. The subject matter of the book was best told in verse. There easily could have been more detail in a traditional novel, but since the author seemingly wanted the reader to make their own decision about whether the rape occurred, the verse allowed for those details to be left out. Every poem in the book was relatively short, so while Marcus says a lot in the poems she does not exaggerate details.
     The poetry is not only good at leaving ambivalence; it also shows the emotions that Liz goes through. I think that teens can relate to this book on the emotional level even if they cannot relate to the situation itself. 

Professional Review:

“This provocative first novel, told in free-verse poems, offers a nuanced view of the ramifications of a rape, as seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Liz, an avid photographer. Marcus captures Liz's divided allegiances between the accused-her brother, a college student with whom Liz has an ambivalent but loving relationship--and her best friend, Kate, the victim ("My brother is a track star./My brother is a partier.... My brother/ is not/a rapist"). The stages of grief are well developed, as Liz negotiates the social consequences of the alleged rape, the loss of Kate as a friend, and her guilt for leaving Kate alone after a fight at a sleepover. In one poem, "Distraction," Liz claims to accept the loss, but says, "And except for a few times/every few minutes,/I hardly think about Kate/at all." Liz's relationships with her parents and peers offer poignant moments, such as when she lies to protect her mother from the rumors she hears at school. Marcus presents a thought-provoking portrait of rape and its irreparable impact on victim and community. Ages 14-up.”

Library Uses:
This book could be used in a library program about poetry. It could be used as a tool to show that poetry does not always have to rhyme; even free verse poetry about controversial issues can be beautiful.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Book Talk (Assignment C)

  For SLIS 5420 Assignment C, I chose to conduct a book talk program for high school juniors and seniors. The theme of the book talk was male outcasts.

  The books that I talked about were: 

Anderson, L.H. (2007). Twisted. New York, NY: Viking. 

Crutcher, C. (1993). Staying fat for Sarah Brynes. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.

McNamee, G. (2003). Acceleration. New York, NY: Wendy Lamb Books.

Strasser, T. (2000). Give a boy a gun. New York, NY: Simon Pulse.