John Green's Looking For Alaska BANNED in Failessee
Tennessee county bans YA novel "Looking for Alaska" because of oral sex scene: This is not Steinbeck, school officials say.
BY Alexander Nazaryan
As readers of Page Views will have noticed, I often return to the subject of books being banned in modern day America. Perhaps it is my own upbringing in the Soviet Union that has me suspicious of anyone who would trade freedom for decency. At the expense of sounding apocalyptic, I will suggest that moral codes are inimical to democracy.
On a more practical level, I simply find banning books in the 21st century silly. Yes, there are prurient books, but 10 minutes on the Internet or surfing cable will make "Lady Chatterley's Lover" look about as anodyne as Dr. Seuss. In a sense, the rush to ban certain books grants that the printed word is enduring in its power while robbing people of the experience of thinking through difficult themes and ideas, which is precisely where that power ultimately resides.
I, for one, would rather have our children learn about sex from Henry Miller than Kim Kardashian.
Thus we arrive in Tennessee, whose legislature recently passed a bill that says teachers cannot encourage “gateway sexual activity,” thus cementing the state's abstinence-based sexual education curriculum.
Seemingly empowered by the implications of that law, officials in Sumner County last week banned John Green's young adult novel "Looking for Alaska" from the school curriculum because it contains a two-page oral sex scene.
The book, which is about a romance between students at a boarding school in Alabama, is already banned in Knox County, according to The Tennessean. The paper quotes one Sumner parent as saying: "Kids at this age are impressionable. Sometimes it’s a monkey see, monkey do...I’m going to trust that my school board made the right choice. … If they feel like this book is a little too graphic, I’m all for it.”
The reference to monkeys is more than a little ironic, since Tennessee was the site of the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial over whether evolution should be taught in the classroom.
The Tennessean says the book will remain in libraries. But an editorial in the paper criticized the decision to remove it from the classroom, saying, "there are better, more responsible ways to respond to parental concerns than removing the assigned book. Offer that child an alternative title, for example, that fits his or her parents’ sense of appropriateness."
Indeed,"Looking for Alaska," which won the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award in 2006, does not appear to be pornographic in even in the mildest sense.
The most objectionable word in the realistically-rendered oral sex passage is "penis," and this is how the steamy scene concludes:
We didn’t have sex. We never got naked. I never touched her bare breast, and her hands never got lower than my hips. It didn’t matter. As she slept, I whispered, “I love you, Alaska Young.
It is hard to believe that anyone weaned on the "careers" of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber will be shocked by this.
Sumner County school spokesman Jeremy Johnson rolled out an old canard when justifying the ban, explaining that because the book is not a classic, the bar for banning it is lower: "You take somebody like Hemingway or a John Steinbeck and there can be some language or description that may make parents uncomfortable, but the value of a writer like that outweighs what controversy may be in the individual book.” He appears to have forgotten that, for example, John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" was sometimes banned for its apparently leftist sensibilities.
Moreover, Green is a respected young adult novelist whose most recent book, "The Fault In Our Stars," has received national acclaim. From what I can tell, he is interested in depicting the real lives of teenagers, not just pushing books on them.
Regardless, this is not the first time Green's books have come under fire. The Buffalo-area town of Depew, N.Y., found itself in the middle of a similar controversy in 2008, when two 11th-grade teachers decided to teach "Looking for Alaska." The ensuing row caused Green to make a video in which he says, "I am not a pornographer," at which point opponents relented.
Indeed, considering recent reports that children in their early teens are using smartphones and tablets to freely and widely access pornography, it would make far more sense for Tennessee to simply ban the use of technology by the underaged. It does not appear, however, that such a move is being considered.
don't curr abt this tryhard hipster or his self-righteous twitter propagandist wife but his books are well written, I hear~~ :)
Beautiful Creatures Set Video Shows A Memorable Classroom Moment
Last week, we got our first look at Beautiful Creatures' lead actors Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert in character as Ethan and Lena respectively. Today, another look at the film adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's novel has made it way online and this one is a bit more exciting.
Beautiful Creatures is a supernatural-themed young adult novel about two teens living in the south, who soon learn of a strong connection with one another, which is tied to their family histories and the town in which they live. The recently released photo of Ethan and Lena shows a romantic moment between the two teens. But this video ventures into more dramatic territory.
MTV paid a visit to the set of the film, which is currently in production in New Orleans. The video below features some of the cast, including Ehrenreich and Englert talking about their characters and the story. It also gives us a look at the shooting of a scene from early on in the story, when Lena is the new-girl at school and dealing with some less than friendly girls in her class. (Moderate spoiler warning if you haven't read the book!)
The classroom windows shattering is a moment that takes place near the beginning of the book and gives us some indication that there's more to Lena than meets the eye, and that it's probably not a good idea to give her a hard time. From what we can see, it looks like they're making the most of that moment, with all of those windows shattering in a sort of domino-effect. Though, watching it has me curious to see if and how they'll show Lena and Ethan communicating telepathically with one another.
In addition to Ehrenreich and Englert, Beautiful Creatures stars Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rossum, and Emma Thompson. The film releases into theaters February 15, 2013.
wtf at this A++++ cast for such a shitty novel
‘City of Lost Souls’ launch party coverage
The launch party for Cassandra Clare’s ‘City of Lost Souls’ was held tonight (May 8, 2012) at the Pfeiffer Hall at North Central College in Naperville just west of Chicago. 'City of Lost Souls' is the fifth book in the Internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series. About 400 fans attended to hear Clare speak and hope to win giveaways.
Here are some of the highlights:
A major character will die in the series. Before you start throwing things, let me first point out a previous QA with Clare. When she was asked if she would be afraid to kill off a main character she answered, “I would not be afraid, I would be sad but sometimes it would be necessary for the story to move on.” So this pending death should not be a surprise to Mortal Instruments fans. Clare is going to do what’s best for the series and all of her fans should be happy with this.
As for what’s going to happen in ‘City of Heavenly Fire?’ Clare states, “what the end of ‘City of Lost Souls’ promises.”
Someone inquired about any romance between Simon and Jace but Clare explained that Jace was busy having another bromance.
Currently Clare’s favorite book is ‘Clockwork Prince’ since it recently one the Children’s Choice Book Award for Teen Book of the Year. If Clare hadn’t become the amazing author fans adore, she probably would have been a vet or cat lady. Hmmm, this explains the appearances of Church and Chairman Meow in her books!
On writing advice she stresses that it is important to “write everyday. Anything. Just write.”
And to the topic that most fans are most interest in….movie news. Clare says that there is lots of casting for ‘City of Bones’ going on behind the scenes. With filming beginning this August movie news should really start to pick up.
Thank you Vania Stoyanova for being my eyes and ears since I could not attend. Clare spent the rest of the event signing and greeting fans.
Send me your NON-SPOILERY reactions to ‘City of Lost Souls.’ I will not be posting any spoilers until after the book has been out for a week. If you want to know how to avoid or discuss spoilers from ‘City of Lost Souls,’ click here for some resources.
go here for an onslaught of self-indulgence ---> http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/
Harper Can't Admit that this Book Flopped
Josephine Angelini's International Bestseller And Crossover Sensation Starcrossed Lures Readers To Sequel
By Josephine Angelini (OP: huh?)
Published: Wednesday, May. 9, 2012 - 2:41 am
CHAPPAQUA, N.Y., May 9, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Starcrossed, the international-bestselling young adult novel by Josephine Angelini, has captured the imagination of teens and adults worldwide. Her debut novel, featuring teen lovers descended from the Greek gods, has attracted an intensely loyal audience, and her planned trilogy has sold into twenty-five countries. A bestseller in the UK, Germany and Italy, Starcrossed was one of Newsday's Best Books of 2011. Fans across the globe have been clamoring for Book 2. This month, Angelini will deliver Dreamless, the suspense-filled sequel to Starcrossed, and Starcrossed itself is newly released in paperback.
Angelini's devoted fans, who call themselves "StarHearts," are teens and women in their 20's and 30's who've been captivated by the strong romantic storyline of her novel. The author routinely receives floods of spontaneous fan art–homemade book trailers, handmade jewelry, drawings, poetry–inspired by the book. The Starcrossed-inspired music video "Where do I belong?" by German rock band The Demigoddesses has over 100,000 YouTube hits.
The worldwide appeal of Starcrossed is rooted in Angelini's use of mythology and in readers' resurging interest in that genre. Angelini has imagined what might happen if descendants of the Greek gods, whom she calls Scions, were pitted against one another in order to settle an ancient blood feud that reaches back to the Trojan War.
In Starcrossed, seventeen-year-old Helen, a tall, blond, gifted athlete, has always tried not to be noticed, because she knows there's something different about her. When the breathtakingly-handsome Lucas shows up at school, Helen can't resist trying to kill him. As Helen learns who and what she really is–a Scion–she and Lucas struggle to overcome what the Fates have in store.
In Dreamless, Helen risks her life in Hades' underworld, where she meets Orion, another teenaged demigod. Together they attempt to stop the cycle of revenge that has gripped the Scions for millennia, while back on Nantucket Island, she and Lucas struggle to stay apart in order to avoid triggering a catastrophic war. A pulse-pounding love triangle emerges, delivering a gritty, action-packed, empowering drama.
Josephine Angelini, www.josephineangelini.com, graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. A Massachusetts native, she lives in Los Angeles.
SOURCE Josephine Angelini
ONTD WRITERS, THIS ONE IS FOR YOU
Deals: Week of May 7, 2012
By Rachel Deahl
Tarttelin Goes ‘Golden’ for Atria
The buzzed-about London Book Fair novel Golden Boy, by 24-year-old Abigail Tarttelin, has found a home in the States. Sarah Branham at Atria acquired the novel last week, for six figures at auction, after a two-day bidding war orchestrated by British agent Jo Unwin of Conville & Walsh. The novel follows a seemingly perfect 16-year-old named Max Walker whose life is sent into a tailspin by a traumatic event that threatens to reveal secrets about his wealthy family. The S&S imprint said the book, which is set for a spring 2013 release, is “as sensitively written” as Emma Donoghue’s Room, yet “as brutally honest” as Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. Weidenfeld & Nicolson acquired U.K./Commonwealth rights to the novel right after the fair, and the book has also sold to Mondadori in Italy.
Bloomsbury Throws Down for 20-Year-Old’s Debut
Another book that got people talking at the London Book Fair, and which we covered in our dispatches from the event, The Bone Season, has been bought. In a three-book deal, Bloomsbury pre-empted world English rights to 20-year-old Samantha Shannon’s debut for six-figures from British agent David Godwin. Nancy Miller is the acquiring editor for Bloomsbury USA and Alexandra Pringle is handling for Bloomsbury U.K. The novel, which is the first in a planned seven-book series, opens in 2059 with the 19-year-old Paige Mahoney working in London’s seedy underbelly as someone who, as the publisher put it, “drops in and out of people’s minds.” The book follows Paige to Oxford, a city maintained in secret from the general population for two centuries, where she meets a strange and “beautiful” man who will “become her keeper.” Shannon grew up in West London and is currently a student at St. Anne’s College in Oxford, where she started the novel as a first-year student. Bone Season is set for a global publication in fall 2013.
Hoffmann Closes on Pulitzer Poet and Series for Tweens
In the first of two deals he closed last week, agent Markus Hoffmann of Regal Literary sold a memoir by Tracy K. Smith—who last month won the Pulitzer for her poetry collection Life on Mars (Graywolf Press)—to Robin Desser at Knopf. Desser took North American rights in the deal and the book, which is currently untitled, explores the relationship between Smith’s parents, who, as Hoffmann explained, "met in Alabama in the 1940s and later left the Civil Rights-era South for a new home in California." He said the book also follows "Smith’s personal journey (both intellectual and spiritual) out of the old certainties of home and faith into a more expansive kind of belonging and belief." The book is slated for a spring 2014 publication.
In the second deal, which was for two books, Hoffmann sold North American rights to a tween sci-fi series called Starbounders by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. Barbara Lalicki at HarperCollins Children’s Books is the acquiring editor. Epstein and Jacobson are the authors of the successful middle-grade fantasy series The Familiars (which is also published by Harper and is currently in development at Sony Animation); Starbounders is about a boy who leaves his quiet suburban home to train at a secret academy called Indigo 8, which produces "starfighters." The first book in the series is scheduled for March 2013.
Root Doubles Down for Schwab
Agent Holly Root, of the Waxman Agency, sold, nearly simultaneously, an adult novel as well as a YA one for her client Victoria Schwab. In the YA sale, Abby Ranger at Disney-Hyperion took world English rights to the currently untitled sequel to Schwab’s forthcoming The Archived (which Ranger also acquired); in The Archived a teenage girl tries to uncover the secrets behind a supernatural library. In the second deal, Root sold world English rights to Schwab’s adult debut, Vicious, to Miriam Weinberg at Tor. Vicious, about two best friends whose college experiments to create supernatural abilities wind up turning them against each other, is planned for fall 2013.
SMP Delves into Breastfeeding Debate
Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich sold breastfeeding advocate Kimberly Seals Allers's The Big Letdown, a book she thinks will be "a game-changer in the market," at auction, for six figures, to Nichole Argyres at St. Martin’s Press. Argyres took world rights in the deal, and SMP has the title scheduled for winter 2014. Allers is a journalist and founder of the online magazine MochaManual.com, and in the book she examines breastfeeding culture at large; the subtitle is The True Story of How Politics, Feminism and Big Business Changed Breastfeeding. Glick said the book will be the first "narrative account" of the breat feedingin "big picture" and that it will "rival The Feminine Mystique in its reach to women, and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom in the controversial response it will elicit."
Samantha Shannon's being called The Next JK Rowling....I wouldn't wish that kind of pressure on anyone tbh
Let's Make it a Party Post?? Y/N???