Book Scoop September 23- September 30, 2016

September 30, 2016
Book Scoop, InToriLex, Book News, Links to Click
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book 
HAPPY BANNED BOOK WEEK SEPTEMBER 25- OCTOBER 1

HEADLINES



LINKS TO CLICK


BlockBuster Reads to Check Out This Fall
~Amazon~
Charles Wang is mad at America. A brash, lovable immigrant businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, he’s just been ruined by the financial crisis. Now all Charles wants is to get his kids safely stowed away so that he can go to China and attempt to reclaim his family’s ancestral lands—and his pride.
Charles pulls Andrew, his aspiring comedian son, and Grace, his style-obsessed daughter, out of schools he can no longer afford. Together with their stepmother, Barbra, they embark on a cross-country road trip from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the upstate New York hideout of the eldest daughter, disgraced art world it-girl Saina. But with his son waylaid by a temptress in New Orleans, his wife ready to defect for a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets, and an epic smash-up in North Carolina, Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally fulfilling his dream of starting anew in China.
Outrageously funny and full of charm, The Wangs vs. the World is an entirely fresh look at what it means to belong in America—and how going from glorious riches to (still name-brand) rags brings one family together in a way money never could.

Can You Read A Book the Wrong Way?

Did I miss anything in the book world this week?
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Diverse Banned Book Recommendations 2016

September 29, 2016
Banned Books Week, Diversity, Recommendations, InToriLex In Honor of Banned Book Week (September 25- October 1), I wanted to Recommend some awesome titles featuring diversity. The majority of banned books are disproportionately from diverse authors. The challenged books usually feature people and issues which include LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.  It seems as if many people in our society are uncomfortable with acknowledging and appreciating the diversity around them.  Let me know in the comments if you've read or loved any of these titles!

1. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter

Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
~Amazon~  
Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents disappeared.

In despair, her grandmother risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. Will a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the worlds she discovers in books be enough to draw Nasreen out of her shell of sadness?

Based on a true story from Afghanistan, this inspiring book will touch readers deeply as it affirms both the life-changing power of education and the healing power of love.


Reasons Banned: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence. #9 Most Challenged Book of 2015

2. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan  

Two Boys Kissing
~Amazon~ 
 New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

Reasons Banned : Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”). #10 Most Challenged Book of 2015

3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie


~Amazon~

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Reasons Banned: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying” #1 Most Challenged 2014

4. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1)
~Amazon~
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

Reasons Banned: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions” #2 Most Challenged 2014

5. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye
~Amazon~
The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves' garden do not bloom. Pecola's life does change- in painful, devastating ways.
What its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child's yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. The Bluest Eye remains one of Tony Morrisons's most powerful, unforgettable novels- and a significant work of American fiction.

Reasons Banned: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues” #4 Most Challenged 2014

6. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya

Bless Me, Ultima
~Amazon~
Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima enters his life. She is a curandera, one who heals with herbs and magic. 'We cannot let her live her last days in loneliness,' says Antonio's mother. 'It is not the way of our people,' agrees his father. And so Ultima comes to live with Antonio's family in New Mexico. Soon Tony will journey to the threshold of manhood. Always, Ultima watches over him. She graces him with the courage to face childhood bigotry, diabolical possession, the moral collapse of his brother, and too many violent deaths. Under her wise guidance, Tony will probe the family ties that bind him, and he will find in himself the magical secrets of the pagan past—a mythic legacy equally as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America in which he has been schooled. At each turn in his life there is Ultima who will nurture the birth of his soul.

Reasons Banned: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit. #9 Most Challenged 2013

7. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini 

The Kite Runner
~Amazon~
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime."

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

Reasons Banned: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence #7 Most Challenged 2014

8. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa

The Color of Earth (Color Trilogy, #1)
~Amazon~
First love is never easy.

Ehwa grows up helping her widowed mother run the local tavern, watching as their customers - both neighbors and strangers - look down on her mother for her single lifestyle. Their social status isolates Ehwa and her mother from the rest of the people in their quiet country village. But as she gets older and sees her mother fall in love again, Ehwa slowly begins to open up to the possibility of love in her life.

In the tradition of My Antonia and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, from the pen of the renowned Korean manwha creator Kim Dong Hwa, comes a trilogy about a girl coming of age, set in the vibrant, beautiful landscape of pastoral Korea.

Reasons Banned: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group #2 Most Challenged 2011

9. Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie

Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology
~Amazon~ 
Invisible. Unheard. Alone. Chilling words, but apt to describe the isolation and alienation of queer youth. In silence and fear they move from childhood memories of intolerance or violence to the unknown, unmentored landscape of queer adulthood, their voices stilled or ignored. No longer. Revolutionary Voices celebrates the hues and harmonies of the future of queer society, offering a collection of experiences, ideas, dreams, manifestos, and fantasies expressed through prose, poetry, artwork, and performance pieces. This one-of-a-kind collection is an all-encompassing, far-reaching call to action that provides the groundwork for a new community where all members are recognized as critical components to our future society.

Reasons Banned: homosexuality and sexually explicit #9 Most Challenged 2010

10. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple
~Amazon~ 
The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.

Reasons Banned: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group #9 Most Challenged 2009
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Waiting on Wednesday Issue #2

September 28, 2016
Waiting on Wednesday, Weekly Feature, InToriLex
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Scythe, Neal Shusterman, Waiting on Wednesday, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

~Amazon~

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

OUT NOVEMBER 22, 2016

I'm so excited for this new Dystopian series from Neal  Shusterman. I have read and loved his entire Unwind Dystology. He is an author on my must buy list. Professional Killing carried out by teenagers, who are turned against each other, sign me up.
 
What are you anxiously waiting to be released?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.

In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. His books have received many awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Neal's talents range from film directing (two short films he directed won him the coveted CINE Golden Eagle Awards) to writing music and stage plays – including book and lyrical contributions to “American Twistory,” which is currently playing in Boston. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful "How to Host a Mystery" game for teens, as well as seven "How to Host a Murder" games.

As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the "Goosebumps" and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect”. Currently Neal is adapting his novel Everlost as a feature film for Universal Studios.
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A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

September 27, 2016
A Torch Against the Night, Sabaa Tahir, Book Review, InToriLexPublished By: Razorbill on August 30, 2016
Format Read: Hardback Edition (452 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy/ Romance
Series: Book Two of An Ember in the Ashes Series
Source: Purchased
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)
~Amazon~
Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

REVIEW:

I took a while to write this, because I have many mixed emotions about this book. I tampered down my expectations before reading, once I found out the first book was intended as a stand alone. The intrigue, villain and twisting plot line that I loved in An Ember in the Ashes was watered down here. Laia and Elias are on the run for most of the book, they learn more about their abilities and we learn more about Elias's past. The first third of this book reads like filler but did do a good job of reminding the reader of events from book two. Helene is forced to go after Elias while she struggles to do what's right for the Empire. Her tragedy seems like its too much to bear at times, while the all knowing Augur's are little help. 
"You are a torch against the night --if you dare to let yourself burn."
There is a brutal portrayal of genocide being carried out against the Scholars with no mercy, throughout the book. Under the leadership of  Marcus and the Commandment, the empire is imploding because of everyone's lust for power. The violence and gore described was unflinching but realistic, and highlighted Laia and Elias's desperation. the supernatural elements described in this book were confusing to keep track of because they still remain shrouded in mystery. I thought we would learn more about how magic, and jinn's work in this world, but I still have a lot of questions. I was engaged and invested in these characters lives, but felt that the way the plot progressed was not well thought out. Twists at times seemed like a cheap trick instead of a surprising turn of events.
"What point is there in being human if you don't let yourself feel anything?"
I enjoyed the progression of the story, but too little happens and the things I liked most about this world were never explained. The romance at times was a bit cheesy, but believable because the characters were all half starved and exhausted. If you loved the first book, you should continue on with the series. I will continue the series despite not loving everything about this book. The ending left so much more to be explored in book three, and I look forward to what's ahead for Laia and Elias.

Reviews in Series
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.


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Book Scoop September 16- September 23, 2016

September 23, 2016
Book Scoop, Weekly Feature, InToriLex, Book News, Links to Click
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book 
Happy Fall

HEADLINES

One of the Most challenged/Banned books of 2015 
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
 A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens.

Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.



LINKS TO CLICK


Giovanni's Room
~Amazon~
 Baldwin's haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature. In a 1950s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to live the conventional life he envisions for himself. After meeting and proposing to a young woman, he falls into a lengthy affair with an Italian bartender and is confounded and tortured by his sexual identity as he oscillates between the two.

Examining the mystery of love and passion in an intensely imagined narrative, Baldwin creates a moving and complex story of death and desire that is revelatory in its insight.



Did I miss Anything in The Book World This Week?

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