Category Archives: Censorship

Will Grayson, Will Grayson: John Green can do no wrong.

WillGraysonTitle: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Author: John Green and David Levithan

Summary: As the title suggests, this story contains two characters that are both named Will Grayson. One Will Grayson, distinguished by always having his name capitalized, is friends with Tiny Cooper, a very gay and very large football player who lives his life in the spotlight.  Just as every action has an equal and opposite reaction, Tiny’s noticeability is equally as strong as Will’s opposite desire to go unnoticed.  The other will grayson, distinguished by always having his name in lowercase, is gay and disappointed when he discovers that the guy he met online has a crush on his friend Maura, who’s a girl and obviously not his type.  The two Wills meet through an interesting series of events and an equally interesting string of events happens afterwards.

Six Word Review: John Green can do no wrong.

I started reading because: I like all of John Green’s other books so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed by this one.

I would give this book 10/10 stars because it normalizes gay romantic relationships.  There’s still a tangible prejudice against gay people so I think this book contains a great message for people of all ages.  Plus this book is hilarious as per usual when it comes to John Green.

I loved the character Tiny Cooper.  He’s so unapologetically himself you can’t help but love him.  I hated will’s negative attitude.

If Tiny Cooper was in a high school yearbook, he would be voted Most Likely To: Change The World.

Anything else we should know?  Neutral Milk Hotel, a band mentioned in the book, is a real band and their music is good, I recommend listening to them.

— Regina, 17, West Seattle


Banned Books: Licton Springs K-8 at Lake City

Celebrate our freedom to read!

7th and 8th grade students from Licton Springs K-8 School will be reading aloud selections from banned and challenged books at the Lake City Branch on Monday, October 6th at 6 pm.

Book selections include excerpts from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Geography Club by Brent Hartinger, Bone by Jeff Smith, Wild Swans by Jung Chang, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, and It Gets Better by Dan Savage.

Please join us!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Starts heavy but ends with hope.

perks of being a wallflowerTitle: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Summary: You’ve probably seen the movie, so you maybe already know the plot. But, if you haven’t, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a story about high schooler and wallflower Charlie. He’s shy, he loves English, and he is still grieving the loss of his friend from grade school who committed suicide. As he navigates high school, he is introduced to Patrick, a slacker senior who’s gay, and Patrick’s step-sister Sam, also a senior, who is gorgeous and happens to become Charlie’s crush. Meeting these two is just one of the many turning points for Charlie.

Six Word Review: Starts heavy but ends with hope.

I started reading because: After reading the first page I was hooked. Charlie has such a genuine voice. It’s compelling.

I would give this book 9/10 stars because it’s very relatable.

I loved that the novel was told in the format of letters written by Charlie. It gave it a pure and honest feel and it made Charlie seem more real because you could imagine him writing the words as you read his letters. I hated how emotional the novel was at times. It’s a pretty heavy read so it can make you pretty blue. That’s the point of books, but it doesn’t make the occasional feeling of sadness any less gross-feeling.

If the lead character Charlie was in a high school yearbook, he would be voted Most Likely To: Write A Novel.

Anything else we should know? I know most people have only seen the movie, but I would really like to encourage you to read the book even if you don’t feel like it’s your thing. The novel has a lot more to offer than the movie. There are extra parts and new insights to be gained from reading it.

–Regina, 18, West Seattle


Teen Review: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451

Author:  Ray Bradbury

Summary: In this futuristic novel, Guy Montag is a fireman, but his job is to start fires instead of putting them out. Guy lives in a world where driving slow,  reading books, casual convesations, and even walking is illegal. Guy’s wife Mildred tries to commit suicide and Guy is left no choice but to burn a house down with a woman inside. As his life spins out of control, Guy turns to books for guidance, risking his life and his friends.

I started reading it because…  it was a recommended book.

I kept reading because…  I wanted to know if Guy was going to pursue his goal of overthrowing the status quo.

If the main character(s) were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To: Change the World!

Six Word Review: Guy and Fabel versus the world.

This book reminded me of The Hunger Games because both novels were based in a futuristic world where they didn’t have the luxuries they have today.

–Salome, Lake City Teen Blogger

One last Banned Books mention…

bannedbooksweklogo1Banned Books Week just ended, here’s my review of one of the challenged books.
Looking for Alaska by John Green is the story of Myles Halter, a quirky, friendless guy, who would rather be sitting reading about people’s last words than going to social gatherings.  When Myles wants to go to Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama, his hopes are to go and find his “great perhaps,” a great adventure that will make his life more interesting and fun.  When he arrives, he meets the confident, moody, and very attractive Alaska Young and her group of prank-playing friends.  Through harsh life experiences, and adventures like no other, Myles’ life may never be the same again.
looking for alaskaThis book was an amazing novel.  Myles is such a relatable character.  He is the exact definition of a teenager: awkward, shy, and self-conscious.  His experiences help him grow and change from the friendless and shy student to the confident, rule breaker who learns to “let loose”. From study of religion to the meaning of death, Myles experiences what all teenagers wonder about.  It’s this inner dialogue that separates this book from many other realistic novels.  Many aren’t able to capture what it means to be a REAL teenager.  And not just the carefree, non-stressed kid whose worries doesn’t extend past homework.  But the teenagers that also have to deal with the meaning of mortality, and mistakes, and learning to forgive.
It’s these things that John Green was able to capture brilliantly over the course of the book.Worth the read if you’re looking for a pretty heavy realistic fiction novel.  I recommend this book for ages 14+.
Happy Reading! 🙂
Ailsa H, Ballard Teen Blogger

Banned Books Week 2013: One Librarian's View

bannedbooksweklogo1 Janet Lee Carey has been writing fantasy fiction for children and teens for quite a while, but she is also a big library supporter.  This year she asked one of us at Push To Talk to write a post about Banned Books Week, and here it is.

Banned Books Week 2013: One Teen's View


Libraries are an essential part of our culture because they grant everyone access to books and media that are expensive or unavailable otherwise. Libraries form a community and encourage others to read. They are a vital support for those who wish to learn and a resource for all ages. Books can be anything you’re looking for, or something completely unexpected. They can be friends, teachers, a hiding place, or a way to express who you are. Books open a gate to other cultures, build a path to other worlds, take you back to your roots, and then lead you home, a slightly different person. I believe that books are a necessary way to explore the limits of imagination.

When a book is banned, it doesn’t protect people from bad ideas, it locks the door to a separate story. People shouldn’t be able to define “good” and “evil” for everyone else*. It’s your own job to establish your morals and values, and everyone has to do this themselves. Forcing your own on someone else is like taking away their opportunity to be their own person. People should be free to warn others and discourage them from reading certain books, because that’s free speech, and some may heed that. But they should be free to form their own opinions, whether they agree or not.

*This leads on to ethics, agreed-on morals, and global consensus. I will leave my rant about this untyped and simply thought.

–Opinion post by Lexie, 15, West Seattle teen volunteer

Teen Space @ Southwest

Teen SpaceNeed a space to be creative and have fun? Come to Teen Space @ Southwest. This month we’ll be creating temporary tattoos with henna and creating a display for the library for Banned Books week. Of course, we’ll have our regular line up of Teen Space activities: snacks, games, art, books, and conversation, too.

Friday, Sept. 20th from 2:30 – 4:30 pm @ Southwest.

Henna, art, food, conversation, mystifying fellow library-goers with a display.

What’s not to like?

Banned Books Week Countdown: 1: What My Mother Doesn't Know

Reprinted by permission of the American Library Association.

We are celebrating your freedom to read and Banned Books Week 2012 by bringing you a daily countdown of the most banned and challenged books of this century. Each day this week, we’ll highlight another book that has faced down challenges around the nation, and then we’ll ask you for your opinions, because usually teens are the people most affected by book challenges. Sometimes the readers win, sometimes the censors win.
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