Thursday, September 30, 2010

YAers Want 2 NO!!

I've got double the YA for you today!! Firstly there's that little business of my bestest teen, Jacob Milhouse, answering another one of you fangtabulous questions. Then, in honor of Banned Books Week and in conjunction with Tamarah over on Grab a Pen, I'm reviewing a classic book that I cherished during my junior high years.

It was at this point, while I was writing this post, that I actually thought about inserting a picture of myself from junior high. Then I realized this is a family post, and I'd have to put a big'ole XX over such a photo. Trust me; any picture of me from that era could blind an eye.
Everything you want answered one question at a time...

Today our YA question comes from Elana Johnson, author of Possessions due out in 2011.

What do you struggle with the most in your life? Managing your time? Self-esteem? The opposite sex? What do you do when you have free time? Are the stereotypical "jocks" and "cheerleaders" and "nerds" real?

Answer: I struggle with a bit of it all, and it all kind of ties in to one another. You like someone but not confident enough in yourself to approach them. In other words, afraid of rejection…or humiliation. When it comes to time, there’s so much you want to do, but so little time it feels like. Or maybe that’s just me, lol, I’m overly ambitious and get agitated when I can’t do everything at once.

As far as stereotypes, books have always taken this to the extreme in some cases. To be honest, where I’m from the most popular/most beautiful girl isn’t a cheerleader; she’s an A-student. I would be considered a “nerd” in most places, but I talk and get along fine with anyone and everyone. Jocks, on the other hand, tend to be the ones that fall within the same guidelines. I know jocks that are intelligent and have a future besides sports, but there are also those who partake in sports for the attention or because, academically, they don’t excel. They need something that makes them feel good about themselves.

Thanks, Jacob!!

Here's my contribution to Banned Books Week: THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton

Brief Synopsis: 

When two poor greasers, Johnny, and Ponyboy are assaulted by a vicious gang, the socs, and Johnny kills one of the attackers, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events.

It is beyond my comprehension how anyone could ban this book. The story is magnificent, real, and raw: all that the teenage years are notorious for. The inner evolution of the characters is so profound, one can't help but tear up, empathize, and relate. Through the tragedy of an accidental killing, the loyalty created between these young men is admirable. The relationships are deep and binding.

S.E. Hinton gives these boys--and all teens--a new window to view their world through, learn, and connect.

Anyone remember this scene from the film? I mean, excluding the fact that I was a tweenie, junior high girl who was staring at really cute boys, I couldn't help but relate to their plight. Sure, I'd never gotten in a fight and accidentally taken someone down. But the struggle to fit in and find yourself during those years is a universal one.

They each found a place to belong among each other. When one is attacked; they all are attacked. When one suffers; they all suffer. Although most of the boys come from broken homes or no homes at all, the essence of a true family is shared between them. There is a brotherhood that young people of any era can learn from these printed words.

And what more could an author want than to have his/her printed words teach a lesson about youthful humanity: the real blood, sweat, and tears of growing up. I have recommended this book in the past, and will continue to do so for years to come.  

And this is how I'll always remember them. <3

Do you have a favorite Banned Book and why is it your favorite? Even better, why do you believe it was hexed?
And don't forget to CLICK and head over to Tamarah's blog to see who else is participating in this Banned Book Week Event!


  1. Elana is awesome. Great question.
    I loved The Outsiders. It was raw and honest.
    Don't get me started on banned books.

  2. Elana's question was awesome. Great answer too. I really enjoy this weekly series.

  3. TWO thumbs up to Jacob (for his great answer) and Outsiders (love)!!!

  4. Great answer Jacob! Plus Elana's question rocked!

    I can't believe those guys from the movie Outsiders look so young! Does that mean I'm old?

  5. Jacob's answer to a great question was awesome! Good kid.

    Hearing a lot of buzz about Outsiders, might just need to pick it up!

  6. Cool inside info from Jacob... and OMG! I LOVED The Outsiders. Seriously, reading The Outsiders in jr high is what prompted me to start really writing stories. I loved the book so much. The movie was pretty cool too.I loved it cause it felt so real... it was like saying to teens "I acknowledge your mature enough to handle this type of topic."

    Stay gold, Pony Boy!!

  7. Yep. Loved Jacob's answer. Loved the question. Really loved your featuring a great Hinton book. She's among my favorite writers. Guess that's why she was banned?

  8. Great answers, Jacob! That's just what I see at the high school where I teach.

    Sheri, I loved the Outsiders! :-)

  9. Great question and awesome answer. THanks for posting. I like this series alot.
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  10. @PK...OMGosh...'Do it for Johnny!' I think I said that all through junior high.

    @C.Lee, feel your pain.


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