Hello and Happy Saturday everyone!

It’s been a couple of years since I did Blog Every Day in October, as last year I was busy working and going to school for my masters. Now, I have the time (possibly) and the drive to make BEDIO have its comeback!

For those who haven’t experienced BEDIO on my blog, let me give you a little context into what you’ll be stepping into. In case the title didn’t clue you in, I will (try) to post every day this October. These posts will include the Top Ten Tuesday posts and the WWW Wednesday posts, but I will also use this as an opportunity to explore and try new things on my blog. I don’t want to say what exactly, as that might change from when I’m writing this… and also I think the surprise would be fun πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

There is one thing I definitely want to bring back, which are my creative writing posts. I used to do Poetry Mondays, and it was so much fun! It was a great way to exercise my creative muscles, and I definitely need to do that again, as all the writing I’m doing is either for work or for my blog. I love writing for my blog, but it’s a different style of writing from writing a book, a short story, or even a poem. I also have a bunch of book tags sitting in my drafts, so now might be the time to pull those out and actually… I dunno… post them πŸ˜‚

Anyways, I hope you join me on my writing journey this month! And on that note, Happy BEDIO, and I will see you in the next post… which is tomorrow πŸ˜‰

-Erin πŸŽƒ

Top Ten Tuesday: Typographic Book Covers

Hello everyone and happy TTT!

This week’s topic is books whose covers are mainly filled with words or books with pretty typography on the cover. A couple of the books I chose do have illustrations on the cover; however, they’re pretty simple to the point where the main focus is the title. So, without further ado, here are the books I chose for this week’s prompt!

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Typographic Book Covers”

Banned Books Week 2022: The End Has Come

The end of Banned Books Week has arrived, which means this is the last post of the week. I want to say thank you to everyone for joining me, and also to remind everyone of why Banned Books week is so important, especially now with the rise of book banning/challenges in schools.

The American Library Association (ALA) research and obtain information about book challenges across the United States. As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, there were 729 challenges placed last year, with 44% happening at school libraries, 37% at public libraries, 18% at schools, and around 1% at other academic institutions and places.

What were some of the main reasons for these challenges? Some of the more common reasons are sexual explicitness, discussion of critical race theory, profanity, “wokeness,” being obscene, and discussion of LGBTQIA+ content. In fact, out of the Top 10 challenged books, half of them were challenged because they contain LGBTQIA+ content.

I’m going to take this time to bring back a rant that I made in my Banned Books Highlight for The Color Purple. Sadly, this is still relevant, but a lot of recent challenges revolve around books discussing LGBTQIA+ topics, even when it’s simply a children’s book that happens to have LGBTQIA+ characters in it. That right there says a lot about how society views the LGBTQIA+ community. Even when the content itself isn’t inherently sexual, because being LGBTQIA+ tends to lead to an automatic association with sex, it can cause society to oversexualize LGBTQIA+ people, and deem any discussion of it “sexually explicit”. This needs to be reiterated, as so many books included on “Top Ten Most Challenged Books” lists are those handling LGBTQIA+ topics, especially when the content is aimed toward children.

I also find it interesting how many books depicting the social issues that different races face, such as police brutality against Black people are challenged. Surprised? No. Interesting, yes. After having done some research over the past few years, this is the first year where I noticed a significant amount of people citing “wokeness” and critical race theory as the reason for the challenge. With organized movements, such as Moms For Liberty, gaining traction in terms of starting these campaigns to challenge books, now is the time to get involved.

So how do you get involved? The best advice I can give from what I gathered over the years is to support your libraries. This could mean going to town halls and speaking out against book challenges, getting a library card and checking out books, or even simply asking your librarians how you can volunteer and support them when it comes to book challenges. Another thing you can do is to look for “A Friend of the Library” chapter for your local public library and looking further into any opportunities there.

Photo Courtesy of American Libraries “National Friends of Libraries Week” article

Book challenges may always pop up, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do something to defend the right for these stories to be told, especially to an audience who needs to hear them the most.

And that’s about all I have for the final Banned Books Week post!

To learn more about what books are most frequently challenged, check out these lists from the ALA. The lists include the most challenged books for individual years and books that were challenged the most within a decade.

Thanks again for joining me during Banned Books Week 2022, and I will see you all again next week with a new post!

-Erin (:

Banned Books Week 2022 (Book Highlight): Monday’s Not Coming

As a Bookshop affiliate, purchasing a book using my affiliate code will give me a small commission.

Welcome back to another Banned Books Week post! Today I’ll be highlighting Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson.

I read this book maybe a year or two ago and was intrigued by the characters as well as the overall plot. Monday’s Not Coming follows our protagonist, Claudia, as she deals with the trauma of her best friend, Monday, suddenly going missing. We learn more about their relationship and Monday’s family history as Claudia tries to figure out what happened to her best friend.

Monday’s Not Coming has been banned and challenged in various states such as Texas, Virginia (the linked article is an opinion piece from a student’s dad), and Utah. The reasons for these challenges mainly revolve around its explicit language about sex. Although this is in the book, there is much more context around these scenes than simply being a sex scene, as it highlights teenagers’ pressures and struggles regarding sex (even then, there is a warning label that the book is only appropriate for students 14 years and older). The book itself also doesn’t revolve around sex, as it is about Claudia’s investigation into the disappearance of Monday and the toll it takes on her mental health. Monday’s Not Coming is thought provoking and provides an opportunity for teens to explore so many topics such as mental health, friendship, relationships and yes, even ideas surrounding sex.

With so many books being challenged that are either written about LGBTQIA+ content and/or are written by Black authors, I thought that this article from NBC News about the rise in book challenges against Black authors is also important to check out.

I want to share an interview PBS published with Shekema Silveri, the Founder and Executive Director of the IFE Academy of Teaching & Technology, a K-12 independent micro school in Atlanta, Georgia. Although the interview is about Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Silveri’s discussion highlights one of the main points of why book challenges/bans harm students. Although these books may have topics that are ugly and difficult to discuss, they are a safe environment for students to explore these topics. As Silveri states in her PBS interview,

Kids who come back from college tell me that my class feels more of a cultural studies class than an English class. The way I teach is that we explore the world, and literature is the artifact. In my classroom, the novels are not the be all to end all. The novels are what we use to examine the culture that we currently find ourselves in.

No parent, teacher, or legal guardian can shield kids from the real world for their entire lives. As important as it is for kids to be kids, it’s just as vital for them to learn that not everyone’s life is the same and that we all experience different things, both good and bad. The only thing book challenges do is make it more difficult for the students who aren’t easily able to buy these books to be able to read and experience these stories themselves.

Before I sign off, I want to add that if you like Monday’s Not Coming and/or Tiffany D. Jackson’s writing in general, her newest book, The Weight of Blood, came out recently! It’s a horror book about prom, so perfect for the upcoming Halloween seasonπŸŽƒ

Have you read Monday’s Not Coming? What are your thoughts on the book and it’s reasons for being banned/challenged? Let me know in the comments below!

And on that note, I will see you in the next post!

-Erin (:

P.S. I wanted to make a note specifically about the Utah case, as the challenge made here goes against the policy where the challenged book (in this case, books) is still available to students during the process. In this particular instance, however, the books were promptly removed from the shelves.

Banned Books Week 2022: Banned Books News Highlights

Hello and happy Thursday everyone!

Throughout the week, I’ve been finding interesting articles about various topics that fall under the Banned Books Week theme, so I thought, why not share them?

The first article I found is about a librarian in New Jersey named Martha Hickson who created an app called Demo Defense to help other librarians fight against book challenges and bans. This is based on her experience from last year, when she fought against five book bans. It’s a super interesting read, and if you’re a librarian looking for resources, see if this might help!

This second article from NPR discusses the organized movements to get books banned, and Mass Resistance (an anti-LGBTQIA+ group), is highlighted in this article. It also applies to other organizations such as Moms For Liberty, who is another organization that has been backing many book challenges/bans.

Another article to check out is from The Week, and discusses the impact that book bans and challenges have on schools and libraries. It’s especially important as many of the challenges and bans are taking place in K-12 schools and libraries.

One more article I want to share is from the Washington Post, and is about the record amounts of book challenges increasing significantly compared to previous years. They also discuss a report from PEN America, which found that between,

“July 2021 and June 2022, there were 2,532 attempted book bans targeting 1,648 unique books. This newest count builds on a PEN America report published in April that found slightly more than 1,500 attempted book bans, targeting about 1,000 titles, between July 2021 and March 2022.”

PEN America

Finally, I want to include this infographic I made for my Document Design class last year, which provides information on the difference between a book challenge and ban, as well as a short timeline of book banning.

For the sake of transparency, I want to mention that some of the information references statistics from 2020.

If you have any interesting articles you’d like to share, leave them in the comments below!

Otherwise, I will see you tomorrow with a new post!


P.S.: ACTUALLY, I’m not quite done yet πŸ‘€ I also wanted to highlight a special offer through Bookshop.Org for Banned Books Week!

Until September 24th, you can get 10% off of the banned books featured on this page using the code “BannedBooks22.” This includes books I mentioned on here such as The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. They also have graphic novels such as Maus, Genderqueer, and Flamer (I haven’t heard of this last graphic novel before, but it sounds good!).

All the individual books linked are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission on each book you buy through the links!

I also want to add that Bookshop.Org also has a 20% off discount for select books by Latinx authors during Hispanic Heritage month, so be sure to check that out too! This includes titles such as The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, and Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez. This sale ends October 15th, so take advantage of it while you can!

WWW Wednesday (09/21/22): Banned Books Week Edition

Hello and happy Wednesday everyone!

Since this week’s Banned Books Week, I’ve been reading a few banned/challenged books to prepare for my blog posts! I haven’t done one in a few weeks and felt like this was the perfect opportunity to get back into it. Although I will mainly focus on banned/challenged books, I’ll include a couple other books that don’t fall into this category that I’ve read recently.

WWW Wednesdays were originally, hosted by A Daily Rhythm but has been revived by Sam from Taking on a World of Words.

Now, let’s talk books!

What I’ve Read

I did end up finishing The House On Mango Street, which I posted about on Monday for Banned Books Week. After finishing, I did continue reading The Hero Of Ages, but I also listened to I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. It was the first audiobook I’ve listened to in full, so that was fun! I have wrote a whole Instagram post about it if you want to hear more of my thoughts.

What I’m Currently Reading

I told myself I wanted to read some other stuff before starting the final Mistborn book from the original trilogy… but in case you can’t tell, I started The Hero of Ages. I’m also reading through If Beale Street Could Talk, and I’ve been enjoying it so far! This is the first book by James Baldwin that I’ve read, and his writing style is fun to read. Baldwin does talk about issues of racism that were prevalent during the early 70s, but it’s interwoven with some interesting thoughts on feminism as well.

What I Plan On Reading

Right now, I’m thinking of reading The Bluest Eye next. Even if I don’t get to it this week, I would love to get to it sometime before the end of the year!

And that’s all I have for this week’s WWW Wednesday! Let me know what you’re reading, or what you just finished reading, in the comments below πŸ‘Œ

On that note, I will see you in the next post coming out tomorrow!

-Erin (:

Banned Books Week 2022 (Top Ten Tuesday): Banned Books To Read This Fall

Hey everyone, and welcome to the third day of Banned Books Week!

Since today is Tuesday, it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday… but I’m putting my own twist on the prompt.

Continue reading “Banned Books Week 2022 (Top Ten Tuesday): Banned Books To Read This Fall”

Banned Books Week 2022 (Book Highlight): The House On Mango Street

Hello everyone and welcome to the second day of Banned Books Week 2022!

Today I’ll be talking about The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. The House On Mango Street is a story following our young protagonist, Esperanza Cordero, and her experiences as a Chicana in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago over the course of one year. The book is based on Cisneros own experiences as she entered adolescence and began facing the realities of life as a young woman in a poor and patriarchal community. It shines light on elements of the Mexican-American culture, along with incorporating themes of social class, race, sexuality, identity, and gender.

Continue reading “Banned Books Week 2022 (Book Highlight): The House On Mango Street”

Banned Books Week 2022: Let’s Get Started

Hello and happy Sunday everyone!

Today is the start of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week 2022, and as someone who is passionate about the topic of banned books, I’m going to be posting blogs every day this week about various banned books that I have read or picked up recently.

Also, as you may have heard, book banning is an even more pressing issue now than it has been in the past few years. I think it’s even more important now than ever to keep this discussion going and to highlight Banned Books Week, as more school teachers and librarians are facing the pressure of book challenges. According to the American Library Association (ALA),

“ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.”

American Library Association

Below are more stats on book banning, including where they most commonly occur and who typically initiates them:

Image Courtesy of the Office of Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association)

Back in my spring semester of NYU, the club I was a part of, the Online Writing and Languages Society (OWLS), had an event with Renee Di Pilato, who is director of libraries for Sarasota County Government. She discussed the impact book banning, as well as ways to support your local libraries and schools during this rise in books banning. More information on the event, along with additional resources, are available in the event recap post I wrote following the Q&A.

I’ve also written previous posts about banned books, such as the history of banned books and book challenges, along with my various posts for Banned Books Week in 2020.

I found this interesting article from Publisher’s Weekly that discusses what various indie bookstores and organizations are doing for this year’s Banned Books Week

Here are additional resources from the ALA you can check out as well:

Banned Books Week 2022

How To Get Involved

Literacy Resources

Donate to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

If you have any additional resources you would like to share about banned and challenged books, feel free to share them in the comments below!

On that note, I will see you tomorrow with a new post for Banned Books Week!

-Erin (: