BEDIO: WWW Wednesday (10/06/2020)

As a Bookshop affiliate, I get a small commission if you purchase anything through the book links in this post.

Welcome back to another day of Blog Everyday in October!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a WWW Wednesday, so I figured now is the perfect time to do it, since I have a few books I want to discuss 👌

Originally, this was hosted by A Daily Rhythm but has been revived by Sam from Taking on a World of Words. I found it through Willow Writes and Reads‘ blog.

Now, this is going to be a longer post since I have read a few books since my last WWW Wednesday, so let’s talk books!


What I’ve Recently Read

I finished reading Of Fire and Stars sometime in mid-September, but I haven’t talked about it on here, so I’ll do a quick overview of my thoughts. Although I enjoyed the book for what it is, I think it’s important to note it is focused more on the romance between Denna and Mare, with some fantasy elements sprinkled in there. The world building isn’t complex, and the plot is more of a background element than the main focus of the novel. However, I wanted an easy read, so this worked for me, although I felt the story did drag on midway through. Overall, if you want to read a F/F novel focusing on the romance between the two characters, with a fantasy setting, this is the perfect book for that 👌 If you’re looking for a fantasy novel with more complex and in-depth world building, I wouldn’t recommend picking this up.

After finishing Of Fire and Stars, I read Savage Conversations by Leanne Howe. This is written in the format of a play, and is about Mary Todd Lincoln’s accounts of being haunted by a “Savage Indian” in 1875. The encounter is thought to be correlated to Abraham Lincoln ordering the hanging of thirty eight Dakota’s December 26, 1862; an event which is discussed very little when it comes to Lincoln’s presidency. There is a foreword explaining what led to the hangings, as well as the deterioration of Mary Todd Lincoln’s mental health. Although I’m not used to reading stories in a script format (and why I avoided picking up books such as The Cursed Child), I enjoyed the story overall. Granted, it’s something I would want to watch performed, as I think it would add more depth to the story. However, it was very informative, and provided great resources to do further research into the Dakota Hanging’s of 1862, as well as Mary Todd Lincoln’s life after the death of Abraham Lincoln. If you aren’t fond of reading stories told in a play format, I wouldn’t recommend reading this, but I do suggest doing further research into the event Savage Conversations is based on.

Here are some websites you can check out for more background on the Dakota Hangings of 1862:

The Trials & Hanging

Did Abraham Lincoln Order the Execution of 38 Dakota Fighters? (Snopes)

After finishing Savage Conversations, I picked up The Year of the Witching. It’s a dark fantasy novel perfect for the beginning of fall. I had a slow going when it came to getting into the novel, but once my interest peaked, it remained for the rest of the story. What I like most is it’s a standalone novel, because right now, the thought of devoting myself to a series is kind of daunting.

Then, I reread Persepolis because of my Banned Books Week post, although I hadn’t read it since high school. I think this is a great book for high schoolers, or those who aren’t familiar with the Islamic Revolution in Iran during the 80’s. This isn’t meant to be a political memoir, it’s a memoir that happens to take place during a historical, political event, so if you’re looking for something that will go into details about the history of Iran, Persepolis isn’t for you. I think it’s a great starting point though, but if you want more information about the Islamic Revolution, you’ll need to read more something else afterwards. I also found it interesting (as I didn’t think about this much when I read it the first time) about the references to Marjane’s social class also played into her story. Her family is more Westernized, her father was an engineer and owned a Cadillac, they had a maid, and the funds to send Marjane overseas to school in Austria when she was fourteen. Her social class is important to mention, as it does shape her perspective on the events occurring during her childhood. Overall, I enjoyed it as much now as I did when I read it in high school, and I would recommend reading Persepolis if you haven’t already (or even watching the movie).

The last book I’m going to mention here, I actually just finished last night. I read the The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, from the Heroes of Olympus series. (If you’re interested in the graphic novel, you can check it out here!) I read the Percy Jackson series a long time ago, and thought it was a fun read, but hadn’t thought of picking up anymore of Rick Riordan’s books until now. Overall, I don’t have too much to say about The Lost Hero, besides I enjoyed the fun adventurous atmosphere in the book, and it was definitely what I needed right now!

What I’m Currently Reading

Currently, I’m in the middle of reading two different books (it was originally three until I finished The Lost Hero last night) 😂 I told myself I wouldn’t read multiple books at once, but sometimes my mood reading habit overrides my attempts of only reading one book at a time.

Anyways, I started reading All the Light We Cannot See after finishing Persepolis because it’s been on my TBR for a really long time, and I heard a lot of people talking about it recently, so I decided to pick it up. I’m about 70ish pages in, and although I like the story so far, it’s one of those books that will probably take me a while to get through.

Then I was looking through my books, and The Beadworkers by Beth Piatote pulled me in. Not to be someone who judges a book by its cover, but I love the cover, especially because the scene on the front cover was designed using beads. This collection of short stories is beautifully written, and I’ve read 77 pages so far.

What I Plan On Reading

I have quite a few books I plan on reading this month, based on posts I want to write and read-a-thons I’m participating in, but my main focus this week are on The American Cafe, New Poets of Native Nations, and Legacy. I may not be able to get through all of them for a post I plan on uploading next week, but I’m hoping to get through one (hopefully two!) of them.


That’s all I have for this week’s WWW Wednesday! On that note, I will see you all tomorrow with a new post 😊

-Erin🎃

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

BEDIO Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Give off Fall Vibes

Hey everyone and happy Tuesday!

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’ll be talking about books which, in my opinion, make me think of fall (and wish it were all year round)! Fall is one of my favorite seasons, as the weather cools down (Well, maybe not where I live… but usually that’s what is supposed to happen, right??), I get to wear my comfy sweaters and flannel, there’s Halloween… the overall atmosphere this time of year just warms me up inside 😊

Wow… that wasn’t cheesy at all 😂 But hey, it’s that time of year which makes me happy, so who cares?

Anyways, Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl hosts Top Ten Tuesday’s every week, so go check out her blog (where you’ll also find more bloggers who participated in that weeks round of Top Ten Tuesday)!

On that note, here are the ten covers which remind me of Fall!



What are some book covers that make you think of Fall? Let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out this weeks Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl!

Thanks for reading, and I will see you tomorrow with a new post!


-Erin🎃

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Rape- a heinous crime

I want to share this post because it’s important we keep the conversation around how we handle rape as a crime. If you’re from the United States, you’ve probably heard of the Brock Turner case, where he was only sentenced to six months in prison, and was released after only three months due to “good behavior”. The judge for this case, Aaron Persky, was more concerned about how this would affect Turner’s life and career, rather than the actual victim of the crime, Chanel Miller.

The lack of punishment for such a horrific crime is unfortunately still a huge issue around the world today, and we can’t stay quiet about it until we start seeing actual change within the legal system.

Whispering Stories

Why painful memories linger with us - BBC Future

Hey Guys. Today I am not going to be reviewing any book or movie nor am I going to do a tag. Today I am going to be talking about a really serious topic- Sexual Harassment. I am glad and grateful that I have a voice in this massive internet, and I intend to use it.

Trigger Warning: Rape, Sexual Assault and physical assault

Sexual harassment and rape is a really really vicious thing to do. My heart aches every time I hear a piece of news of rape. And recently, when we should be supporting each other, this has been increasing even more.

On 14th September, a girl in the district of Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, India was brutally assaulted as she fought against being raped. She was dragged away by her dupatta injuring her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed. The accused tried to strangulate her as she resisted their…

View original post 1,356 more words

BEDIO: Poetry Prompt #10

I skipped last weeks Poetry Prompt Monday because of Banned Book Week, so now we’re going to do a Halloween inspired poetry prompt 🎃

For this weeks prompt, I’m taking inspiration from the post Scary Poetry Prompts on the website Writing Forward. They have Halloween word prompts divided into three categories, and this week I’m going to be using some of the words from the “Ghostly Ghouls” section.

Ghostly Ghouls 👻haunted
visions
hiding
knock-knock
dragging
lifeless
creep

Here’s what I came up with, although it might be a little shorter than usual, but my creative writing brain is a little rusty from all the research I did from last weeks posts… Which means it’s even more important to get those wheels cranking again! I also don’t write a lot of creepy/spooky/horror type poetry, so it’s a little out of my comfort zone (but hey, it’s always good to switch it up a bit).

So sit back, relax and enjoy my first attempt of writing spooky poems for the month 💀


The echoes of last night,

Haunt me through today.

It all started,

With a loud knocking on the door.

Just to end,

With the thud of a body to the floor.


Cold hands,

Press down on me,

As they try to stop me,

From dragging their body,

Out of the house,

And into the darkness,

Of the night.


I hope that was spooky and creepy enough for you! What a great way to start off the week 😅

Anyways, if you want to try your hand at coming up with your own poem, feel free to share it in the comments below!

On that note, have a good rest of your morning/day/evening/night, and I will see you tomorrow with a new post 👻

-Erin🎃

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

BEDIO: Sunshine Blogger Award

As a Bookshop affiliate, I get a small commission if you purchase anything through the book links in this post.

Hey everyone, I hope you’ve been having a great weekend! 😊

Last week, Riddhi B, from Whispering Stories, nominated me and 10 other bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

You can go check out her post, and the other bloggers she nominated ☀ right here

Thank you again for the nomination Riddhi, and sorry for taking so long to post my response! I got a little caught up in my Banned Books Week Posts 😅

If you don’t know what The Sunshine Blogger Award is, it is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.


How Does It Work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Here are my answers to the 11 questions I was given:

When and why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in March of 2019, so I’ve been at this for about a year and a half now! I originally started because I wanted to start publishing more of my writing online and share my thoughts on what I’ve been reading. My ex and his family encouraged me to start blogging, and now here I am 👌

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Coming up with new ideas and creating posts, it’s just another way for me to express myself through writing!

What is your least favorite thing about blogging?

Coming up with new ideas… 😅 It can be fun when you’re on a creative streak and have things you want to write about, but when you’re in a creative slump… blogging can get really tough

What are your hobbies besides blogging?

I like baking, reading, hiking/walking around in nature (probably a weird way to phrase that, but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it😂), going to new places (which hasn’t been very high on my list right now with COVID and everything) and I’ve been getting back into origami. I’ve also been kind of obsessed with Animal Crossing, because… I mean why not? It’s super cute!

What would the title of your biography/biopic be?

Reading and Writing Through Life

I know it’s my website URL, but there’s a reason why I picked it!

Some advice for people who have just started blogging?

Don’t be afraid to share your content on social media, or to interact with other bloggers in the community! It’s all part of the fun of blogging is to hear what others have to say about whatever topic you’re discussing, so don’t hesitate to make those connections!

Describe yourself in seven words? (Cause it’s the seventh question)

Ohhh I always struggle with these types of questions 😆 (seriously, this is the last question I answered out of all 11 questions)

Weird, introverted, creative, animal lover, sarcastic, organized (well, sometimes), funny (at least, I find myself quite amusing, if I do say so myself)

Dogs or Cats?

This is a tough question for me, because I grew up with cats so they’ll always have a special place in my heart, but dogs are just so fun and loving! I’ll have to go with dogs though, if I have to choose 🐶

A TV show you can binge-watch forever?

Doctor Who… there are so many episodes that I haven’t even seen yet, so I could keep myself occupied for quite sometime

A song you relate to? / A song you will never get tired of listening?

This is also a tough one because this constantly changes depending on my mood/current phase in life 😂

Right now, I would say “The Change” by Jojo (and no… I’m not talking about JoJo Siwa). It’s actually a new song that was released last Friday, and I love her voice, especially in a ballad like this 👌 As far as actually relating to the song, I think this lyric sums it all up perfectly:

Change is gonna find me but it’s up to me, all on me to make that change.

You can check out the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPm7upLFUWQ

Who is your favorite author?

Kristin Hannah probably, I really loved Firefly Lane, Winter Garden, and (of course) The Nightingale


Here are my 11 questions:

  1. When did you start blogging and why?
  2. What’s your favorite genre for books/movies?
  3. What is one piece of advice you could give to new bloggers?
  4. Since it’s October, what’s your favorite Halloween/horror movie?
  5. What do you like most about blogging?
  6. What is the most challenging part about blogging?
  7. What are three things you like to do outside of blogging?
  8. In the spirit of Halloween, what’s your favorite costume? It can either be something that you have dressed up as, or want to dress up as in the future.
  9. Favorite animal?
  10. What is one place you want to visit in your life?
  11. One last Halloween-esque question: What’s your favorite candy?


Here are my nominations:

(I was only able to think of 7 instead of 11… but if anyone has already done a Sunshine blogger post, feel free to share it in the comments if you want!)

  1. Chai and Chapters

2. Sophie and Stories

3. Abundance of Jules

4. Dee’s Reading Tree

5. Plucked from the Stacks

6. Willow Writes and Reads

7. Stine Writing


Thanks for reading today’s post, and thanks to Riddhi for the nomination! Don’t forget to check out her post, and on that note… I will see y’all tomorrow with a new post!

-Erin🎃

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

BEDIO: 6 Banned Books to Read in October

As a Bookshop affiliate, I get a small commission if you purchase anything through the book links in this post.

Since it is Banned Books Week, and the beginning of October, let’s discuss banned horror books!

Horror books faced a lot of challenges and bans in the 90’s especially, when there was more of a movement in banning books revolving around the occult/Satanism. These bans were taking place in the typical setting of public libraries or schools. Some of the more popular horror book titles include Carrie by Stephen King, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine.

Today I want to highlight some horror books, but also mystery/thriller books, and books including more spooky/ paranormal elements but aren’t outright horror.

Without further ado, here are some banned/challenged books you should check out this October:


Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

About the Book:

Sethe was born into slavery, and managed to escape to Ohio, but she is haunted by the ghost of her baby, whose tombstone was engraved with one word: Beloved. Beloved is set after the American Civil War, and is inspired by the story of Margaret Garner who, after having made her escape, was captured along with her baby. Instead of having her baby be taken back into a life of slavery, Garner killed her baby.

Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988, as well as a finalist for the National Book Award in 1987. In 1998, it was adapted into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey.

YearReason for Challenge/Ban
1995Challenged at St. Johns County Schools in St. Augustine, FL because of the book being too violent 
1996The Round Rock, TX Independent High School reading list was challenged also because the book was too violent. However, after review, it remained on the reading list.
1997Challenged by a member of the Madawaska, ME School Committee due to the book’s language. It had been required reading for the advanced placement English class for six years at this point.
1998Challenged in Sarasota County, FL schools due to sexual material.
2006A board member of the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 in Arlington Heights, IL challenged the book due to excerpts she found online, although the book was retained. This all occurred because of election promises that she would bring her Christian beliefs in the board decision making process. Beloved was one of eight titles that were challenged
2007-It was challenged in the Coeur d’Alene School District in Idaho, as some parents believed that Beloved, along with five other titles, needed parental consent before students read them.-During the same year, Beloved was also pulled from an AP English Class at Eastern High School (Louisville, KY). A couple parents complained that the topics depicted in the novel were inappropriate, such as bestiality, racism and sex.
2012At the Plymouth Canton School District in Missouri, there were public hearings held concerning whether Beloved and other books included on the AP English Lit reading list, should be banned. Two parents complained about the content of the book being inappropriate, leading to the superintendent of the district having Beloved removed from any English class curriculum. Students fought against the ban, and eventually the school district decided that the book was allowed to remain a part of the English curriculum.
2016A member of the Virginia State Senate, Richard H. Black, challenged the novel because it was too violent. He also voted for a bill where teachers had to notify parents when sexually explicit content was present in books read for school. The bill was passed in February of 2016, and it was the first state which allowed parents the option to not let their kids read novels assigned for class.

For further research about Beloved‘s challenge/banning history:

Toni Morrison, “Beloved” – The Banned Books Project

Banned & Challenged Classics | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues

Banned Books Awareness: “Beloved”

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1965 in The New Yorker and 1966 in book form)

About the Book:

In Cold Blood is a true crime book discussing the murders of the Clutter family in Holocomb, Kansas during 1959. He traveled to Kansas with Harper Lee to conduct research through interviews of residents and investigators, before the killers were captured. Six weeks after the murders, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were arrested, tried and executed for the Clutter family murders.

Although it received much praise from the literary community at the time, there were many critics questioning the truthfulness of the interviews and events Capote wrote about (not the crime itself), claiming they were embellished or just straight up lies.

YearReason for Challenge/Ban
2001In Savannah, GA, the book was banned in an AP English class after a parent complaint about the sex, violence and profanity. The book was eventually reinstated.
2012In Glendale, CA, the Glendale Unified School District attempted blocking a high school English teacher trying to add the book to the advanced English reading list. However, the school board approved the book for students to read. 

For further research about In Cold Blood’s challenge/banning history:

 Why In Cold Blood has been challenged

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Banned Book – True Crime)

Banned Book Club: In Cold Blood

Killing Mr. Griffin (1978) and Daughters of Eve (1979) by Lois Duncan

About the Books:

Daughters of Eve is about a group of Modesta high school girls who, tired of dealing with the sexism they receive on the daily, create a school club (called the Daughters of Eve) led by the new art teacher, Ms. Stark. Although the club starts off with being able to defend themselves against the daily sexism and producing positive change, everything soon changes as Ms. Stark urges them to seek vengeance in more cruel and dangerous ways.

Killing Mr. Griffin follows a group of high schoolers who kidnap their teacher Mr. Griffin, to “teach him a lesson” because of his strict teaching style and his demand for perfection reflecting in his generous dispersal of bad grades. However, the plan goes south, turning deadly, and despite their initial intentions, now they have to deal with the consequences of murdering their teacher.

Killing Mr. Griffin

YearReason for Challenge/Ban
1988Was challenged at Sinnott Elementary School in Milpitas, California due to “needlessly foul language” along with it having “no redeeming qualities”.
1992It was removed from Bonsall Middle School’s (California) eighth grade reading list due to violence and profanity.
1995In Pennsylvania, it was challenged to be removed from the Shenandoah Valley Junior-Senior High School curriculum due to violence, language and the unflattering references to God.
2000Once again in Pennsylvania, it was challenged in Bristol Borough Middle School due to violence and language.
2001The book was challenged in South Carolina, but the Greenville School board decided to retain the book.

For further research about Killing Mr. Griffin‘s challenge/banning history:

Lois Duncan, “Killing Mr. Griffin” – The Banned Books Project

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan 30 — Banned Library

Daughters of Eve

Year Reason for Challenge/Ban
1997In West Virginia, it was removed from Jackson County school libraries, along with sixteen other books.
2000Removed from Fairfax County middle school libraries (Virginia) because of violence, risky behaviors and “seeks to prejudice young vulnerable minds on several issues.”
2005Challenged at Lowell Middle School in Indiana due to profanity and sexual content
2007The superintendent of Clovis Municipal Schools in New Mexico removed the books from elementary schools after parent complaints. After review, the reasons listed, such as inappropriate language and “suggestive material” were upheld as credible for keeping the books out of elementary schools. This case is especially interesting, as Duncan herself agreed with the removal of the books, as she believed the content isn’t suitable for students that young.

For further research about Daughters of Eve‘s challenge/banning history:

Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan — Banned Library

The Dead Zone by Stephen King (1979)

About the Book:

The Dead Zone is a sci-fi thriller about Johnny Smith, who wakes up from a coma after five years with the power to see visions of someone’s future after a single touch. It also follows the perspective of Greg Stillson, who is a rising politician and serial killer.

I wanted to discuss this book specifically because I wrote about it for a big essay project in my Honors Humanities class during my sophomore year of high school. Plus, with our current political situation in the United States, I’ve been thinking about this book a lot, and have been considering re-reading it in the near future.

YearReason for Challenge/Ban
1987In Larchwood, Iowa, the book was removed from West Lyon Community school library, because “it does not meet the standards of the community.”
1992Requires parental consent, and is otherwise restricted to access to high school students only in the Duval County (Florida) school system due to “filthy language”.

Banned in Peru, Indiana school system because Stephen King’s books in general are considered “filthy”.
In Bismarck, North Dakota, a minister requested The Dead Zone and eight more of King’s books be banned from school libraries because of “age appropriateness”.

For further research about The Dead Zone‘s challenge/banning history:

THE DEAD ZONE

CHALLENGE/BANNING FACTORS

Stephen King: An Unlikely Lifeline In Turbulent Waters– This isn’t about The Dead Zone in particular, but I found it an interesting essay on the impact of Stephen King, as well as his long history with book censorship.

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (1982)

About the Book: This one might be a bit of a stretch (and by a bit, I mean a lot), as it’s not a horror/mystery/thriller, but rather a book that falls into the genre of Magical Realism. Clara, who is the wife of Esteban Trueba, has a “mystical connection to the spirit world”. I figured that that’s close enough to add it to this list, and also the synopsis sounded interesting to me, so here we are.

Year Reason for Challenge/Ban
1994It was challenged at Paso Robles High School in California because of accounts of sexual encounters, although it was eventually retained
1997Challenged at Stonewall Jackson High School in Brentsville (Virginia) due to sexual explicitness, and ended up being retained  
1998Challenged to be removed from Montgomery County (Maryland) reading lists and school libraries due to obscenity
1999Challenged at La Costa Canyon High School in Encinitas, California because it “defames the Catholic faith” and contains “pornographic images”
2000Challenged at Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District for being “immoral and sexually depraved”, but was then retained.
2003Challenged in Modesto, California advanced English classes, but was retained with the Modesto City school Board advising that parents are given annotations and other information about any text, along with the right to have the student opt out of reading it.
2013Challenged at Watauga County High School in North Carolina due to the book’s graphic nature. It was retained, but after being appealed three times.

For further research about The House of Spirits‘ challenge/banning history:

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende — Banned Library

Books Challenged or Banned in 2003-2004, by Robert P. Doyle


Thanks for reading! If you want more lists of spooky banned books, here are a couple lists which inspired me to make this one:

Celebrate Banned Books Week with these 7 Banned Horror Books from iHorror.com

13 Scary Banned Books to Read for Halloween – Intellectual Freedom Blog


That’s the end of my Banned Books Week posting! Thank you all who have been following along, and I hope you enjoyed learning more about banned books. I’ll continue posting everyday in honor of my Blog Everyday in October challenge, so on that note, I will see you tomorrow with a new post!

-Erin🎃

If interested, you can donate to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

You can also sign the petition for the Literature Locked Up campaign: Tell Congress: Stop the largest book ban in America

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

BEDIO and Banned Books Week: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Many of the books I discussed this week were published a while ago, with Fahrenheit 451 being published in 1953, The Color Purple was published in 1982, and the most recently published book discussed, Persepolis, in 2000.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was published more recently, having come out in 2017, and was one of the top challenged books in 2017 (#8 out of the top 10) and 2018 (it was #4 out of the top 11). It’s a YA novel which follows Starr Carter after she witnesses a police officer shooting and killing her friend, Khalid, during a traffic stop, even though he was unarmed. It was based on a short story Angie Thomas wrote during college after the shooting of Oscar Grant.

I read it pretty soon after it came out, and it was one of those books I just couldn’t put down (I’m pretty sure I read it in one day… maybe two days). This is a great book to start a discussion (especially among high school students) about the issues of police brutality against Black people. Angie Thomas takes (what can be unfortunately) a polarizing topic and shows different ways issues such as racism and bias manifest in different aspects of life, even beyond the discussion of police brutality.

There are a couple well known cases of The Hate U Give being banned in states such as Texas and North Carolina. As with my previous Banned Book Week posts, I’ll include a detailed timeline below with the specific incidents:

YearReason for Ban/Challenge
2017In Katy, TX, after a parent complaint during a school board meeting, the superintendent of Katy Texas Independent School District had the book removed from all school libraries in the district. This led to an uproar in the media, as well as a student in the district distributing a petition which collected over 3,700 signatures against the removal. The superintendent claimed they had the right to remove the book due to it being “pervasively vulgar”. A few months after the incident, the book returned to the school library shelves, but could only be checked out with parental consent.  
2018Challenged at a Springfield, MO middle school, which started out with issues concerning permission slips sent out to the students parents before reading the book. The complaint cited a lack of specificity in the permission slips, as well as issues with language and sexual encounters. The school pulled the book for review, sent out revised permission slips, and received further complaints, causing the book to be pulled once again. As of right now, its final status of whether it’s banned or not is unknown. 

In South Carolina, the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police tried to get the book removed from Wando High School’s optional reading assignments for incoming freshmen, as well as the book All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds (Which is also a really good book, and I recommend checking out). The FOP cited the books as “almost an indoctrination of distrust of police and we’ve got to put a stop to that.” After a reconsideration process, the school decided to keep both books on their list. 

Note: These are only the incidents which were documented and had media coverage, as it’s important to remember a lot of cases concerning books being banned/challenged aren’t always reported to the American Library Association, or receive media coverage.

After George Floyd’s murder, there were many recommendations about books to read and movies/documentaries to watch, with The Hate U Give being a fairly popular recommendation. It’s still relevant today, and also shows the aftermath of those who witness these instances of police brutality. This isn’t a topic that is necessarily discussed as much as it should, but is explored in novels such as The Hate U Give as well as All American Boys. What’s even more important is the main target audience for these books are teenagers and, just like with all the other books I discussed this week, it’s a great book to start a conversation about current issues in the United States.

If there’s one thing I want to iterate through Banned Books Week, it’s that the best way to combat ignorance is to stop avoiding the discussion of hard topics in the classroom, whether it’s censorship, Black American history, the history of the Middle East, or police brutality. These books are meant to spark conversation, and make us think about how we’ve operated in this world up until now, and how we will continue to do so afterwards. Are there certain behaviors or beliefs we should re-revaluate? Are there certain ideas we need to be more outspoken about?

Art and entertainment can be for pleasure, but it can also reshape the way we perceive the world. Although change can be seen as a scary and dangerous thing, it’s also necessary to improve ourselves and the world around us.


For more information on the banning/challenging of The Hate U Give, check out these websites:

BANNED BOOKS 2019 – THE HATE U GIVE

Banned Spotlight: The Hate U Give

SUPPORT COMMUNITY ADVOCACY TO REVERSE BAN ON THE HATE U GIVE (This is specifically about Katy, Texas, from the National Coalition Against Censorship)


Want to buy your own copy of The Hate U Give? Then follow the links below from Bookshop.org! If you make a purchase through these links, I’ll earn a commission as well!

Buy The Hate U Give (regular edition)

Buy The Hate U Give (collector’s edition)


-Erin🎃

If interested, you can donate to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

You can also sign the petition for the Literature Locked Up campaign: Tell Congress: Stop the largest book ban in America

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

BEDIO and Banned Book Week : Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

During my senior year of high school, I took AP World History, as I had a strong interest in history, and had taken other AP history classes in the past. My teacher would have us do reading assignments that had us reading books discussing world history, from non-fiction memoirs to graphic novels. This is how I was introduced to Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, the story of a woman who grew up in Iran after the fall of the Shah, and beginning of the Islamic Revolution.

Some of you may not be surprised to learn that this book has been banned and challenged in Iran, but it was also faced (a very publicized) ban in the Chicago Public School system in 2013. The Chicago Public School system cited reasons such as the scenes of torture were inappropriate for students (The CPS system also says it wasn’t really a ban because teacher’s can still teach the book, just that they can’t do so until taking a class about how to teach the book. Oh, and it was pulled off shelves in the school libraries, making it more inaccessible to students… so take from that what you will). As a result, Persepolis faced three more challenges later on in 2014, landing it on the American Library Associations Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for that year. In 2015, Persepolis, along with three other graphic novels, were challenged by a college student and her parents at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California.

At first, it might make sense that you don’t want to expose students to torture and other atrocities, and you could probably find a way to make a logical case. However, students learn about the atrocities of the Holocaust, and in Chicago specifically, they tour the Holocaust Museum where they further learn about what happened and even see the atrocities committed. In the United States overall, we also learn about slavery, and have seen pictures, documentaries, TV shows, movies and read books that give us a pretty good sense of the atrocities committed there as well, such as whippings, rape and more.  A lot of students also pointed out how they’ve witnessed violence in their own lives, just from having lived in the Chicago area.

I included scenes from the graphic novel so that if you’ve never read it before, you have an idea of how it’s depicted:

By finding reasons (which, most of the time aren’t warranted) to keep children and young adults away from these stories, whether it’s Fahrenheit 451, The Color Purple or Persepolis, you are keeping them from being exposed to history, or from current issues. How can someone research a topic they aren’t even aware exists?  If we want to learn from history, we cannot be ignorant of it. There’s a reason why we have history classes in schools, and what my AP World History did shouldn’t be seen revolutionary. It should be normalized, and it’s hard to normalize such a thing when books that discuss different perspectives, whether it’s history or if it’s about LGBTQIA+ communities (more recent book challenges focus on books with LGBTQIA+ content), when these stories are constantly threatened to be taken out of schools.  

It’s also important to note the ban in the Chicago Public School System was a widely publicized case at the time, and did lead to more instances of Persepolis being banned/challenged in the United States (whether it was a direct correlation or not). A lot of cases concerning books being banned/challenged aren’t always reported to the American Library Association, or receive media coverage.

If you want to do further research about Persepolis and its history of being banned/challenged, check out these resources:

“PERSEPOLIS” BANNED IN CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Case Study: Persepolis

New State of America’s Libraries Report finds shift in role of U.S. libraries (2015)


If you are interested in buying your own copy of Persepolis , you can get here through Bookshop.org. This is an affiliate link, so if you purchase the book through it, I will earn a commission from it 😊

Buy Persepolis


-Erin🎃

If interested, you can donate to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

You can also sign the petition for the Literature Locked Up campaign: Tell Congress: Stop the largest book ban in America

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Banned Book Week: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple was first published in 1982, was made into a movie in 1985 (it was Whoopi Goldberg’s breakthrough role, which led to her Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and winning her first Golden Globe), and then was made into a musical in 2005. It is a story of the lives of Black women in the Deep South during the 1930’s, specifically following Celie and the struggles she faced during her life, and one that captivated audiences, no matter if they were readers, movie goers or lovers of musical theater.

Despite the popularity of the novel, The Color Purple faced a large amount of book challenges since it was published, mainly in schools. One of the main reasons it faced so much push back from parents was due to its sexual explicitness, and the language used in the book.

Here’s a more detailed timeline discussing specific book challenging instances:

Year Reason For Being Challenged
1984Challenged at an Oakland, California High School honors class because of its “sexual and social explicitness” and “troubling ideas about race relations, man’s relationship to God, African history, and human sexuality.” After nine months, the divided Oakland Board of Education retained the book.
1985Rejected for purchase by Hayward, California school’s trustee since there was “rough language” and “explicit sex scenes.”
1986Removed from the shelves of Newport News’ (Virginia) school library because of “profanity and sexual references”. It was then placed in a special section accessible to students over the age of 18 or those with written permission from a parent.
1989Challenged at Saginaw, Michigan’s public libraries because it was “too sexually graphic for a 12-year-old.”  

Challenged as a summer youth program reading assignment in Chattanooga, TN due to language and “explicitness.”  
1990Challenged as an optional reading assigned for schools in Ten Sleep, Wyoming
1992Challenged as a reading assignment at the New Burn, NC High School since Celie is raped by her stepfather.
Banned in the Souderton, Pennsylvania Area School District as inappropriate reading for 10th graders as it was considered “smut.”
1995Challenged to be removed from the curricular reading list at Pomperaug High School in Southbury, Connecticut because sexually explicit passages were deemed as not appropriate high school reading.

Retained as an English course reading assignment in a Junction City, Oregon high school after months of controversy. An alternative assignment was available for students, but The Color Purple was challenged because of “inappropriate language, graphic sexual scenes, and book’s negative image of black men.”

Challenged at St. Johns County Schools in St. Augustine, Florida.
1996Retained on Independent High School’s reading list after the book was challenged for being too violent. (Round Rock, Texas)

Challenged to be removed from reading lists for AP English classes in Northwest High Schools in High Point, North Carolina. The book was challenged because it is “sexually graphic and violent”, although it was eventually retained.
1997Removed from Jackson County, West Virginia school libraries. It was one sixteen titles removed from the shelves.
1999Challenged to be removed from a supplemental reading list at the Shawnee School (Lima, Ohio) as parents said the content was vulgar and “X-rated.” Eventually, the book was retained.

Removed from Ferguson High School’s library (Newport News, Virginia), although students can request to borrow the book if they have parental consent.
2002One of seventeen titles challenged in Fairfax County (Virginia) elementary and secondary libraries. It was challenged by Parents Against Bad Books in Schools as the (seventeen books) books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.” 
2008Challenged in Burke County schools in Morganton, North Carolina by parents concerned about the books portrayal of homosexuality, rape, and incest. 
2017Banned in all Texas State Prisons due to explicit language and graphic violence

Note: These are only the incidents which were documented and had media coverage, as it’s important to remember that a lot of cases concerning books being banned/challenged aren’t always reported to the American Library Association, or receive media coverage.

I want to start off by saying that this isn’t a story meant for elementary school kids, as the way its written and the themes discussed just aren’t appropriate for that age group. Middle school is more of a grey area, and mainly depends on the maturity of the individual reading it, but this is a book which should be available to high school students. I’m surprised that one of the reasons it’s banned in the Texas Prison System, and one of the reasons is because of “explicit language”. Your main concern, in a prison, is the explicit language of a book… really?

The Color Purple also brings the perspective of what it’s like to be Black, and more so a Black woman, during the thirties, after the Reconstruction period ends, Jim Crow Laws are in place, and in the midst of the Great Depression. Even though there are some hard topics of discussion in the book, such as rape and incest, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be talked about. In fact, these topics need to be discussed more, especially when it comes to recovering from a traumatic past such as Celie’s. This quote from Demi Marshall’s article, “Banned Books Week: The Color Purple” describes perfectly why the scene’s that are considered “sexually explicit” play an important role in Celie’s character arc throughout the novel.

There is a specific scene in the book that caused a lot of uproar because it explicitly describes a sexual scene. In this scene, Shug encourages Celie to explore her own body, and Celie begins to experience sex in a personal way, which is a milestone considering how painful and traumatic her past is.

(I included the article in my further research section below, if you want to read the entire article)

I also want to touch on the fact that the book contains “homosexuality” is deemed a valid enough reason to attempt banning this book. Why is it so controversial that Celie realizes she is attracted to women? A reason why there are so many LGBTQIA+ people that don’t come out until later in life is because of fear, but also because they simply didn’t recognize what their feelings meant. That’s why it’s important to have characters who are are so open about their journey of self-discovery, as there are students who are most likely going through the same process and can relate.

I’m going to go off topic here, but the fact a lot of recent book challenges revolve around books which discuss members of the LGBTQIA+ community, even when it’s a simply a children’s book that happens to have LGBTQIA+ characters in it, also says a lot about how the community is viewed in society. Even when the content itself isn’t inherently sexual, because discussion of the LGBTQIA+ tends to revolve around sex, it can lead people to oversexualize those in the LGBTQIA+ community, and deem any discussion of it “sexually explicit”. I wanted to point this out, as I think it’s a topic that needs to be discussed during a time when a fair amount of the books included on “Top Ten Most Challenged Books” lists are those that handle LGBTQIA+ topics, especially when the content is aimed towards children.

At this point, you might be wondering what exactly my point is here, and it’s that The Color Purple should be available, for high school students especially, as it covers important topics such as race, sexuality, and womanhood in the United States through Celie’s personal journey.


If you want to learn more about The Color Purple‘s history of book challenges/bans, check out the articles below:

From the Banned Books Project: Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Banned Books Week: The Color Purple

Banned Books Awareness: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Business themes in The Color Purple– I thought this was an interesting discussion of how business themes are portrayed in The Color Purple, especially in the context of the Great Depression.

Here’s a post I wrote right after I finished reading The Color Purple that touches on a few topics I didn’t cover here.


Want your own copy of The Color Purple? I am now an affiliate with Bookshop.org! As an affiliate, if you click on the following link and buy something, I earn a 10% commission on it!

Buy The Color Purple


-Erin🎃

If interested, you can donate to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

You can also sign the petition for the Literature Locked Up campaign: Tell Congress: Stop the largest book ban in America

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

🎃It’s That Time of Year!🎃

Hey everyone, welcome to my special mid-week announcement!
In case you didn’t realize it, tomorrow is the first day of October which means…

It’s time for another round of Blog Everyday In October (BEDIO)!

I had a lot of fun doing it last year, so I decided to go ahead and continue the tradition this year! October is one of my favorite months, and I like to do something special in honor of it, so why not challenge myself to post content everyday?

Also, I will have a special page dedicated to all my posts from last year if you’re interested, which should be published around the time this post goes up.

I know that I have (a few) more followers this year than I did last year, so I figure I’ll also add a little disclaimer. With BEDIO, I use it as an opportunity to write more posts which aren’t always related to reading and writing, as I have thirty one days to post, and I can only say so much about both subjects 😂 I find it fun to write about a variety of things, so I use this as an opportunity to indulge a little bit!

On that note, I will see you tomorrow with my first post for BEDIO, and I hope you stick around for the rest of the month 😉

-Erin🎃

While you’re already here, why not check these links out?

Updated carrd of global issues : https://allcards.carrd.co/

Medium: https://medium.com/@erin.nord87

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord