TO THE administrators I would say: Find your brain again. Stop lying, stop being hypocritical, and trust the young people. Read the book first and don't just be shocked by one picture. Read it first, and then, if you really are shocked, don't teach it. But I'm sure these people didn't even read it.
I would say to the children that I trust them--and I really trust that they will make a better world. I think they are very intelligent, and I really believe in young people.
To the teachers, I would say that I respect them more than anyone in the world because this is really not an easy job to do. Thanks to people like them--they saved my life.
Do I have this figured out right? The first Baby-Sitters Club book came out in 1986, and the girls were in seventh grade. According to Wikipedia, they were thirteen. So, assuming that my simple math is correct, Stacey would have been born in 1973?
It seems weird that Stacey McGill is older than me.
ANYWAY, it's her birthday. According to this calendar, at any rate.
It's all in here—Kristy's bossiness and her issues with her parent's divorce; Stacey's secret diabetes and boy-craziness; Mary-Anne's sensitivity and her very protective father; Claudia's solid relationship with Mimi and her difficulties with Janine—without the slog through (admittedly unintentionally hilarious) three paragraph descriptions of Claudia's fashion choices, etc.
Just looking at that post again makes me want to read Telgemeier's other BSC adaptations... not to mention her other books!
Gender Through Comics: A Super MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) coming Spring 2013 that examines how comic books can be used to explore questions of gender identity, stereotypes, and roles. This highly engaging learning experience is designed for college-age and lifelong learners.
The course, led by Christina Blanch of Ball State University, uses a study of comic books incorporating highly interactive video lectures, online discussions between students, and real-time socially driven interviews. Interviews with the comic industry's biggest names such as Terry Moore, Brian K Vaughan, Mark Waid, as well as others address questions of gender representations and constructions involving both men and women.
When the book was challenged, it was removed from shelves and went before an internal committee for review. That committee advised the Greenville County Library to retain "Neonomicon" and return it to circulation. However, the head of the library system disagreed and decided to remove the novel from the library's collection.
Well, this was one of the more depressing books I've read this year.
My Friend Dahmer is an account of Jeffrey Dahmer's teen years—the years just before he began killing—written in comic book format by one of his high school classmates, Derf Backderf. As Backderf draws heavily from his own recollections of and interactions with Dahmer, it works, in part, as a memoir, but he also spoke with former classmates and did a huge amount of research—there are pages and pages of notes at the end* in which he lists all of the various places (books, news reports, interviews) he pulled details from—so it works as a work of nonfiction as well.
That was probably a more long-winded explanation than you needed, but I always find it annoying that "graphic novel" is used as a catch-all term for the format, even in the instances in which the book in question isn't a novel. Anyway.
It's an outstanding book. The story isn't sensationalized, and there's no exploitation of Dahmer or his victims. It's a sad story about a tormented person set during a weird time in an everyday place. Backderf's inclusion of scenes featuring his own family and friends serve as a striking parallel to Dahmer's experience at home and at school, and in addition to the partial biography of Dahmer, the book also serves as a very specific portrait of a small Ohio town in the 1970s.
There's a big difference between searching for the reasons behind something—trying to understand—and making excuses. This book falls firmly in the former category. Backderf stresses in his introduction that he doesn't sympathize for Dahmer-the-monster, but that he has pity for Dahmer-the-lonely-kid. And that comes through: he successfully separates the pre-killings Dahmer from the post-killings Dahmer, and he makes it really easy to feel for the pre-killings Dahmer. In My Friend Dahmer, he's a kid with no one to turn to—if adults didn't even notice his rampant alcoholism, it's hard to imagine him turning to any of them for help—struggling against violent, ugly urges that he knows are wrong.
Ultimately, he gives into them, and we all know where the story goes from there.
Blerg. I need recommendations for a happy book, please.
*Which are easily as interesting as the rest of the book.
Texas, 1968. Jack Long recently left his job as the race reporter in San Antonio to take a job with a similar title in Houston... but as the political and racial landscape is so very different in Houston, it may as well be a completely different job. He's trying to cover the local SNCC protests but the young members aren't particularly eager to talk to (or trust) a white reporter. When he finds himself in a precarious situation while covering a rally, protester Larry Thompson helps him out by both defusing the situation and vouching for Jack's credibility.
The Long and Thompson families begin to see each other socially, a relationship that changes their own perspectives and breaks unmarked boundaries in the community. It also has a more far-reaching effect: when five black college students are accused of murdering a white police officer, the friendship between the Longs and the Thompsons ultimately affects the verdict.
Heavily based on author Mark Long's childhood memories, The Silence of Our Friends creates a portrait of a very specific time and place, but one that is likely to resonate with a broad spectrum of readers. That's because in addition to the larger civil rights plotline, there are so many moments depicted—kids getting to know each other, parents disagreeing on parenting techniques, the moment in which you realize that a friendship is over—that we've all either experienced or witnessed.
The artwork and dialogue both contribute to the stellar characterization, and while it portrays some ugly, ugly behavior, it doesn't really comment on or demonize it. It just shows it and lets it speak for itself: ugly and hateful, sometimes habitual and often unthinking. Similarly, Jack's drinking and Julie Long's visual impairment both have an impact on daily life, but both are portrayed as a regular part of life: no one ever sits down for a Afterschool Special heart-to-heart.
What I'm trying to say, in a very round-about way, is that everything in The Silence of Our Friends—Big Moments and seemingly small ones—feels true and real, and that it's very much worth reading. And, for that matter, re-reading.
In which we are introduced to three more members of the team: the Frenchman (lanky, loquacious, completely bananas when enraged), the Female (tiny, quiet, capable of insanely insane violence), and Mother's Milk (huge, tidy, single father, haven't seen him fight yet).
Also, Butcher continues to work on courting Wee Hughie into joining the team.
Artwork? Same deal as last time. It works just fine, but I'm not super-excited about it. The shape of Butcher's face is strangely inconsistent. I continue to like how the shots are framed, though, and the little details: for instance, when we first meet them, the Frenchman and the Female are both dressed like Butcher (trench coat, big boots), while Mother's Milk—the only member of the team who has reservations about re-joining—isn't.
Storyline? As I've mentioned, if you prefer your comics without sex, violence, and/or profanity, you'll probably want to skip The Boys. Everyone else, read on.
Although we don't get any backstory on the Frenchman or the Female—he goes from zero to sixty and beats the crap out of some yahoos in a coffee shop, she's clearly doing some hit-work for the mob—we learn a bit about Mother's Milk's history, and we get to see that Butcher genuinely cares about him.
We also get to see Butcher's version of "cheering Wee Hughie up", which involves a dog-on-dog rape. Or at least a serious humping. A scene which is made all the more... something... when you realize that at some point in the past, Butcher trained Terror to respond to that command.