Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banned Books Week

If you read, you probably know that this week (September 24-October 1) is Banned Books Week. This is the week were people everywhere celebrate the right to read anything and everything that they want. I feel really offended personally when I hear about books being challenged and banned; books have been a major part and influence in who I am as a person. I even feel like my life would be different if I hadn't read the books I've read. I think that it important that everyone's opinion is heard; people may have their own personal opinions on the topics discussed, but they have no right to take an other person opinion and ban it from public view.

ALA has a list of the top ten challenged books of 2010 and I thought I would list and talk about the ones I've read. (If I've read it it's in orange. If I haven't it's in blue)

1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins

I actually haven't read Crank yet, but I have read other books by Ellen Hopkins and they all have been mind blowingly amazing. They do deal with topics that to some might seem controversial, but they are realistic and thought-provoking.

5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games. Who hasn't read this at this point? I see no reason why anybody would ban this.

6) Lush, by Natasha Friend
 
7) What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones

Another amazing novel told in verse. I think verse novels in particular are challenged just because they seem more raw and realistic. I'm guessing this one was challenged because some lying does occur in the book. I guess the people who challenged it never lie themselves? 

8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich

9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
 
10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

This one falls into The Hunger Games category with WHO HASN'T READ THIS. Twilight is all in good fun. All sane people know that vampires are fiction. It isn't telling its readers to go sign a contact with satan.

So what do you think about books being banned? What are some of your favorite banned books? Have anything cool you are doing for banned books week?

Happy Banned Books Week and happy reading!

 --Alexis
Monday, September 26, 2011

The Crossroads: A Guest Post

"Claudia Emerson has a good friend who shares the same first name and last name. That friend unfortunately dies in a tragic accident during homecoming dance. Claudia is distraught at the loss of her friend, but is even more disturbed by her dreams, which seem to take her to another place called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth. It is where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. Where, Claudia meets Michael, a nephilim, a half angel, half human, whom she often meets in her dreams. It turns out that this isn’t her first visit to Crossroads, which is an enigma for no human can ever travel there until Claudia.
 

Now the fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special and it is up to Michael and the other nephilims to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed, about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should?"

Sounds great right? I'm happy to say that today on the blog I'll be featuring Mary Ting (the author herself!). 






"About Crossroads


I started writing Crossroads after my grandmother passed away about 3 years ago.  When these characters came to life in my mind, along with the character Gamma, inspired by my grandmother, it was a way for me to heal.  I decided to start from a dream I had in high school, chapter one.  Chapter two is also based on my dream as well.  I didn’t think I would have much to write about, but when I made Claudia to be more like me, it was easy.  Her first car, her first job, her first experience at camping and her grandmother having a stroke was all part of me.  Too bad Michael wasn’t real…lol!!!
During the process, my three wonderful friends helped me along the way. They gave me critical feedback and editorial advice. I don't think I could have done it without them. I first self-published, then I signed a contract with a traditional publisher, World Castle. Being an author wasn't something I dreamed to be one day. My heart was broken from the loss of my grandmother and for some unknown reason, I had a story I had to share with the rest of the world. 
Most of my characters are my friends...hehe!!!  Many people like Davin, which I’m really happy about because his character was inspired by my friend who passed away.  He was very likable and was a best friend to all his friends.  Patty is my friend from church.  She is exactly how I described her; social butterfly who knows everything about her friends and fashion.  I named Claudia after a student I once had many years ago.  I can still picture her face, just like an angel.  When I was much younger, I had a crush on a boy name Michael, but his character is based off my husband, protective, romantic, and silly at times.  No… he doesn’t have wings…lol!!!
Though I was busy with work, being a wife, a mother, and PTA president, I would always find time to write, even if that meant typing while I was cooking or brushing my teeth.    Crossroads was written for a fast, fun reading with likable characters.  Many have emailed me to let me know how Crossroads has helped them escaped from their everyday stress.  Also, how they’ve connected to this book because of chapter one, having a loved one passed away. I took on a journey not knowing how rewarding it would be for me. I’ve meet so many wonderful people from all over the world through facebook, goodreads and blog sites.  I’ve made everlasting friendship where friendship knows no boundaries.  And I have to thank my grandmother who continues to watch over me from Heaven. "
Want to know more? Be sure to check out these links to find out more about Crossroads and where to pick it up. You can also find Mary on twitter, her blog, and her website.

Twitter @maryting
Barnes: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crossroads-mary-ting/1100334731?ean=9781937085759&itm=1
There is still one more thing: the giveaway! The Crossroads Experience has it's last stop on the 28th at The Magic Attic, but if until the end of the tour you can enter to win a signed copy of Crossroads, a Swarovski crystal heart necklave, and a bracelet!

Just fill out this FORM.

--Alexis

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Hi my name is Alexis and I'm so excited to be heading to Oregon State University in the fall. I will be majoring in English and hope to become an editor or technical writer in my future.

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With Beyond the Cover, I want to help people interested in YA with a resource to refer to. This blog will be composed of reviews as well as other book related subjects.



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