Flipping the Bird at Censors

BookendsCindy: Many libraries and English teachers have spent the week building displays and discussing book censorship to honor Banned Books Week. Thank you. Meanwhile, there have been several teen books that have recently flipped the bird at censors in their cover art. Have you read any of these books? Do you have them in your teen collection? Do they get checked out or are they just left out around the library like my middle schoolers do with Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love (2006) by Maryrose Wood?


Flip the Bird (Nov. 2016) by Kym Brunner

Learning to Swear in America (2016) by Katie Kennedy

Read Between the Lines (2015) by Jo Knowles

Only one of these books focuses on the impact of the rude gesture suggested by the cover art. Still, the covers grab our attention. Is it because we’re all middle-schoolers at heart? Last summer, I watched tourists giggle at the centuries-old middle finger of Galileo, preserved in his museum under a glass dome in Florence, Italy. You can’t take us anywhere.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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