Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banned Books Week - Read the Graphic Novel Americus online

In honor of Banned Books Week I want to tell you about a great graphic novel that you can read online. The story explores the idea of banning books in a clever and meaningful way.

Americus is about Neil Barton, a teenager growing up in Oklahoma, and his fight to keep his favorite fantasy series, The Chronicles of Apathea Ravenchilde, in his public library. It’s written by MK Reed and drawn by Jonathan Hill, and will be published by First Second in the fall of 2011.
The first chapter of Americus was published in Papercutter #7 in 2008, and was nominated for the Outstanding Short Story Ignatz. You can read the story online on the saveapathea.com website. 

Here is a message from the folks at First Second, the publishers of this great story:
Banned Book Week is a week where people talk about why banning books is not good as much as possible so that everyone realizes that they shouldn’t do it!
Want to celebrate?  Here are five things you can do. 
 1)       Talk about it!  Communication makes the world go ‘round; and when teachers, librarians, and parents know there are people in their communities who are willing to stand up for the freedom to read, that makes them all the more likely to go to bat for what they believe in.
 2)       Go to a party, a reading, or a discussion!  I’m envious of everyone in Chicago who has the opportunity to go to the Official ALA Banned Books Kick-Off because it sounds amazing; there’s a complete list of everything that’s happening around the US here
 3)       Say it with style.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t receive compliments on their Banned Books Bracelet, probably because they are adorable.  Who doesn’t enjoy protesting/awareness-raising and looking good doing it?
 4)       Write a letter.  Check out Amnesty International’s efforts to help people around the world being persecuted for things they “produce, circulate, or read.”  They’ve got six case studies up on their website now; your postcard or letter could really help one of these people. 
 5)       READ.  Seriously, folks.  It’s the very best way to celebrate Banned Book Week.  Here’s the list of the most commonly banned or challenged books in the US: it’s a great place to start.  And who doesn’t love an excuse to reread Flowers for Algernon, James and the Giant Peach, and As I Lay Dying?
 This is a cause that we all at First Second really believe in; thanks for taking the time to listen to us talk about it!

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