Archive for ‘Controversial’

June 1, 2011

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Author: Maya Angelou
Copyright 1983 Bantam Books
ISBN: 978-0553279375
Genre: Controversial

Maya Angelou, a famous writer and poet, creates an intriguing memoir of her childhood in the segregated southern state of Arkansas in her novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  Angelou is sent to live with her grandmother after her parents are unable to prosper in California.  She and her older brother Bailey help their wise and respected grandmother tend to the neighborhood store and learn a great deal about being of a different race during such tumultuous times.  After dreaming of being reunited with her mother, Angelou finally gets her wish and relocates to St. Louis to live with her and her new boyfriend.  She quickly realizes that this is not the dream she hoped it would be as her mother’s boyfriend begins to abuse her.  Through what she has learned from living with her strong grandmother, Angelou is able to overcome her struggles and triumph in the worst of circumstances.  Wonderfully written with great style and language, I Know Why the Cages Bird Sings presents readers with a unique perspective of a girl who learns to deal with her past and create her own future.

June 1, 2011

Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Copyright 2003 Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: 0-375-82400-6
Genre: Controversial

In this young adult novel, David Levithan weaves an intriguing tale about an uncoventional high school.  Paul is a sophomore, and unlike most teenagers his age, he attends a school in which most of the students would be considered different if they went to one of current society’s mainstream high schools.  Paul falls in love with a boy, his friend Darlene used to be known as Daryl, and his friend Tony is grappling with the knowledge that someday he will have to tell his religious parents about his sexual orientation.  Each of the characters in Levithan’s book are well developed and although the reader may not live their lifestyle, they are extremely easy to identify with.  This story presents a world in which acceptance is the norm and shows teens as well as adults what it might be like if no one were considered “different”.

May 25, 2011

And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three
Authors: Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
Illustrator: Henry Cole
Copyright 2005 Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Company
ISBN: 978-0-689-87845-9
Genre: Controversial

Many different types of families exist in our society today.  Some children grow up with a mom and a dad, with only one parent, with their grandparents, in foster homes, or even in homes with two moms or two dads.  This topic can often be difficult to explain to young children as they begin comparing their own lives to those of their friends.  In And Tango Makes Three, the reader learns about a unique family that lives at the Central Park Zoo.  Roy and Silo are two male penguins who live together in the penguin house and begin to act like a couple.  When they find a rock and start to nurture it like the other penguin couples are nurturing their eggs, the zookeeper takes notice and places an orphaned egg in their nest.  This book can be used to start a discussion about the different types of families that children may have as well as a way to begin a discussion about adoption, surrogacy, or foster-parenting.  Although controversial to some, reading this book may be an appropriate means for answering questions kids may have about same-sex couples and families and how they are formed.