While primarily about censorship, this graphic novel touches on other important issues, too like what many LGBT young people face with their families It was an interesting story, and I really enjoyed the fantasy novel interspersed with the other narrative I think the primary villain was a bit one dimensional, though I realize this is a comic book, but it seems like even in the confines of a graphic novel, we can make the villain complex True, these types of people do tend to be shallow, and single minded I ve seen some of these people firsthand, and while they don t represent all Christians, they represent a lot of them And they are the most vocal When we make the people we hate into caricatures, we make them less like real people, and then they are easier to hate I m not sure what made me start thinking of this since fundamentalist zealots are the top of my list of people to despise, too They are ugly, hateful, and mean But just as they might want to paint readers of fantasy as immoral, pagan, Satan worshipers, it s not accurate to pretend they re not real people which is what they do But I digress I think the graphic novel was definitely worth reading, especially tackling some important issues Recommended. I really enjoyed this Yes, it s a drastically oversimplified version of the library reconsideration of materials process, and yes, the angry religious parents trying to ban a fantasy series from the town library are entirely one dimensional I also take issue with the librarian who claims to have personally read every book in her library I am a librarian, and I doubt I m in a double digits percent on that one However, I do not take issue with how awesome the librarian character is, or the geeky sweet mentor ish relationship she has with the main character a smart, awkward, book loving 14 year old named Neil I m not sure how this book would go over with an actual teenager, but for me it was total comics comfort food, especially the scenes where the cool older kid introduces Neil to punk music for the first time and the montage of teachers first day speeches to new high school students It s not particularly challenging or complex, but it is really sweet and full of extremely likable people Very gentle values reaffirmation reading. Neal Barton Just Wants To Read In Peace Unluckily For Him, Some Local Christian Activists Are Trying To Get His Favorite Fantasy Series Banned From The Americus Public Library On Grounds Of Immoral Content And Heresy Something Has To Be Done, And It Looks Like Quiet, Shy Neal Is Going To Have To Do It With Youth Services Librarian Charlotte Murphy At His Back, Neal Finds Himself Leading The Charge To Defend The Mega Bestselling Fantasy Series That Makes His Life Worth Living This Funny, Gripping, And Relatable Tale Of Life And Local Politics In Middle America Is Currently Being Serialized Online We re so excited to be publishing this book for banned book day It s got small towns and censorship and kids working in the library and helping their community Oh, and girls in shop class.What could you ask for Not that I m biased or anything, but books with cool librarians who try to fend off overly religious book challenges have a special place in my affections The bible thumper half of town gets up in arms about a fantasy book series, and their book banning is the frame for a young man s journey through freshman year Homophobia, rural drug use and single mom anxiety all make an appearance Keep your eye on secondary characters they seem to pop back up later The characters here are mostly one dimensional A little balance would have pushed this one higher An enjoyable, though not perfect, read. This one s a tough one to review While I loved the victorious tale of a fight against book banning, I almost felt offended at times at some of the jokes made at Christians expense that really did nothing to further the story but rather just made all Christians look like angry raving lunatics with no regard for literature at all I love the main character, and I love the librarian, but all the Christians in this book are horrible people, and that s not realistic at all There are many Christians, who like me a librarian as well , are appalled by the idea of book banning Overall, I love the message of this book, but I just feel like it took a few too many unnecessary jabs at Christians and lumped all Christians into the same ultra conservative, intolerant mold. It breaks my heart that this is happening in another town The Ravenchilde books are the best thing to happen to literacy practically since the alphabet was invented I ve seen kids completely transformed once they start reading Apathea Overnight, they re avid readers They dramatically improve in school, and become intellectually curious These books keep their imaginations alive That s priceless Neil Barton feels like an outcast in his small town of Americus, Oklahoma His best friend has just been sent off to military school by his ultra religious mother, and he s faced with starting his freshman year on his own To make matters worse, his favorite book series is being challenged by that same mother, leading to a bitter fight over intellectual freedom, and the place of books and imagination in children s lives I really wanted to like this book than I did, but it just didn t work for me Censorship is a valuable topic for YA and GNs, and this book will be released to coincide with Banned Book Week in September But the treatment of the censorship case just seemed too heavy handed to me the mother who brings the challenge to the book series which seems loosely based on the Harry Potter series is painted as a grotesque monster, with no redeeming qualities While there are strident voices in favor of banning removing books, the situations are often complex than what is presented here I understand that the point of the book is to bring the debate over censorship to a younger reading audience, many of whom are affected by these types of debates, but it just seemed to simplistic to me I also was offended, as a former resident of the state, by the depiction of Oklahoma as nothing than a bunch of small town, small minded conservative zealots except for Neil, his mother, and the local librarians People like that exist everywhere Censorship can touch any community, anywhere the Bible Belt may be an easy target, but again, the picture of censorship is much complicated than that I do appreciate the fine artwork in this book, but if I m going to try to introduce a student to censorship, I ll probably hand her Crutcher s The Sledding Hill before this one. M.K Reedin ja Jonathan Hillin Americus First Second, 2011 on sarjakuva Americuksen oikkukaupungista, joka sijaitsee jossakin Yhdysvaltain syd nmailla Neil Barton niminen nuorukainen on yl astetta lopetteleva kirjatoukka, joka yst v ns kanssa pakenee ahdistavaa arkea kirjastoon Erityisen suosittu on Apathea Ravenchilde velhosta kertova fantasiakirjasarja jossa muuten loitsut ovat suomenkielisi , mutta valitettavasti uskonnolliset fundamentalistit tahtoisivat kielt sen saatananpalvontana ja nuoria mieli turmelevana saastana Niinp Neil joutuukin paikallisen kirjastonhoitajan k ym n taisteluun sensuuria vastaan.Sarjakuvassa kuvataan mukavasti nelj toistavuotiaan el m , koulunk ynti ja ihmissuhteita pikkukaupungissa, josta on p st v pois ennen kuin on liian my h ist , v h n samaan tapaan kuin Bruce Springsteenin lauluissa.Fantasiakirjojen kielt mist vastustavat fundamentalistit kuvataan ehk v h n yksiulotteisina hahmona, mutta joka tapauksessa pidin kokonaisuudesta hyvinkin paljon, ehk osin my s tuon kirjastoulottuvuuden ja sensuurinvastaisuuden vuoksi Suomalaisesta kirjaston k kulmasta t m nkaltainen tapahtumaketju voi toki tuntua hieman rimm iselt , mutta koskettaa moinen my s meid n kotimaista ammattikuntaamme, vaikka yleisemm ll tasolla.Kahden lukukerran j lkeen t ytyy sanoa, ett Americuksesta on tullut yksi suosikkisarjakuvistani Lis ksi voisi todeta, ett sano First Second kun haluat hyv Kyseinen kustantamo tekee selv sti jotakin oikein kun sen kupeista kumpuaa jatkuvalla sy t ll n in mainioita julkaisuja. Neil Barton hates his small town, Americus He uses his love of books as a shield to keep the rest of the world at bay And then his best friend s mother starts a campaign to get the Apathea Ravenchilde books, Neil s favorite series, pulled from the local library I m of two minds about this book On one hand, Reed went for the most over the top possible book banning scenario And yet, that doesn t make it any less realistic of a scenario Sure, most censorship attempts are far calmer, but if you don t think that there are people who could work themselves into an identical frenzy in real life over a middle grade fantasy series, you haven t paid attention to the extremes of the debate over Harry Potter The censorship side of the debate in Americus could be made up entirely of direct quotes from people opposed to Harry Potter in real life So yes, it is a realistic look at an extreme attempt at book banning that could really happen and has happened in modern America But that is really at the far, extreme edges of the issues surrounding censorship, and it lets the author present the issue as good vs evil, when it s seldom that simple.I was also disconcerted with how Neil s friend, Danny, was handled Early in the book, he comes out to his parents, and is immediately shipped off That wasn t what worried me It s a valid plot development, if handled well The problem is that Danny is just bundled off and largely forgotten about When he does come up in conversation, it s usually handled fairly well The scenes with his younger sister trying to deal with his absence are heartbreaking, and the family not dealing with the issue is probably realistic I just wish that Danny had been given time As it is, he s just a pointless subplot, and I think he, and the issue, deserve than that.So yes, mixed feelings I admire what the author was trying to do, but a less extreme banning attempt would have been realistic, and let the book become than just a lecture I also felt like Danny s subplot wasn t given the space it deserved, which is a shame I think Reed could have done a great job with it, if she d actually given his story attention On the other hand, Apathea Ravenchilde is a great name for an epic fantasy heroine. Trust me, just skip it You know how you occassionally take a chance on a book that has a bouncy description in your monthly Previews comic book shop order without any knowledge of the artist or the writer Well, I took a chance on this one and I regret it Artwise, everything is serviceable Storywise, this thing blows The protagonist has nothing to do in his small town except read a female centric fantasy series I look at this character and wonder if it is the town that is boring and lifeless or if the character lacks the imagination to enjoy himself anywhere The protagonist s best friend announces he is gay and his conservative family promptly ships him off to military schooland he hates it Really Cuz military school is one of the few places where they let tweens blow shit up, which should be sorta cool for a character coming from a boring small town Plus, he s surrounded 24 7 by males who are fit and ripped sounds like gayboy Shangri la to me The main conflict comes from the conservative parent who seeks to get the aforementioned fantasy series banned from the local library The parent is physically shown to be a fat slob who is practically foaming at the mouth as she proclaims to be personally speaking for God at a public meeting M.K Reed must have been raised on Harry Potter because the author never learned that you don t have to demonize your antagonist in every concievable way Make them real, give them legitimate concerns and believable motivations, and your story will be much improved There are legitimate concerns regarding the influences that children are exposed to As a parent, I want to have a great deal of insight into what my child is reading and watching, because there are people out there who will peddle everything from smut to carcinogens to my kid without a moment s hesitation Annnnnnd that was about it for the book No interesting characters, predictable simplistic story that never pursued the premise beyond the starting gate, and the art was nothing to write home about Just skip it.