Boston Public Library

Posts Tagged ‘comics’

Teens in the News: #FreePersepolis!

Posted on March 29th, 2013 by Akunna in Books, News

free persepolisWhat would you do if a book was banned at your school? Recently, some teens in Chicago had to figure this out.

On March 14, public schools in Chicago were told to take the book Persepolis off their classroom shelves and to stop using the book in classes. Persepolis is a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi that tells the story of her growing up in Iran during a revolution and a war with Iraq in the ’70s and ’80s and in the Chicago Public Schools, it’s taught in grades 7-12. The decision to ban the book, according to the head of Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd-Bennett, was made because of the  images of torture and the concern for students not being able to handle it.

After hearing about this, students at Lane Tech High School organized a rally for the next morning to demand that the book be kept in their schools. One high school senior, who read the book for class,  said Persepolis “sheds light on a different country and religion. It cancels out the stereotypes and changes your perspective.”  When asked whether the book was inappropriate for younger students, she added: “We shouldn’t have 12- and 13-year-olds who are not in tune politically. We’re being sheltered. We’re allowing ourselves to be dumbed down.” Students and teachers at another school called the Social Justice High led a read-in, reading the book in their library to protest the ban.

After these protests, Byrd-BennePersepolisprotesttt “re-phrased” the original message about all schools having to take Persepolis off their shelves.  In a letter to teachers, she stated that the book is appropriate for use in high school classrooms, but should not be used in 7th grade classes, where the book should be taken off of classroom shelves and kept in the school libraries only. Unfortunately, as others have noted, many elementary and middle schools do not have school libraries.

For me, hearing about this made me think a lot about access to information for young people and whether they have a say in that. So, I asked some teens at the Dudley Library what they thought about banning books in schools and what they think they’d do in that situation. Here are some of their thoughts:

Nathaniel: ” Why ban books? Books are about expressing ideas you never thought you had. If they ban a book I like, I might protest.”

Chole: “If someone banned A Girl Named Disaster, I would be upset because I’m reading that right now and I like it. If it was a book I never read, it would bother me because I never got the chance to read it.”

Imani: “It depends…if I like the book and it was banned in my school, I would just get it from the public library. There’s no point to banning one book because there are so many other books that probably have things in there that someone could ban it for.”

Ashley: “If a book was banned, I would try to get a petition signed or see what else is possible to do about it. We learn about war in history class. That’s not a good reason to ban a book. ”

How about you–what do you think? Have you read Persepolis? What would you do if a book was banned in your school or community?




Hark! A Vagrant – Book Review

Posted on December 28th, 2011 by bplteenblog in Books, Reviews - Staff

Who knew you could learn some History while reading comics. In Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant, that’s exactly what you experience.  Sure, you’re thinking, learning while reading comics? I think I’ll skip this one.  But trust me when I tell you that this book will have you laughing out loud.  Beaton leaves no moment of History untouched with her witty comic strips; which range from history to literature to just plain random and hilarious observations. For example did you ever wonder how to spot a wise owl? Well obviously it’s the one with a beard.

I’ll admit though, there were moments were I had no idea who she was referring to in certain comics, but a quick browse through Wikipedia and I knew exactly who that person was and look at that, I learned something new. Sneaky Beaton! The author also adds some commentary to explain why she created certain comics, and at times a little brief description of the historical person she is referring to in her comic.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading comics, but also those who enjoy their history with a side of humor.

To get a taste of what’s in the book, you can visit Beaton’s website where she posts comics frequently.

Hark! A Vagrant

Wonder Woman gets a new look!

Posted on July 1st, 2010 by Anna in News

Wonder Woman has been saving the world for 69 years and she’s still going strong! (hmmm… wonder what she does to stay so young looking and so strong?…) But after this many years, her creators have determined she deserves a little change. Yes, Wonder Woman will lose the tight shorts in favor of  tight pants. But I think she looks pretty good.  What do you think?

The new look of Wonder Woman

Also, her past has changed too, into something much more darker than the original story. The updated version of her history has her smuggled as a baby from her Amazon village when unknown forces wreak havoc and destroy its inhabitants.

Have thoughts and feelings about these changes to the iconic female hero? Post a comment below and let us know what you think! Are these changes good? Or bad? Do you believe she’s earned them after 69 years of saving the world from evil doers? Or is there something else you think she deserves to have changed?

FREE Comic Book Day, May 1

Posted on April 20th, 2010 by Akunna in Events

The Dudley library is celebrating FREE COMIC BOOK DAY (FCBD) — an annual celebration comic books when comic book stores offer comic books for FREE.  Yes.  FREE!

Before heading to the nearest comic book store, stop by the Dudley Branch Library for a Comic Book Swap. Bring what you’ve read and trade with other comic book fans. Manga is more than welcome!

What: Comic Swap

When: May 1, 12p-2p

Where: Dudley Branch Library, 65 Warren St., Roxbury, MA 02119

Contact: or 617 442 6186

Comic book shops participating in FCBD (ask for details of how to get free stuff at the store):

(617) 266-4266

(617) 553-4247

(617) 236-4930

(617) 236-4930

(617) 566-0115

(617) 783-1848