Category Archives: Nonfiction

King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography by Chris Crutcher

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King of the Mild Frontier

King of the Mild Frontier by Chris Crutcher ISBN: 0060502495

Plot Summary: Chris Crutcher chronicles his life, from his childhood to his job as an adult, and how his life led him to write for teens. His parents had a happy marriage, though his mother was always drinking. His brother was very good at tricking Chris, which led to a lot of funny situations. And Chris deals with not being good at sports or with girls for many years. As an adult, Chris works as a therapist. It is in this work that he meets everyday heroes; people who must deal with difficult circumstances but rise above and do what it is right. These Encounters with heroes lead Chris to become a young adult author. This is a funny and heartfelt story about the trials and tribulations of growing up, and what’s on the other side.

Critical Evaluation: Chris Crutcher writes in a very genuine and straightforward manner. The tone is conversational and somewhat self-deprecating, as Chris shares rather embarrassing stories about his childhood and his strengths and weaknesses. It makes the whole experience of reading the book very accessible and down to earth, which I appreciate. This gives me the impression of Chris as an approachable and humble author, who does his best to relate to his readers.

This is not really an exciting book. There are plenty of funny moments, especially when Chris discusses his involvement in sports, and moving moments, like when Chris talks about some of his encounters with patients as a therapist. Some of the other books I’ve read this semester were hard to put down; there was so much going on and so much at stake I just had to keep reading. In contrast, I could read this book at a more leisurely pace, put it down to start something else, and come back to it later. That might make it a tougher book for a reluctant reader to get through, but I don’t think of this as a downside to the book. I believe that this book will most appeal to those who have already read Chris’ other books, and they will be motivated enough to complete the book.

Reader’s Annotation: Even authors have to deal with pimples, and bullies, and gym class. In his memoir, Chris Crutcher talks about his childhood, and how he finds inspiration for his books.

Information about the author: Chris Crutcher was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1946. He grew up Cascade, Idaho. Before becoming an author, Chris taught in Washington and California and acted as director of an Oakland alternative school for almost ten years. He also has 25 years of experience as a child and family therapist specializing in abuse and neglect.

These experiences led him to become a YA author. His numerous books are critically acclaimed, and he is one of the most frequently banned authors in America, which he considers an accomplishment. He continues to write novels and is a contributor to Huffington Post and the Voices from the Middle Column. He lives in Spokane, Washington.

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Curriculum ties, if any: This could be tied into any class that was talking about a particular Chris Crutcher book, or for a discussion of how one’s life influences their writing.

Booktalking Ideas: I would definitely sell this to teens who have read Chris Crutcher. I would also emphasize that it is funny and heartfelt. Chris’ experiences as a teenage boy, with pimples and masturbation should resonate with other teenage boys, though I probably won’t bring those particular examples up in a booktalk.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  Chris chronicles most of his life in this book, so at certain points he is younger, and at other points older than the teen readers we are targeting. He writes it as an adult, and is unapologetic in his descriptions of somewhat racy or controversial topics (there is mention of masturbation, but no details). Since most of his books are YA titles for older readers, I imagine this is read by the same age, despite being told in a more adult way.  Booklist suggests this title for grades 8-12, and School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly for grades 8 and up.

Challenge Issues:

  • Sexual situations
  • Language

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

This is a true story, so it obviously has true accounts of Chris’ life, but also of incidents he has been involved in or witnessed. As such, it does no one any good to avoid these subjects. Chris Crutcher also talks at some length about heroes in a way teens might not expect, which I think is important for teens to read about.

Why did you include this book? : I think of Chris Crutcher as a YA heavyweight, so it seemed only natural to include one of his titles in my project. I was attracted to his memoir because I thought it would provide a better understanding of all of his other books and that devoted fans of his would also be interested in learning more about his background.

Reference Page:

Very brief biography (2013). Chris Crutcher website. Retrieved from http://www.chriscrutcher.com/biography.html

High Voltage Tattoo by Kat Von D

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High Voltage Tattoo

High Voltage Tattoo by Kat Von D ISBN: 9780061684388

Plot Summary: Teens interested in tattoos and tattoo culture will love this book, written by renowned tattoo artist and star of L.A. Ink, Kat Von D. This was written as an adult title, but will appeal to a lot of teens because of its engaging design and high interest subject. First the book details Kat’s life, from her childhood to how she got her start in tattoos, to pictures of her many tattoos. Then she describes the tools of the trade and showcases a collection of tattoos she’s done on celebrities and ordinary people. The last section shows her inspiration, whether they be other tattoo artists or painters.

Critical Evaluation: There are really two categories to look at in this book: the text and the pictures. The photography is quite good, and seems very thoughtfully arranged in the book to make pages visually interesting. I like the way the book varies the types of illustrations and how they are displayed, with sketches and pictures in gilded frames, as well as full page photographs. One page I particularly liked featured several people’s arms in neat rows with a little text in between each.

As for the text of the book, Kat writes in a fairly conversational tone, which makes it more relatable. In her autobiography, some areas are more sparsely described, while she does have a tendency to sometimes ramble in other areas. Her passion is evident as she writes and sort of gushes about different tattoo artists, or friends, or particular tattoos. She brings a new understanding for me to tattoos and to the people so dedicated to that lifestyle. And it provides helpful information for people looking to get tattoos on what tattoo artists prefer to work with. I could say that the book is very centered on Kat and on her tattoos, but I find that that helps focus the book and topic. Tattooing is such a broad field that you couldn’t possibly hope to go into detail like this that wasn’t mostly focused on one tattoo artist. I do see this as a book that some people would read and pore over, while others would simply flip through the pictures. And either way, it is an interaction with a book that teen might not have had before.

Reader’s Annotation: The star of LA Ink lets you into her sanctuary; learn about Kat Von D’s childhood, her tattoos, the tattoos she has created, and her best tips and techniques for getting or giving tattoos.

Information about the author (taken from this book): Kat Von D was born in 1982 in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She started tattooing when she was 14, but had been interested in art and sketching for much longer. She started working in a tattoo parlor at 16, and has done so ever since.

She has worked on the TV show Miami Ink and now has her own tattoo parlor, High Voltage Tattoo, and a TV show, LA Ink. In 2007, she set the Guinness World Record or doing the most tattoos in a twenty four hour period. She has too many tattoos to count!

Genre: Adult Crossover, Nonfiction

Curriculum ties, if any: An unconventional art teacher might incorporate some of this information, especially the sections about particular styles of tattoos.

Booktalking Ideas: The obvious people to sell this book to be would be those interested in tattoos. I also think some teens that like art could also appreciate it, and those who had heard of the TV show might be intrigued enough to pick it up. Those are the things I would mention in a book talk, as well as how easy it is to read.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  Interest in tattoos probably starts earlier in the teen years for some, but I believe that older teens will still be just as interested in this book.

Challenge Issues:

  • Alternative lifestyle
  • Some language
  • Some mention of sex and near nudity

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

This book meets the recreational needs of teens. It also contains advice about getting tattoos and repeatedly talks about them as a lifelong decision, so I don’t think teens will think more lightly about tattoos after reading this title. In addition, if teens are interested in tattoos, they will find information about them whether it is in a book, on the internet, or at a party with a guy who claims he can give you a tattoo.

Why did you include this book? : I think this book has great interest for teens interested in tattoos or art or simply a lifestyle that their parents might not approve of. It also represents areas that I wanted to cover in this project, being nonfiction and adult crossover titles. I first read about it in a VOYA article on appealing to teen boys, so I thought it would be good to include.

The Interrupters directed by Steve James

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The Interrupters Directed by Steven James, ISBN: 9781608836345

Plot Summary: This is the second of the two nonfiction movies I’m featuring about Chicago. It focuses on violence, especially gang violence in Chicago, and the organization that works to stop it. Ceasefire was started to combat gang violence in inner city Chicago. One of their most effective programs is the Interrupters program that employs former gang members to intervene during violent acts. These people are from the neighborhoods they work in, familiar with the gangs, but also the culture of violence that is so prevalent in these neighborhoods where violence is seen as the only way to respond to insults, other attacks, and rival gang members in another gang’s territory. The war between gangs in Chicago has claimed many innocent lives, most notably those of children and teens who aren’t in gangs. Through these interventions, Interrupters attempt to show teens that violence is not the only acceptable response, and in the process, lead some teens to a better life.

Critical Evaluation: This is in some ways a slower moving story than “Louder than a Bomb.” There are scenes of the movie that capture real violence and interventions, but for some reason, I didn’t feel as caught up in the moment of this story. For the most part, I think this is a very well made movie that perhaps most importantly, does not sugarcoat. The mood of the movie is especially well done. While some parts move slower than others, we are presented with mostly grim situations where teens can’t really see another way but violence. It is made all the more heartbreaking when we see the cases of innocent lives taken far too soon as a result of this violence. I think my favorite scene is that of a teen’s funeral, and the tearful goodbyes that his classmates make, as well as the speech one Interrupter makes to rally for a reevaluation of the current neighborhood climate. There are hopeful moments, as when one man, through an intervention, does not retaliate and eventually gets a job. However, there is still something bittersweet about moments like this, where the job is not seen as very fulfilling. Perhaps this is meant to question the system where low income people are expected to work low paying, unfulfilling jobs in the face of the apparent riches available for gang members.

Still, characters are very well developed here. Each of the Interrupters has a chance to tell their story: how they got into gangs and violence, and what led them to become an Interrupter. One such story is that of a Latino man who went to jail for killing another teen. He is shown working with children in his old neighborhood and looking at the topic of violence through the medium of art. Several teens are also featured throughout the movie, like one teen in a rehabilitation house after going to a juvenile detention center. The Interrupter spends a lot of time with this teen, not only working through her anger and violent tendencies, but also demonstrating a better way to live, and pampering her so that she sees her worth and beauty.

Reader’s Annotation: Being a teenager is hard, especially if you live in the violence torn inner city streets where teens and children can get shot with no warning. Watch this movie for one look at a solution to the violence, and how teens can do their part too.

Information about the director: Steve James is an award winning director, producer and co-editor for the movie “Hoop Dreams.”  Most of his movies have been documentaries.  Quite a few have won awards.

For creating “The Interrupters,” Steve says he was inspired by an article by Chicago writer, Alex Kotlowitz, to make a movie about Ceasefire. He felt that a movie had the potential to reach a broader audience on this issue.  However, it was a difficult movie to film because it required assessing each situation to see if it was safe enough for Steve and his crew to get close enough to film.

Genre: Nonfiction movie

Curriculum ties, if any: This movie has been used in high school sociology classes before, and would provide an opportunity in a variety of classes to discuss violence and possible solutions or alternatives to the use of violence.

Booktalking Ideas: This is a movie I would encourage compassionate teens to watch, so I would impress upon them the real life violence encountered and the solutions Ceasefire comes up with to combat them. In general for teens, I might ask them if they are aware of gangs in their neighborhood, or ever hear about teens in their areas getting killed by gang violence. Once it becomes slightly more relatable, I think teens would be interested to see what happens next.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  The featured Interrupters in this movie are adults, but most of the people that they work with are teens. This is probably not a movie that a teen would gravitate to for entertainment, but I think conscientious older teens would value the story and a look at an epidemic that affects them whether they live in Chicago or not.

Challenge Issues:

  • Language
  • Violence

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with movie. As I’ve watched this movie, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book or movie I was not as familiar with, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this movie is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the movie.
    • A description of who the movie is best suited for.
    • A summary of the movie and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the movie. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the movie
    • Alternative works a student could read or watch
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

This is an important movie to watch because it represents a situation that is very real for some teens. Just today, I read an article in the paper about a 14 year old boy who was shot while riding through his former neighborhood. This movie represents teens who live that life day to day, but also provides a glimpse of the situation to other teens. This movie has the potential to change the way teens think about gangs and violence, and in some cases, to explore alternative solutions to these situations. Censoring it because of the language or difficult situations does nothing to help solve the problem.

Why did you include this movie? : After talking to my sister, who watched it in her sociology class, I decided that it did apply more to teens than I originally anticipated. It does not have quite the same hopeful ending as “Louder than a Bomb,” but presents a reality I think it is important to address.

Reference Page:

Filmmakers (2011). The Interrupters website. Retrieved from http://interrupters.kartemquin.com/filmmakers

Khan, A. (February 14, 2012). Q&A: Filmmaker Steve James on making “The Interrupters.” PBS Frontline. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/social-issues/interrupters/qa-filmmaker-steve-james-on-making-the-interrupters/

Louder than a Bomb, directed by Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs

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Louder than a Bomb Directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, ASIN: B006UTDG42

Plot Summary: I’d like to feature two locally made movies in this blog that I think have appeal for teens, though are quite different than what one might expect. The first is “Louder than a Bomb,” about the largest teen poetry slam in the country of the same name. The movie follows four schools competing in the slam, and four students on each of those teams. Each student comes from a different neighborhood and a different background, but each share a love of poetry and all get to know each other through this slam. The movie chronicles the journeys of each group as they prepare for the slam, and leads the viewer through the slam, through epic, beautiful poems, triumphs and disappointments.

Critical Evaluation: As a lover of slam poetry and with a vested interest in Chicago, I may be biased when I say how much I really enjoyed this film. The strongest element of this movie is the character development. The poetry may have been quite good, but it is more of a vehicle for understanding each of the teens portrayed. The movie begins and ends with our characters, seeing where they started out, and where they are headed afterwards. Interspersed with footage of teens practicing and ultimately performing are interviews with the teens, with their parents, with the poetry coaches. Everything comes together, including the poetry they recite, to give us a better picture of who each of these teens are.

Yet the movie also demonstrates rising action and for me, suspense as teens get closer to the slam and then perform and witness their scores. The energy at the competition is palpable, and I felt the gamut of emotions while watching: happy, sad, angry, nervous, and eventually some sense of relief to know the conclusion. We don’t quite get the end we may have expected, but there are still joyful moments and recognition for each of the poets featured.  In my mind, it would be hard to say what the movie is missing, and hard to make it any better without making it longer. I could have wished for more of the poetry performances, but quite truthfully, there was a delicate balance to each element. There was enough development of backstory of both the slam and the teens through interviews and views of their day to day life. There was quite a bit of poetry throughout the movie.

Since this was a documentary featuring teens, it occurs to me to think about the effect the movie might have had on them. I think that it really delved into the teens lives, some more than others, but always to a healthy level. I’d like to think that teens and parents felt comfortable with everything that was featured in the movie, because it did end up portraying the teens in a very positive light. And it allowed each to self-reflect on their poetry and on their lives, in a way they might not have done otherwise. In this way, I can hope their lives will be better for participating in the movie. And I would say that a teen who watches this movie will be better because of it, as it shows the amazing potential a teen has to achieve and produce beautiful works of art. It should give them hope to see how many adults appreciate and support their artistic endeavors or whatever hobby they choose to pursue.

Reader’s Annotation: Poetry is not just confined to your textbooks: it can be a rap, a story of life as an inner city teen, a way to connect to others and express yourself. Experience four teens in Chicago as they prepare and compete in the country’s largest poetry slam in this electric and inspiring movie.

Information about the author: Siskel/Jacobs Productions is a Chicago based film company founded in 2005. They first produced a History Channel program called “102 Minutes that Changed America” about the attacks on 9/11. They are currently at work on episodes for National Geographic Channel’s “Witness” series, that focuses on disasters around the world, from Hurricane Katrina to Japan’s disaster as a result of a tidal wave.

Greg Jacobs served as VP/Chief Creative Officer at Towers Productions, where he oversaw the content of more than two hundred documentaries on five different networks. He graduated from Yale University and got a master’s degree in history from Ohio State University. Jon Siskel created a variety of shows for various networks. He now serves on the board of directors of Free Spirit Media, a youth media organization out of Chicago.

Genre: Nonfiction movie

Curriculum ties, if any: This would be a fantastic movie to show in a class during a poetry unit, leading into the teens writing their own poetry.

Booktalking Ideas: To encourage teens to watch this movie I would highlight the alternative format of poetry, that is more similar to rapping. I might also ask teens if any of them have written fiction or poetry before. Then I would ask them if any of them have performed their works before, which would lead into describing what teens do in this movie.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  The teens featured in this movie were all seniors in high school at the time of filming. I think this has broader appeal, and that younger and older viewers can also appreciate it. It seems best suited to high school students partly because it tells their story, but also because they will best be able to relate to the teens in the movie and understand where they are coming from.

Challenge Issues:

  • Language
  • Mention of violence

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with movie. As I’ve watched this movie, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book or movie I was not as familiar with, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this movie is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the movie.
    • A description of who the movie is best suited for.
    • A summary of the movie and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the movie. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the movie
    • Alternative works a student could read or watch
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think this is important for teens to have access to. It has descriptions of violence, some coarse language, and difficult situations presented, but it shows teens coming from somewhat difficult backgrounds and still making something positive out of that background. Will slam poetry keep some of these teens from joining gangs or throwing away their education? Maybe!

Why did you include this movie? : I love this movie, and want more people to be exposed to it because I think it has a great story and message. It represents the positive contribution that teens can make to the world, and the potential of art to connect teens across their seemingly different backgrounds.

Reference Page (if directly citing material):

About the filmmakers (2011). Louder than a Bomb website. Retrieved from http://www.louderthanabombfilm.com/about-the-filmmakers.php

No Choirboy by Susan Kuklin

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No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin ISBN: 9780805079500

Plot Summary: This book takes a look at the hot topic of capital punishment and the teens who find themselves on Death Row. This story is told by four prisoners who were prosecuted to die while still teenagers. Teens talk about what life is like on Death Row and how they ended up there. Through the interjections of the author, the reader also learns more about the justice system and capital punishment. Families of the victims and prisoners, as well as a world renowned anti-death penalty attorney also present their viewpoints in this moving and enlightening book.

Critical Evaluation: I really appreciated this book. It does not have an uplifting or hopeful story to tell, which makes it somewhat difficult to read, but all the more important to understand. The book focuses on teens on death row, so as you can imagine, character is the most important element. Each chapter focuses on one person, and is told through their words, their lawyer’s, and families’. I think that Kuklin did a good job of balancing voices in each chapter to help the readers get to know each person involved. The most difficult chapters should have been those about people who had died, but through the details she compiled, it still felt very personal.

Then I would have to say that the next most important element is the moral. I’m disinclined to talk too much about a book’s moral, because I don’t want writing to be necessarily about a cause. However, the cause behind this book is one I can appreciate. There are many lessons a reader could take from this book. To a certain extent, one of those messages is: Crime doesn’t pay. Yet, I was more affected by another; that our justice system is imperfect. I was struck by the idea that a teen, one as young as 14 could be sentenced so harshly. From what we have learned in class, there is still so much more development of a person’s decision making throughout the teen years. But that is not exactly the point. Kuklin pulled together a multitude of different voices and painted a vivid image of each of their lives and the world that can take away their loved ones. I will concede that there is no real mention of the other side of the argument, of those that support the death penalty. This book could stand some balance to opinions presented, but at the same time, in some ways I think this is a better book because it presents opinions in an upfront and unapologetic way.

Reader’s Annotation: No Choirboy tells the story of five teens: one killed by another, and four sentenced to die for crimes they may or may not have committed. Here are their own words and their families’ words on the effect of crime and the criminal justice system on a teen’s life.

Information about the author: Susan Kuklin grew up in Philadelphia, and dreamt of being a ballerina or actress. She majored in theater at New York University. She moved to Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband and dedicated herself to photographing Appalachian families.

When she moved back to New York, she began taking pictures for magazines, and was hired to take pictures of a Colombia University study on Nim Chimpsky, the chimpanzee who was able to learn 150 words in sign language. These pictures led to a book, which lead to Susan’s career in publishing. She has published many books for children to teens, including quite a few on tough subjects, like AIDS, teen pregnancy, and child slavery.

Genre: Nonfiction

Curriculum ties, if any: This would be a good book to feature when looking at the prison system, or for an opposing viewpoint assignment.

Booktalking Ideas: I think for this book, I would sell it through a series of questions that get the teens to try and relate to the premise. Like, “What if you were accused of a crime you didn’t commit?” or “Can you imagine going to jail tomorrow?” and so on.

Reading Level/Interest Age: While some of the teens were younger than 15 when they committed their crimes, all are older at the time of writing. In addition, the subject matter makes this more appropriate for older readers, though it is written at a low lexile level, making it a good choice for struggling readers. School Library Journal recommends this book for grades 9 and up.

Challenge Issues:

  • violence and crime
  • language

Defense strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

I think “No Choirboy” has an important story for all people to read, and especially teens. Many of the circumstances of these teens’ lives may mirror those of the readers, even those who have happy home lives. And I think that though it is a somewhat biased look at the criminal justice system, it does provide information on something that is not frequently talked about, and definitely gave me a lot to think about.

Why did you include this book? : Because it is nonfiction and because it deals with a controversial subject that may be of interest to teens.

Reference Page:

Kuklin, S. Biography. Retrieved from http://www.susankuklin.com/bio.htm