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The Year They Burned the Books by Nancy…
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The Year They Burned the Books (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Nancy Garden (Author)

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1535151,161 (3.67)3
While trying to come to terms with her own lesbian feelings, Jamie, a high-school senior and editor of the school newspaper, finds herself in the middle of a battle with a group of townspeople over the new health education curriculum.
Member:QCenterPDX1
Title:The Year They Burned the Books
Authors:Nancy Garden (Author)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (1999), Edition: 1st, 256 pages
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The Year They Burned the Books by Nancy Garden (1999)

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Showing 4 of 4
A coming of age story that deals with accepting one's own sexuality in a world in which it's not always safe or comfortable to be yourself. In other words the world we all live in right now.
Jamie, the editor of the school paper, and her best friend both feel they might probably be possibly maybe gay (I believe that is how they put it.)
The school has recently adopted a free condom Friday policy which has upset some of the parents, and particularly those who believe sex is sinful. Things escalate as books are removed from the library and some want to adopt an abstinence only policy for sex education.
It was an enjoyable although simplistic story that I don't feel quite grasped all the complexities of the subject matter but keeping in mind it is intended for a YA audience I am rounding up my 3 and a half stars to 4.

I received a complimentary copy for review. ( )
  IreneCole | Jul 27, 2022 |
I started reading this during Banned Books Week this year. Not on purpose. I needed next, and was looking forward to reading it as well. It ironically fit right into that week, wayy too well. Not to mention the fact that the things happening in this book (sometimes to a lesser degree in real life, sometimes not) are still going on in the real world.

It was mainly about Jamie and Terry. Although their friends and co-workers at the high school student newspaper like Tessa, Nomi (love the name, the character... eh....), and others were very much in the book as well. But Jamie and Terry were the focus of the book for one main reason, they were both (or maybe both) one of the types of people/things that the parents who wind up burning books in the novel were against. They were gay.

That's not the only topic that Garden brings up that the parents don't like though, it's also sex ed in general, and it's the fight that's still happening to this day, sex ed vs. abstinence ed.

What makes this book interesting instead of a bore is that throughout the book there is also the question of journalistic ethics, and lots of other juicy journalistic conundrums that Jamie (as Editor-in-Chief) has to go through with the help of her staff. That was my favorite part.

A lot of the book was sorta of depressing, not because of the book itself, but because I would think, 'oh, this is still happening'. And that would just bum me out.

I was given this ARC by Netgalley on behalf of Open Road Integrated Media. ( )
1 vote DanieXJ | Oct 6, 2017 |
I'm torn between giving this book a three and giving it a four. In its favor, the story is engaging and the characters likable; I was constantly compelled to keep reading, especially when I had a research paper looming over my head. As a student who did newspaper throughout high school, I loved the portrayal of high-school journalism and the issues of censorship and free speech as they specifically pertain to high schools. The book's flaws, however, included a simplistic and predictable writing style at times (I knew that Lisa Buel would win the election; I knew that Nomi would be homophobic, etc.) and the unrealistically extreme divide between the supporters and opponents of the group "Families for Traditional Values." Right-wing religion was painted in Jerry Falwell / Pat Robertson-esque extremism that I found hard to imagine, especially in contrast with the level of progressiveness in other parts of the community. Despite the clear encouragement of conciliation and openness to two sides of an argument, the distinct divide and agreement within each side were unrealistic, not reflecting the diversity of opinions an individual may have. It's not a book I would go out of my way and buy, having read it, but it was a read that I enjoyed. ( )
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
What a horrible cover. It's not just that that made me think this book was written in the 80s. I dunno, it seems.. dated somehow, though I can't quite put my finger on it. I _think_ it's just stylistically. It wasn't a quick and easy YA type of read. Too much politics and blow-by-blow this-is-how-it-really-happens and not enough character and plot? I dunno.

For the subject matter, I feel I should give it a 4, but for the reading experience it gave me, I just couldn't. So 3 it is. ( )
  Jellyn | Aug 14, 2013 |
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To the courageous plaintiffs, librarians, and lawyers, who saved ANNIE ON MY MIND from being permanently banned in the Olathe, Kansas, School District, with thanks and love!
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Despite a foggy beginning, it had become too nice a day — a soft September afternoon — to be cooped up arguing in the Wilson High Telegraph's tiny office.
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While trying to come to terms with her own lesbian feelings, Jamie, a high-school senior and editor of the school newspaper, finds herself in the middle of a battle with a group of townspeople over the new health education curriculum.

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Book description
When Wilson High Telegraph editor Jamie Crawford writes an opinion piece in support of the new sex-ed curriculum, which includes making condoms available to high school students, she has no idea that a huge controversy is brewing. Lisa Buel, a school board member, is trying to get rid of the health program, which she considers morally flawed, from its textbooks to its recommendations for outside reading. The newspaper staff find themselves in the center of the storm, and things are complicated by the fact that Jamie is in the process of coming to terms with being gay, and her best friend, Terry, also gay, has fallen in love with a boy whose parents are anti-homosexual. As Jamie's and Terry's sexual orientation becomes more obvious to other students, it looks as if the paper they're fighting to keep alive and honest is going to be taken away from them. Nancy Garden has depicted a contemporary battleground in a novel that probes deep into issues of censorship, prejudice, and ethics.
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