Written by on September 13, 2012

Tearjerker (episode 4)

This is episode 4 of 12.

In episode 4 “Tearjerker,” Kristen and I discuss books on ALA’s Top 100 Banned and Challenged Books of 2000-2009 that made us cry.  I love books that can elicit a strong emotion from me, whether that emotion is joy, hope, sorrow, anger, etc.  Sometimes the emotion is rooted in personal experiences (like when I read Perks), other times it’s the empathy that comes with recognizing the common bonds we all share, even though the experience might be different (for me that would be Of Mice and Men, and Whale Talk).  What books on the list elicited a strong emotion from you?

This podcast is just one of eight things Kennedy Library is doing to celebrate Banned Books Week, including an interactive infographic!  When you’re done sharing your thoughts, go explore Kennedy Library’s Banned Books Week hub.

–Michele Wyngard

Books we discuss:

  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, #5 on the Top 100 Banned and Challenged Books of the last decade
  • When Dad Killed Mom by Julius Lester, #56
  • Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, #41
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, #28
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, #10 (HE’S COMING TO CAL POLY ON OCT 5!!!)

Honorable mentions (a.k.a. books that fit this category but we didn’t have time to discuss):

As you can tell from our conversation, “books that make you cry” is a pretty subjective category, so we’ll just leave this one as Choose Your Own Adventure!  And then share in the comments below.


To learn more about what we discussed, check out these websites:

A video interview with John Steinbeck and an article in The Paris Review

Julius Lester’s official web page

Chris Crutcher’s official web page

A video of Katherine Paterson discussing the story behind Bridge to Terabithia

Stay tuned for the next podcast (episode 5), where we interview Stephen Chbosky!

and these ridiculously informative books:

Doyle, R.P. (2010). Banned books: Challenging our freedom to read. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Foerstel, H.N. (2002). Banned in the U.S.A: A reference guide to book censorship in schools and public libraries. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Karolides, N.J. (2005). 120 banned books: Censorship histories of world literature. New York, NY: Checkmark Books/Facts on File.

This podcast series, I’m with the Banned features personal conversations between Michele and Kristen, a reflection of their year of reading and research. They, like the Kennedy Library, hope you are inspired to have your own conversations to explore ideas around these complex topics.

Read more on ALA, american library association, banned books, banned books week 2012, cal poly, freedom to read, i'm with the banned, kennedy library, and podcast.

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