On Friday, April 14, at 7 pm, join us for a Banned Book Club conversation about the graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. This book was recently challenged at Milan High School in Washtenaw County. The school board voted to move the book to a restricted area of the library where parental consent is required for it to be checked out.
At this session, we’ll be joined by Sabrina Baeta, Program Consultant with Freedom to Read at PEN America. She engages in research and awareness-building around censorship attacks on public K-12 education, especially as it relates to literature accessibility in libraries and classrooms. Before we dive into our book conversation, Sabrina will kick off the session with a top-line overview of PEN America’s recent reporting on book bans and challenges. We’ll also discuss what advocacy steps we can take to support readers, students, librarians, and teachers through these challenging times.
Banned Book Club provides a safe, open, in-person space to gather and explore books experiencing bans and challenges in public U.S. schools and libraries, according to the American Library Association.
Banned Book Club events are FREE but your Eventbrite RSVP is so helpful to our planning. Teens and adults are welcome. No purchase is necessary.
ABOUT THE BOOK //
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a 2006 graphic memoir by the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. In the book, readers meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter’s complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned “fun home,” as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.
ABOUT BANNED BOOK CLUB: WHAT TO EXPECT //
At Banned Book Club, we examine the themes, characters, cultural context, and personal resonance of books currently being banned and challenged in U.S. public schools and libraries.
We also talk about advocacy, inviting readers to participate in an action to defend books, authors, and our freedom to read.
At the end of each session, we vote on our next Banned Book Club read. Sometimes we follow local bans and challenges, other times we use the ALA’s “Top Ten” list as our guide. In this way, we stay nimble and responsive to challenges and bans happening in Michigan and elsewhere in our country.
Booksweet will donate 10% of the profits from Banned Book Club reads to the PEN America as part of our annual Banned Books Week celebrations in October. Learn more about how PEN America is working to fuel advocates with the research, visibility, and networks they need to support our freedom to read.
Learn more about health and safety at Booksweet.
See you there, readers!