The only sound in my room at the moment is the crisp clicky-clack of 224 fingertips typing. And then Cheyenne can't contain herself any longer. She turns and whispers excitedly to Madison, "I can't tell if this is supposed to be dark funny, or if I'm misunderstanding this. So, there's this guy..." And she goes on to explain in a whisper that grows into a conversation why it is that she has gotten sucked into her book. Her banned book.
My Independent Novel Studies students, mainly seniors, just started our unit on banned and challenged books. We've explored the ALA website of banned books and discussed their Bill of Rights. We've combed the library shelves for challenged books that pique our interest. This morning, my students are blogging, many for the first time, on their reading of a self-selected "banned" book. Cheyenne is hoping to get some feedback on her reading of American Psycho. Emily calls me over. "Ms. Ward, you gotta read my last paragraph. I created a hashtag!" #blogon. She's also posted a picture she snapped of her and a friend engaged in a staged conversation over a book. They are loving this. I am loving this. The excitement is palatable.