Bad For You and Banned Books at the NY Public Library

new-york-public-library-lions-300x225As part of the American Library Association’s celebration of Banned Books Week, which is taking place from Sept. 21-27, BAD FOR YOU authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham will be presenting two special slide show readings at local libraries, detailing the dark days in this country when comic books were once burned! That’s right, comics were thought to be corrupting kids in the 1940s and 50s! And guess what, grown-ups are still trying to ban comics today!!!

In fact, BAD FOR YOU has a whole chapter on the kinds of reading materials that adults were once afraid of kids partaking in—including fears from ancient times about reading itself! Also included will be examples of scary old fairy tales and the secret to why Harry Potter books keep getting banned (hint, it has something to do with the devil).

The Banned Book Week presentations seem especially appropriate this year given that the ALA is focusing on censorship issues around comics and graphic novels. “We want to publicize the many events being organized around the country during Banned Books Week,” said Judy Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week Executive Committee, “to show the collective voice that is speaking out against censorship.”

The first talk will be presented at the Hamilton Grange Library, 503 West 145th Street in the Bronx, on Monday, September 22, from 3-4:30 pm and will include a hands-on section where kids can make their own comics. On Saturday, September 27, the authors will be talking at Manhattan’s main branch, at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, South Court Auditorium, from 3 to 4 pm.

Both events are free and open to the public. Hope everyone in the area can join the authors for our celebration of Banned Books Week and find out how much fun BAD can be!

Bad For You Review Roundup

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Been awhile since I gathered reviews of BAD FOR YOU, my latest book with Scott Cunningham. So here’s a boatload of Bad (excerpts included; follow link for full post).

From AdAstra Comix, the increasingly indespensable distributor and reviewer of politically informed comics:

“What this book truly brings to the table is empowerment for young minds… It notes the ways in which young people are unheard and underrepresented, and offers intellectual and practical solutions for children and young adults alike to overcome obstacles. Overcoming the fractured–and in some ways obsolete–social systems imposed upon youth, in its own right, can and has become an important rite of passage for critical-thinking minds as they enter adulthood.”

From graphic novel writer/researcher/editor Paul Buhle’s review for The Comics Journal:

“For a book aimed at kids, this one is chock-full of information, but presented so well in comics (and also charts and info-graphics) that the details are destined to move easily, and usefully, into young minds.”

From comic legend Tony Isabella’s blog Tales of Wonder:

“This non-fiction book combines comic-book storytelling – art by Pyle – with graphs and prose articles in a delightful journey through the centuries. … If I ever write a sequel to 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, you can bet Pyle and Cunningham have earned themselves a place in it.”

From a “Young Adult/Children’s Librarian in Indiana” blog:

“This is a cool exploration of the many ways that adults have tried to take away fun from kids and teens.”

And from a self-described “ artistic queer vegan feminist librarian” at the blog Glitter and Dirt:

“AHHHH! This book is awesome!!!

The whole of the piece is a testament to the historical and present American mistrust and mistreatment of youth– it’s totally great. I read it straight through.”

Our interview on the Geekdad site “Video Games, D&D, and Farting on the Bus: Bad for You Is Good for You,” got a discussion going about the once vilified game of chess.

That exposure lead to a post on a gaming website Gamasutra – a coveted spot in the eyes of the authors, since BAD FOR YOU features a whole section on the debate about the impact of video games on kids.

“Like video games, chess was once decried as a time-waster that kept kids entranced at a desk for hours when they could have been outside playing or studying something useful.”

BAD FOR YOU even appears on a website about “BIGFOOT” and “THE PARANORMAL.” It’s a blog by the author of Legend Tripping: The Ultimate Family Experience. The website features an excerpt from the book about, big surprise, Legend Tripping.