A little blood isn’t going to scare off the twin tween geeks, the Tweeks! In this week’s episode of their ComicMix Challenged Challenge, Maddy and Anya Ernst take on the controversy around the graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Newbery award-winning The Graveyard Book.
Adapted by comics superstar P. Craig Russell and illustrated by a handful of talented comics artists, The Graveyard Book came up against a ban attempt just this past February in an undisclosed middle school library for its supposed age-inappropriate, violent imagery. In response, CBLDF acted quickly and successfully defended the book against being pulled from the shelves — the review committee voted to keep the graphic novels in their library.
All of this controversy was over a couple of scenes in the book that showed a little blood. “Speaking as a middle-schooler, I’ve seen worse,” said the Tweeks. “It’s just blood. Nothing gory. Nothing. We’d be here until we were thirty if we named every TV show or movie that a middle-schooler would watch that has blood in it.”
The book, the Tweeks admit, might not be for everyone, and that’s alright. “If you don’t like murders and horror stories, step away from the genre. Neil Gaiman is a master at this, and he wrote a book for kids that’s appropriate for kids.”
This being said, it is important for parents who attempt to ban books to recognize that their hesitations regarding certain subjects should not impact other children’s reading options and educations. “That’s the great thing about the library. So many choices. So many books for so many different tastes,” the Tweek exclaim. If there is a book that you don’t want to read, set that boundary in your own home and use that time as an opportunity to engage in conversation with your children.” Overall parents, know your kid’s boundaries.”
This being said, The Graveyard Book is “totally Tweeks approved!,” and “if you feel that you must ban books, do it in your own home. Be respectful of other families to make their own reading choices.”
And for educators and librarians, below is a quick list of several of the resources that CBLDF provides should you need to defend your students and patrons’ right to read if this book is challenged in your community:
- Case Study: The Graveyard Book
- CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook!
- Raising a Reader! How Comics and Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love to Read!