This week we’re kicking off our recommendations for the first week of the CBLDF Summer Reading Challenge. We’re challenging you to read a new graphic novel each week this summer! If you haven’t already, download our Challenge Checklist to get started. You can also check with your local comic shop and see if they’re a participating store with their own Challenge list.
This week, we’re challenging you to read a banned or challenged graphic novel! Comic books, graphic novels, and manga are frequently challenged and even banned because the medium thrives on the power of static images that can be taken out of context, and because there is a lingering stigma that comics are low-value speech. As seen in our two selections below, comics can also be challenged or banned for their perceived inappropriate subject matter, often because people mistakenly believe that all comics are for children.
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CBLDF Recommends Bone for Younger Readers
Despite being a delightful read, Jeff Smith’s Bone is one of the most commonly challenged books in American libraries. It’s been challenged for depicting drinking and smoking and for being unsuited for younger age groups. Learn more about Bone’s challenges by reading its Banned Comics Case File. Despite what challengers have to say, Bone is a great kid-friendly fantasy and the perfect graphic novel to kick off your summer reading!
Three modern cartoon cousins get lost in a pre-technological valley, spending a year there making new friends and out-running dangerous enemies. Their many adventures include conning the local people in The Great Cow Race, and meeting a giant mountain lion named Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border. They learn about sacrifice and hardship in The Ghost Circles and finally discover their own true natures in the climatic journey to The Crown of Horns.From Scholastic
CBLDF Recommends Watchmen for Older Readers
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons is another frequently challenged graphic novel. The book is most often targeted for being inappropriate to the library’s age group. Hailed as one of the greatest comic series of all time, Watchmen‘s powerful deconstruction of the superhero makes it a must read for any fan of the genre.
In an alternate world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history, the US won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the Cold War is in full effect!
Watchmen begins as a murder-mystery, but soon unfolds into a planet-altering conspiracy. As the resolution comes to a head, the unlikely group of reunited heroes — Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias — have to test the limits of their convictions and ask themselves where the true line is between good and evil.
In the mid-eighties, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created Watchmen, changing the course of comics’ history and essentially remaking how popular culture perceived the genre. Popularly cited as the point where comics came of age, Watchmen‘s sophisticated take on superheroes has been universally acclaimed for its psychological depth and realism.From DC Comics
If you’re taking the challenge, make sure to let people know you’re in by sharing our official challenge poster with art by Sas Milledge!
Download a PDF of the poster here!
Show us what you’re reading on social with #CBLDFSummerReads!
Have questions? Check out the CBLDF Summer Reading Challenge FAQ!
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