Tag Archive | Sci-Fi

Why Children’s Books Matter

I wrote this on my personal blog, but, while I’m not aware of Animorphs being banned (though it would not surprise me), this seemed to fit with many of the things I have said on this blog, as children’s books and YA are so frequently banned, often because adults do not think kids can handle mature or complex themes.

Salt & Iron

This is me and a friend with K. A. Applegate, author of the Animorphs series. Animorphs, Harry Potter, the Julie of the Wolves books, and Harriet the Spy are what made me want to be a writer. So, when K. A. Applegate was scheduled to appear at my local bookstore, my friend and I knew we had to go. What struck me most about actually meeting one of my favorite authors from childhood in the flesh was how she was so encouraging of the kids who liked writing or wanted to be writers and so excited to see her older readers, saying Animorphs fans grew up to be the coolest people. When K. A. Applegate was asking a little girl if she was a writer and encouraging her to be one, I couldn’t help but think how much that would have meant to me as a kid.

K. A. Applegate and…

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The Road to District 13

Every trailer for Mockingjay just makes me feel that much more certain that they will do the book justice. I can’t wait. Stay tuned for a review of the book in the coming weeks and let me know what you think of the trailer in the comments.

Heaven, Neverland, Paradise: All Lost

THE DEFENDANT: The Amber Spyglass, part 3 of the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. See also Shannon’s reviews of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife.

THE VERDICT: Pullman himself has no idea why Harry Potter gets in trouble while his own books fly under the radar. As he says, “The people who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven’t got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I’ve been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God.”

THE CHARGES: “political and religious viewpoints,” violence, sexuality, and an overall attitude that morality is relative. By my count this book includes killing God, destroying hell, insinuating that heaven cannot exist, and touches on topics like cannibalism, euthanasia, intelligent design, evolution, child sexuality, and then there are some gay angels thrown in there just in case the rest wasn’t enough. In some publications a paragraph describing Lyra’s sexual awakening was removed.

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And The Angels Not Half So Happy In Heaven: Subtle Knives, Sharp Words

The Subtle Knife is the second installment in the His Dark Materials series and the sequel to The Golden Compass (better known outside of the US as Northern Lights). You can read my review of the first book here. The controversy surrounding the books are similar, so I shall try not to repeat myself. Stay tuned for the conclusion of our banned books coverage of His Dark Materials next week as Hannah takes on The Amber Spyglass.



THE DEFENDANT: The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman Read More…

Moral Compass Distorted by Northern Lights?

I used to stare covetously at this cover in Borders

I used to stare covetously at this cover in Borders

THE DEFENDANT: The Golden Compass (a.k.a. Northern Lights), Philip Pullman

THE VERDICT: The His Dark Materials series as a whole was the second most frequently challenged book of 2008, with The Golden Compass itself coming in at #4 on the list in 2007, according to the ALA. In addition, Philip Pullman was the second most challenged author in 2008 and the fifth most challenged in 2007. He has also been called the most dangerous author in Britain. So, why the sudden interest in the books in the late 2000s when they were published in the mid-90s? Much like The Hunger Games, ire against the books reached fever pitch when the movie adaptation thrust it (back) into the public eye. It also became the target of Catholic groups going on the offensive against the movie, which, given the plot of the book, may have only proven its point.

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Like Sci-Fi? Good, Help Destroy It.

While censoring the books that have been written is far more noticeable, there is another way stories are silenced: they are never published or never written at all. This is not always so overt as not letting the peasants learn to read or steering clear of more controversial and political manuscripts or not publishing the works of women unless done so anonymously or under a pseudonym (though even today many female writers do use a so-called moustache de plume either of their own volition or at the advice/request of others). Read More…

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things on My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This is my first time participating in it, but I’ve been following them for quite a while and definitely recommend checking them out. This week’s list is things I, as a reader, would like to see (or see more of). Authors take note.



1. Genre-bending, or period pieces that aren’t so period piecy Read More…

Fire Beats Iron, Ice Beats… Lion?

I know some of you may be sick of talking about women in the media or The Hunger Games, but, hey, the default picture on this blog is me in period dress holding Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince aloft like the Holy Grail so you knew what you were getting into.

You’ve probably seen more than a few articles about Catching Fire and Frozen’s domination of the box office.  However, according to this article from The Mary Sue, Frozen’s success has continued, having the best box office weekend of any film in its sixth week. It’s even poised to overtake The Lion King for highest grossing Disney animated film of all time. Read More…

A Song of Ice and Fire: Politics, Performance, and PTSD in Catching Fire

REPEAT OFFENDER: Catching Fire (2013)

THE REVIEW: While I’ve already talked a lot about it here on the blog, I finally got around to seeing Catching Fire (you can find my review of the book here and a shorter review here). All I can say is Damn. Dayum. This is one movie not to be missed. Even in the age of Netlfix and increasingly large televisions, seeing Catching Fire on the big screen is worth the price of admission. Read More…

2013 In Review

While 2013 wasn’t all that great for me, it was a great year for Bound and Gagged Books. The blog has about 10x the followers it did at the beginning of last year, one of my posts was Freshly Pressed, and Bound and Gagged was even quoted in The Huffington Post. Thus, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of our lovely readers for following, commenting, sharing, and stopping by our little corner of the internet.

Thanks are also due to the other lovely people who make this blog happen. While Bound and Gagged Books began the year as a solo effort, it has since seen reviews from Elliot Oberholtzer, Victoria Lepore, and Hannah. I’d like to thank the three of them for their contributions to the blog and to the general awesomeness level of the planet. I’d also like to give a special thanks to Reviews by Lanterns Light, for being my friendly neighborhood comic book expert, and Articulate and Intricate, for inviting me to do a guest post for Banned Books Week.

Thus, without further ado, I give you my top ten books of 2013. These aren’t necessarily books written in 2013, just ones I read last year. Not all of them are banned (I do occasionally read other books). There are also quite a few graphic novels on here, as one of my reading challenges for 2013 was to read more trades and graphic novels. Feel free to leave your favorite books of 2013 in the comments. I’d love to hear what you guys are reading. Read More…