Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Weeks of XVI: Banned Books and Contests and Interviews

Julia Karr is the author of the upcoming dystopian title, XVI, a novel where turning 16 has dire consequences. In order to celebrate the book's release, Julia's on a blog tour for the 16 weeks before XVI comes out--and this is week 14!

For each of the 16 weeks of the tour, Julia's going to talk about a specific aspect of her book. The kicked off on Julia's blog--for the 16th week, she discussed her 16 favorite things about Chicago (where the novel is set) and gave away the first chapter of her book to everyone. For week 15, Julia was asked 15 questions by MG author Sheela Chari on the topic of vegetarianism (her main character is a vegetarian) and gave away a copy of the Chicago Diner Cookbook. Today, the 14th week, Julia's going to discuss banned books, which feature in her novel, and give away one of her 14 favorite banned books!

So: Here's Julia!


Beth, I’m thrilled to be here today. Thanks so much for inviting me to guest blog!

1. What's your opinion on banned books?
I think banning books is wrong. Discussion about disputed books is good. Controversy provides a learning experience and should be taken advantage of. Books should be read and discussed, not banned.

2. Do banned books play a role in XVI?
They do. In my future world, there are certain books that have become self-fulfilling prophecies and the government doesn't necessarily want people noticing that.

3. Which books in your story are banned? Why?

  • 1984 by George Orwell - Because in XVI, government surveillance is the norm.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - It is not so far from certain aspects of society in XVI.
  • Mars Rising (a fictional book that I just might have to write!) It’s about a revolt of the miners
  • on Mars.


4. Why did you decide to feature banned books in your story?
In any future society where the government wants to control the general population, it must
make them stop thinking for themselves. Reading books is a key to unlocking critical thought
processes - therefore, any totalitarian government would need to control what reading materials
their citizens would have access to.

5. What are your favorite banned books?

  • Harry Potter - all seven!
  • Gone With The Wind (hard to believe this book was ever banned!)
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Call of the Wild
  • Brideshead, Revisited


Because this is Week 14 of the 16 Weeks to XVI, we’re got 14 children's books that have, at
some point, been challenged/banned. For this week's contest, (open from Thursday morning to
next Thursday at midnight) commenters (either here or on Julia’s blogwill be offered their choice of one of these fabulous books as a prize!


  1. ttyl by Lauren Myracle
  2. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
  3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  6. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  7. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
  8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
  9. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
  10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  11. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  12. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  13. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  14. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler


Beth - thanks so much for having me here today on the countdown to the release of my book.
But, mostly, I’m glad to be here and to be able to talk a little bit about book banning, why it’s
wrong and why people need to read banned books and write books that will be challenged.
Because as writers, I think we have been given an internal charge to be truth-tellers and not to be
queasy about laying out the hard stuff! Thanks again!


There you have it, guys! Now, go forth and comment--and be like the cool kids: Read Banned Books!

34 comments:

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Is this international?

Anyway, thanks for the interview! It was really informative, and it was nice to see what you thought, Julia! I can't wait to read XVI. It looks amazing, and all the big bloggers have received copies already. Hope all is well!

cc932005 at hotmail dot com

Chanelle said...

Great interview and a very broad range of books to choose from :)

chanelle(@)chanellegray(.)com

Tez Miller said...

I would totally add MARS RISING to my wishlist.

If it existed ;-)

lotusgirl said...

XVI sounds like a book I would love. I'll have to get it when it comes out.

Banning books is crazy. Why would any forward thinking society ever think it was a good idea?

BookGeek said...

Great interview! The book looks like it will be right up my alley. Also, in honor of banned books, I am reading Lady Chatterly's Lover with my local book club. Although it is no longer banned, it once was. So that totally counts. Also, there were obscenity trials in a few different countries...over this one book! How crazy.

Thanks again!

Sandy Shin said...

Thank you for the interview! It's definitely true that any totalitarian would need to restrict what their citizens can or cannot read. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Great interview, ladies! I'm really looking forward to XVI, Julia. Sounds like a thought-provoking read.

I'm all about discussion, as well, not banning. All too often the important message gets lost behind the controversy.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Great interview, Beth. I love that you featured a book that spotlights book banning during this week. But also XVI just looks amazing! I can't wait to read it.

Melanie said...

Really looking forward to reading XVI! Great interview, and thanks for the giveaway.

Alice said...

I've been wanting to read "Perks of Being a Wallflower" since I noticed it's made the banned book list nearly every year for the past 10 years. It has me curious!

XVI looks really interesting too, I'm looking forward to reading it.

salarsenッ said...

Fabulous interview! I've seen this book around. Love the cover.

Zara said...

Great interview! I hadn't heard of this book before, but I'm totally adding it to my list now. :) bookworm396 at gmail dot com

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Great interview! I've been reading a lot about XVI. Can't wait to read it!
I am surprised by some of the books on that list.

Kate said...

Why is it that people always seem to challenge the best books? I tend to love every book I've read on banned books lists, and now want to go out and read the rest.

Great interview. I can't wait to read XVI.

Miriam S. Forster said...

Hooray for new books! This one sounds awesome. :)

Krispy said...

Awesome interview and awesome choice of books! :D Freedom of information is so important. XVI seems like it'll be a thought-provoking read!

JEM said...

Sigh, I loved banned books week. I feel so rebellious when I read them :). Thanks for the great guest post!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great interview! I hadn't heard of this one yet, but it sounds awesome! :-)

Kulsuma said...

I can't wait to read XVI because I love dystopian/ or seemingly 'utopian' storylines. Can't wait to read it!

k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

TerryLynnJohnson said...

That is seriously cool to feature banned books!
Great interview! I'm counting the days till I can read the rest of this! (after reading the first chapter)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Can't wait to read XVI! And I love the sound of the fictional banned book, Mars Rising.
Thanks for the interview, the contest and promoting banned books, ladies.

Llehn said...

Thanks for sharing. Harry Potter Rocks!

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Demon Hunter said...

Awesome, creative contest, Beth. I want to win! :-D

demonhunter32 (at) gmail (dot) com

kai said...

Twenty Boy Summer is on my tbr list! I didn't realized it was banned. Now I wan't to read it even more. Great interview.

Julia Karr said...

Thanks so much for having me here today, Beth! And thanks everyone for all the great comments! Winner will be announced next week. Any additional commenters between now and then will be eligible, too. :)

Heather Zundel said...

What? No The Giver? And you call yourselves dystopian lovers. I'm in shock.

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for the great interview! I love that she wants to write a book that she made up for XVI. I know the feeling.

Kiki Hamilton said...

Great topic and conversation! And now aren't Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders required reading in most high schools?

Gabrielle Carolina said...

I am dying for both XVI and Across the Universe.

An amazing interview, and I agree with your stance on banned books.

I would love to win To Kill a Mockingbird, or Twenty Boy Summer.

(Or an ARC of either author's upcoming release, banned, or no! ;) )

Brooke said...

Great interview! A lot of those are some of my favorite banned books too! Thanks so much for the giveaway.

texas_gal45(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lisa Potts said...

It saddens me to see so many great books on this list.

Beth's new book sounds amazing.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Amazing interview. I hate banned books too. It's crazy. This book sounds great though, very cool!

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Julia Karr said...

The winner of this week's contest is JEM. YAY!

Elie said...

I love banned books. I think banning a book makes people want to read it more. I love HPotter!