Banned Books Week has special significance for the Debs this year. Our own Sarah Ockler and her debut novel, TWENTY BOY SUMMER, are under challenge right now in Republic, MO, along with Kurt Vonnegut's SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 and Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK.
TWENTY BOY SUMMER is a moving novel about grief and love. Anna and her best friend Frankie plan to spend their vacation at the beach, in search of their first romance. But what Frankie doesn't know is that Anna already had her first love- the summer before, with Frankie's brother Matt. Their romance was a secret, a secret sealed when Matt died unexpectedly. Now this summer, the secret is going to have to come out.
As Debs, we're biased- we think TWENTY BOY SUMMER is extraordinary. But we're not the only ones:
"Anna's authentic voice and some lyrical writing will satisfy fans of Sarah Dessen, while the mix of romance, drama, and tragedy will be a draw for teen readers of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult."
- Heather Brooks, Booklist
"Ockler's debut is often poetic and the girls' friendship authentic, making for a poignant summer read."
- Publishers Weekly
"Ockler deftly combines the sadness of the situation and her characters with humor and lightness… This humor along with several sweet and sensitively written love scenes will surely make this intelligent, heartfelt novel a favorite of many older middle school and high school girls."
- Paula Brehm-Heeger, VOYA
"Ockler’s strong debut has a plot predicated around a tragedy, but the story rises above gloom and doom and is just a lovely, heartfelt novel."
- Romantic Times
Now you can decide for yourself. To celebrate the freedom to read, the Debs and Little, Brown are giving away ONE HUNDRED copies of TWENTY BOY SUMMER in paperback throughout Banned Books Week. To enter, just leave us a comment in this post between now and October 2, 2010 about the freedom to read. We'll select ONE HUNDRED winners on October 3rd.
Anyone may enter, open internationally. If you're not using a LiveJournal account to enter, please include an e-mail address where we can notify you if you win. Because the challenge is taking place in Missouri, if you're from MO, let us know in your comment, and we'll give you an extra entry.
Whether you enter or not, we do hope that you'll celebrate your freedom to read this week- write a blog post, write a letter to an editor, read a banned book and always, always speak loudly!