The best-selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, Petaluma, for the week of February 7 to February 7. 13, 2021.
In response to reports from Virginia and Texas school boards banning anti-Nazi books from school libraries — while many other states are seeing similar attempts to suppress the memoirs of Santa Rosa author “Gender Queer” Maya Kobabe — some people just write letters to their editor. Others are filing lawsuits or mounting political campaigns to oust the book burners.
And then there are those who run to their local bookstores to turn these titles into massive bestsellers.
Whether motivated by curiosity, a desire to make a symbolic statement, or to support the authors whose books, and often their lives, are under attack, it’s a phenomenon seen across the country, including right here in Petaluma. , where four of the top 10 bestselling books are among those recently eradicated from schools in a number of states.
Three of them, appearing at issues 1, 2, and 8, are various editions by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman’s “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.” The first-ever Pulitzer-winning graphic novel, the book, released over several years in two volumes and then collected into one (all three versions currently sell so well at Petaluma), is a powerful memoir based on Spiegelman’s parents and their experiences during the Holocaust in Poland. Earlier this year, a school board in Athens, Tennessee, voted 10 to 0 to remove the book from its schools and ban the use of “Maus” in the county’s curriculum.
The reason given was the book’s use of “violence and suicide” in its descriptions of the murder of 6,000,000 people and the author’s recollection of his mother’s death when he was 20 years old. A board member was quoted in the international press (Daily Maverick journal) as saying that telling such an unsavory story is not “healthy” for young adults.
Of course, when the narrative of the story is limited to relaying only the “sound” parts, it instantly becomes fiction.
Last year, Kobabe’s book was also ripped from libraries in Washington, Virginia, Texas and others, with those school boards citing religious and moral objections to the true story of an artist acknowledging that they are not binary. Recognizing that such books offer comfort and consolation to young people struggling with their own gender identity, these school boards chose to cut these students off from this information.
While nothing can replace the importance of books made available to children in the one place they visit each school day, it’s good to know that with every banned book there are dozens of readers. eager to see what it’s all about. In response to higher demand, of course, publishers generally print more books – which is certainly good for publishers and not bad for authors, but what about kids who can’t afford it? to buy books? On Maia Kobabe’s website, they tell their own thirst for books and stories that reflect their own experiences growing up. “Queer kids need queer books,” they say — with vivid drawings, of course, to vividly support their point.
You could also say that children who want to know the truth about anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and the Holocaust, written in a way they can easily digest, need books that have given them the information they are looking for. Stores keeping stocks of such titles on their shelves is certainly a positive step, of course, but it still leaves a void where many people, young and old, are missing out.
And that’s not healthy.
Here’s the full list of the top 10 books on Copperfield’s Fiction and Nonfiction list, as well as the full list for children and young adults.
1.’Maus: A Survivor’s Story,’ by Art Spiegelman – Based on the experiences of the author’s parents in Poland during World War II, this is the 1986 graphic novel that tells the story of the Holocaust with mice as Jews and cats as Nazis, and in doing so, offers a devastating and powerful piece of imaginative documentary memory.
2.’Maus complete,’ by Art Spiegelman – A collection comprising the original ‘Maus: A Survivor’s Tale’ and its 1991 follow-up.
3.’Love poems,’ by Pablo Neruda – A collection of impassioned poetry from 2008 by one of the greatest poets who ever lived, loved and wrote about it.
4. ‘Sweet grass braiding,’ by Robin Kimmerer – A rich and lyrical non-fiction exploration of indigenous wisdom and scientific insight into what plants can teach us.
5.’Already enough‘by Lisa Olivera – From therapist and popular Instagram writer Lisa Olivera, this engaging guide explains how to create a sense of self-acceptance while reframing your life story.