BBW Day 7- Crank by Ellen Hopkins

In honor of Banned Books Week I am highlighting a different banned book each day of the event (maybe even more!) here on my blog.   I’m also hosting a Banned Books Week giveaway.   Included in this giveaway is a signed copy of Unwind so make sure to enter!

Banned Book: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Where/Why It’s Been Banned: Unfortunately Hopkins’ book, Crank, along with her other books have been banned too many times in too many places.  To add insult to injury, Hopkins has even been dis-invited to the Teen Lit Fest in Humble, Texas.  To simplify this I’m including this link to an article about some of the book bans she’s experienced.

Why It Should Be Read: There are so many reasons to read Crank!  First of all, the verse it’s written in is gorgeous.  Some of her poems can be read both from left to right and top to bottom, some of the poems are concrete.  I can’t imagine the amount of time, effort and talent it takes to write something like that.  Truly wonderful.

I read Crank during my first year of teaching; I read it in one evening!  Honestly, I didn’t know crystal meth was referred to as crank until I read this book.  Once I figured that out, it hit a little closer to home because the school I did my student teaching at had a problem with crystal meth use.  Knowing this, it was a no-brainer that I had to tell my students about it the very next day.  They were immediately intrigued and- yet again!- another “non-reader” wanted to read it.  Once he did, this book didn’t stay on my shelf for the rest of the year.  It’s been that way every year since 🙂

I’ve said this before, and I’m saying it again, Crank is a new Go Ask Alice (and far better!).  I’ve never understood the appeal of drugs, and that understanding is even further away after reading Crank.  How can anyone rationally think “I’d like to try meth” after reading Hopkins’ book?  Kristina hits rock bottom once she tries “the monster.”  Teens should read this so they can see what happens to her and what could happen to them.

Student Response: One of my freshmen recently borrowed my copy.  When she did, she told me that she wanted to read it because a couple of her family members (including her mom) are addicted to meth.  Thankfully she’s not living with her mom, but I know it’s still hard for her.  She told me that this is the kind of book she needs to read since it hits so close to home.  I wouldn’t have known this about her if I hadn’t read Crank and put it in my classroom library.

Comments

  1. I have this book in my classroom library and haven’t read. However, like you it doesn’t stay on my shelf for very long. I am intrigued because of my students’ interest in it. There’s a second book that I lent out also, now I think I know what to read during Christmas break.

  2. Tbh I love this book and how it talks about teenage drug life and family problems

Trackbacks

  1. […] and brief, being less than 20 minutes. Anyone interested in connecting with us? Why Crank? This post over on the YA Love Blog sort of inspired us to choose this book for our September book club, and […]

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