Book Bans Get Banned, Elliot Page, and Google Fun

Bookstr News is back and we’ve got all the latest stories for you! From book bans to an amusing Google search history, it’s all here!

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Welcome back, fellow book nerds! It’s time for another Bookstr News Roundup! Since it’s been a minute, we’ll refresh you on the concept. Bookstr News Roundup is our weekly series where we gather all of the biggest news happening in the bookish world over the last week and collate it in an article for you to read and stay informed. Now that you’re caught up, let’s get right to it!

Book Bans get Banned


Those of you who have been following Bookstr News since the beginning know that book bans have been a permanent piece in our coverage. That’s why, we are proud to give you this story where someone is finally taking a stand on all these insane bans that have been sweeping America. 

Illinois is now the first state in the nation to ban book bans. On June 12th, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law that dictates that libraries within the state will not get funding from the nation if they ban books. 

To get more specific, it states that under the “law, libraries have to adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights”, which says, among other things, that “materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” If the public or school library chooses not to follow these guidelines or similar ones, they’ll lose access to grant funding.

The Secretary of State’s Office provides a number of grants on a yearly basis. Some distribute money to school districts to buy books and upgrade technology, others help public libraries digitize their historical collections.”

On the steps of Chicago’s Harold Washington Library Pritzker said, “Book bans are about censorship, marginalizing people, marginalizing ideas and facts. Regimes ban books, not democracies. All Illinoisans deserve to see themselves reflected in the books that they read, the art that they see, the history they learn.”

It should be noted that this law was able to get passed because Illinois Democrats have a supermajority in the Illinois state government. But as to be expected, Republicans voted almost unanimously against the law with claims that this is taking away the constituents’ opinions. 

However, the executive director of the American Library Association pointed out that “free people read freely” and how it is important that this law be put in place to not just let this wave of book banning sweep us.

The law is expected to take effect at the start of the new year. 

Ratings for Books


In York County Pennsylvania, the Central York School District has decided to put it to a vote about whether or not to instill a new policy with regards to the banning of books. The policy institutes a book rating system, similar to the MPAA and film, and gives parents the decision to keep children away from accessing certain materials. 

This all started after a request for Push by Sapphire and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas to be removed from library shelves. There is confusion related to who removed the request but that’s not what we’re here to discuss. 

Amidst the usual discussion related to book bans, it was refreshing to hear that both sides of the aisle would agree that instituting a rating system would be a good idea rather than removing these books for high school students to enjoy outright. 

The seventh version of this policy will be voted on June 20th.

The Highly Anticipated Red, White, & Royal Blue!


While the film adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s hit novel Red, White, & Royal Blue isn’t coming out until August, we here at Bookstr just HAD to talk about the press that the film has gotten over the last week or so. While not knowing much for a good while, we finally got our first real look at the film and its two leads in articles in Glamour and GQ respectively. 

The film’s director is Tony-winning playwright Matthew López in his directorial debut. When asked about why making this film was important to him he said, “I never imagined I’d read a book with a queer Latine character at the center—a character who is smart and passionate and flawed and hopeful. I think having this book in my life when I was younger might have made it a little easier. I knew immediately that I wanted to bring it to the screen.”

For those who don’t know, Red, White, & Royal Blue is, the story that follows Alex Claremont-Diaz the son of the first female President of the United States who has aspirations of going into politics someday. For a while now, he’s had a rivalry with Prince Henry of Wales in the United Kingdom. When the two get into a scandal at a royal affair, the two are forced to spend more time together in order to mend relations between their two countries. Along the way, the rivalry begins to make way for friendship and then…something more. 

Glamour states, “Fans of McQuiston’s novel will be pleased to know that, with a few exceptions, the movie largely follows the book’s enemies-to-friends-to-lovers tale. And the tone and spirit that made everyone fall in love with the book are certainly still there.” López makes an important distinction that this is an adaptation, not a recitation and that he had to make changes since it is a 500-page book and you can’t fit in everything. 

When describing their characters, Taylor Zakhar Perez (who plays Alex) and Nicholas Galitzine (who plays Henry) showed a very good understanding of them and showed an awareness of how important it is to get the characters and their relationship just right. 

‘“One of my great fears is being misunderstood,” says Galitzine. “Henry has to live with that every day…. It just felt like a beautiful story: someone who’s largely pretended to be someone else their whole life, and then this other person completely obliterates their worldview.”’

Meanwhile, the article said about his co-star, “To play that other person, Alex Claremont-Diaz, the ambitious and tempestuous son of the United State’s first female president (played by Uma Thurman), Zakhar Perez drew inspiration from The West Wing, locking in on Rob Lowe’s Sam Seaborn, the White House’s idealistic but flawed deputy communications director. “I think he’s probably who Alex would want to be,” says Zakhar Perez.”

Either way, this movie seems so amazing and has a lot of love behind it so we will keep waiting with bated breath for the trailer and the film when it drops on Prime Video on August 11th. 

Elliot Page’s Memoir That Helped Mend Relationships


Elliot Page’s new memoir, Pageboy, is out now and is shedding light on important conversations that need to be had surrounding the transgender community. But one of the most heartwarming things to hear from the actor, who’s on his press tour, is how his autobiography has helped his relationship with his mom. 

In an interview, he said “It was really healing getting a lot of stuff out. It’s been very beneficial for my relationship with my mom. It has allowed us to talk about things for the first time in a meaningful, sincere way.”

Besides his mother, Page also praises some of the actors he’s worked with who have been a great help to him throughout his life such as Hugh Jackman and Julianne Moore. Specifically, he said, “So I’ve been really fortunate to have mentors in my life who’ve helped me a lot at certain times.”

We’re so glad that Page is out there truly living his best life and rooting for him always!

Ready Player One Author’s Debut Children’s Book


Ernest Cline, the author behind Ready Player One, has revealed his first children’s novel and it’s called Bridge to Bat City

In a Hollywood Reporter article, the book is described as a “‘mostly true tall tale’ about a recently orphaned young girl named Opal B Flats who forms an unexpected friendship with a music-loving colony of bats and helps them find a new home against all odds.”

Cline is most known for the aforementioned Ready Player One as it had a film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg. The story was a love letter to 80’s nostalgia and fanboy culture above all else.

Cline’s new book will be published in April 2024 from Little, Brown Books. In a statement, the book was described as “In Bridge to Bat City, inspired by stories he would tell his kids at bedtime, Ernie Cline has crafted an enchanting tale that weaves together fact and fiction set against the incredible backdrop of 1980s Austin, filled with a vibrant cast of characters, rich music history, activism and environmentalism, and bats!”

A Rather…Unique Google Search


A while back, we talked about Kouri Richins and now she’s back in the headlines again. For those who need a brief refresher, she was arrested for allegedly killing her husband last month and also for writing a children’s book about grief. 

Well, some of her alleged Google searches have been revealed and they’re wild. She “allegedly searched for Utah prison information, whether police can see deleted messages, and how long life insurance companies take to pay”. 

The one that I find the most funny is that she allegedly searched “luxury prisons for the rich” and if Lil Nas X was married. We of course don’t want to take away from how serious the case is, but we can laugh at some things. 

Saying Goodbye to our Beloved Cormac McCarthy…


Normally, we like to end Bookstr News Roundups on a more positive note but we’d like to take this moment to say goodbye to a beloved icon of literature. Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy passed away at the age of 89 from natural causes in his home in New Mexico. 

Best known for his works like The Road and No Country for Old Men which were adapted into films, McCarthy was one of six siblings and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. His last two novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris were released last year. He was known for his rare media appearances and interviews. In an interview with Oprah in 2007 he said, “If you spend a lot of time thinking about how to write a book, you probably shouldn’t be thinking about it, you probably should be doing it.”

McCarthy has received tributes from beloved authors like Stephen King and John Banville. Our thoughts are with his loved ones. 

We’ve reached the end which means that’s all for this week’s Bookstr News Roundup. We hope you have a good rest of your week! To see what we covered last week, click here! Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for new episode drops!