Banned Book Review of What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonia Sones

It’s Banned Books Week!  That’s right, it’s the week to celebrate those naughty, naughty books that have caused people to gasp in horror at what’s within the pages.  I will admit I never paid particular attention to lists of banned books until I saw this list posted by Book Journey quite some time ago and I did a double take.  What?  The Hunger Games and Twilight were on that list, both books that my teenage son and I had read.  Was I leading him down the road of depravity?  And why did nothing stand out in either book as something I would not have wanted him to read?  I mean, I’m a mother that didn’t let him watch “R” rated movies until he was actually 16!

That’s when I decided to take on some of these other books that made the list!   So here is book #7  on that list What My Mother Doesn’t Know.

Sophie is a ninth-grade girl in love for the first time.  All those wonderful, thrilling emotions are flying around in her brain.  She wants him to call her, she’s afraid for him to meet her parents, his smile across the hallway makes butterflies race  in her stomach, and oh (!) that first kiss!  He is all she can think about.  She can’t concentrate on anything else.

But soon she becomes disenchanted with him.  The little things she used to love about him are starting to become annoying.  And then…she meets someone else…

What My Mother Doesn’t Know is probably the same things that my mother and your mother and the mother of the girl next door didn’t know.  To me this seemed to be a fairly typical first love, raging hormones type of story.  I mean who doesn’t remember being totally obsessed with their first love?  I know I was (his name was Robbie, he was blond and shy and had a sweet little half smile.)  But there was nothing in this book that made me shriek “Whoa! Whoa! This book has got to go!”

Written in a brilliant poetic style, Sonya Sones does a wonderful job of getting inside the mind of a fourteen year old girl and displaying the ramblings of Sophie’s mind, the relationship between her and her two best friends Grace & Rachel, and even the strained relationship with her detached mother.  And the final message of acceptance of other people and herself was a courageous road for Sophie to take.

Banned for a brief mention of masturbation (it’s mentioned, never done) and a chapter called Ice Capades (Sophies description of how her breasts react to the cold) this book has been challenged several times.  But should it be banned?  No.  3/5 stars


12 responses to “Banned Book Review of What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonia Sones

  1. Pingback: Morning Meanderings… Banned Books Week Kick Off « Book Journey

  2. This is a terrific review. I don’t know this book but it sounds like a good book for young adults and an opportunity for girls to know that other girls go through the same feeling, thoughts, doubts about their first crush, kiss and boys in general.

    It’s ridiculous to want to ban a book because it puts in print what happenes to almost every femalke’s breasts in the cold! Or the mention of masturbation. Are there parents who seriously believe their children haven’t heard of masturbation by high school? I don’t have children but when I was growing up and with teems tody it’s the subjects adults try to hide or suppres sthat kids get really curious about and search out….banning books seems like shooting yourself n the foot!

    • I totally agree with you Amy! I was always more intrigued by the forbidden. And half of that stuff we learned about on the bus before we ever made it to the school library anyway!

  3. Great review Angie on a book I was unfamiliar with. Great point about us all having been there…. and yes I remember crazy crazy crazy things I did to get a certain boys attention in school… including one time I pretended I was lost in the woods after he broke up with me hoping he would feel scared for my safety and come rescue me…. LOL…. so embarrassing…

    did he show up to help “find” me? Yes. Did we get back together? No….

    • And most of the time those boys weren’t really worth it anyway…Sometimes I think it would be great to be young again, but I really don’t want to deal with all that drama and angst again. Wrinkly or not, I think what I deal with on a day to day basis now is far simpler 🙂

  4. Great review! It amazes me the things that offend people so much that they would want to ban a book.

    • And if it offends you, don’t read it and don’t let your son or daughter read it. I don’t want anyone telling me what is suitable for me or my children. That’s up to me to decide not someone who is up on their soapbox determining for others what’s okay or not. Sorry, just kind of riles me up a little 😉

  5. Thanks for the review! My daughter is that age so I better check this one out!

  6. I like when people get all riled up about books. It informs the rest of us which books have good parts we should be reading.

  7. I remember those feelings well. Why would you ban a book about something everyone experiences?

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