Banned Books: The Bermudez Triangle

Title: The Bermudez Triangle
Author: Maureen Johnson
Challenged in: Leesburg, Fl Public Library
For: “sexual innuendo, drug references, and other adult topics”

So I definitely read this book a little more than a year ago because I like other things Maureen Johnson has written. I was going to just write a blog post on it without rereading it, since I was 99% sure I knew exactly why it was being banned. Then I read the brief description on the challenged book list, got really confused by the “drug references”, and decided to bite the bullet and read it again, scouring it for the part that had escaped my memory where the three main characters (or anyone) does meth or at least talks about getting high. The good news is, my memory is actually pretty good; the only “drug reference” I could find in The Bermudez Triangle is that one of the main character’s smokes, although her friends are always trying to get her to stop. The idea that some impressionable teen girl would start smoking because of this book is pretty hilarious. The main characters also attend two parties with alcohol, although no one seems to really get drunk.

Here’s the scoop:
Nina, Avery, and Mel have been BFF forever, nicknamed The Bermudez Triangle (Bermudez is Nina’s last name) by some jealous girl that wanted into their private clique. Nina is the smart, organized, perfectionist one. Avery is the free-spirit, tough girl musician. Mel is the shy, girly one. Then Nina goes to some kind of Smart Kid Camp over the summer and falls in love with Jeremy Caves and Mel figures out that she’s gay, accidentally kisses Avery, and they start secretly dating. Natch this makes things totally awk when Nina comes back, especially after Avery decides she’s not actually gay and breaks up with Mel, Jeremy Caves cheats on Nina, and Mel’s mom finds out she’s gay and stops speaking to her. Luckily, through the power of friendship and with the help of a cute, funny guy named Parker who sadly–and kind of unfairly–never manages to get any girl, they pull through and Triangle Power lives again.

So, yeah, this book was fairly typical Three Best Friends Whose Friendship is Tested By Dating/Boys/The World, except for the whole lesbian thing, which was handled pretty tastefully. Avery and Mel kiss sometimes, and there are oblique references to “…. things.” but that’s about it. So, yes, the sexual content is about as in-your-face as drug references that are actually smoking. Seriously, Leesburg, I can totally hook you up with some YA Lit that ACTUALLY CONTAINS the things you are complaining about if you want to challenge something for real real next year. You know this and Only In Your Dreams is not the best you can do. Step it up.

2 responses to “Banned Books: The Bermudez Triangle”

  1. Brian says:

    I would ban this book on the grounds that Mel is a man’s name, short for “Melvin.”

  2. Brian says:

    p.s. is there a word count on comments? I wrote 3 longer comments on your blog this week, and the computer ate all of them, but that one was accepted…

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