Behind The Vids: Laura Jimenez, Tossing Books, and Blue Tamales

Laura Jimenez, a prof at Boston University, walks around with a bullseye painted on her back. That’s because she’s the voice behind the popular and controversial blog BookToss.

Book Toss tells its readers which books to toss, to keep, or to share. Laura has lambasted some pretty popular books, such as Wonder. Laura feels that Auggie’s attempts to make others feel comfortable in the face of his deformity is a form of ableism. It’s not his job to make his deformity palatable for others.

No Easy Book Love

Her quest to shed light on creators and books that reveal what it’s like to be the ‘other,’ and toss books that continue to perpetuate an outdated, or harmful point of view, made her perfect for our Acceptance Game.

While having fun, we touched upon how play can allow for serious topics to be discussed, and she gave us a practical tip on how to evaluate books, movies etc in terms of whether they validate racism, sexism, ableism etc. or not. And I gotta tell you, it’s not easy to spot some of these things if they’re outside of your immediate experience.

Her take on Wonder really threw me at first.  As Mike Moody, a writer with a craniofacial disorder similar to Auggie’s said in a School LiIbrary Journal article, Initiatives such as Choose Kind “[force] marginalised (sic) people to be ever gracious and polite in the face of people who ignore, mock, or vilify us.

Gotta admit, before we interviewed Laura, I only saw the Choose Kind movement as positive. But I’m learning every movement’s meaning is in the eye of the beholder. Nothing works in every situation for every person. Even choosing acceptance has its limits.

Because Christina and I continue to explore the limits of acceptance, please share an experience with me where choosing to accept someone or something was the wrong response. We value your experiences.

Below a special moment from the video. Watch here.

Please spread the word about our project/channel and encourage others to subscribe to this newsletter and/or our YouTube Channel if you think they would speak to them.

Because we view our channel as a shared experience, we’d love it if you’d send us suggestions of what you’d like to explore next on this journey. Ex. You want us to look at how personal identity plays a part in choosing acceptance. You may even know someone who can help lead us along this path. If so, brilliant! You can send us names/contact info, video ideas, and whatever else you can think of by replying to this letter, or tweeting me, or posting a comment on our YouTube channel. We can use all the help we can get.  

Purple Passion of the Fortnight:
Purple Tamales

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