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Are you Free to Read? Banned Books Week is September 30- October 6

Posted on September 29th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

Banned Books Week is upon us! But why should you care? Everyone should care about book banning or, more commonly, book challenges. What am I talking about? Here is how The American Library Association explains it:

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

Choosing what to read is a personal thing and if you are a teen–personal decisions may still involve discussion with your parents, your religious leader, your friends, your teachers or anyone else whom you look to for guidance. Most librarians take your freedom to read really seriously–that is why we celebrate Banned Books Week. It is a way to bring awareness to issues of censorship and have community discussions about books and why every citizen should value his or her freedom to read them.

You might be surprised by which books have been challenged or banned–often they are considered classics! Frankly, once I hear that a book has been banned, I can’t WAIT to read it! Can you name these famously banned books by their descriptions?  Give me your answers in the comments and be entered to win a signed copy of Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi. It hasn’t been challenged that I know of…it is just a wicked good book!!

Mystery Banned Book Number 1

This book is about a girl who risks her life to save her sister’s in a television program gone mad. Reasons Banned: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

Mystery Banned Book Number 2

This book about an African-American woman living in 1930s Georgia won a Pulitzer Prize and is a frequent class pick for honors level English. Reasons Banned: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit.

Mystery Banned Book Number 3

The book is about a crime fighter with an unorthodox sense of style. Reasons Banned: anti-family content, sexual content, unsuited to age group, violence

Mystery Banned Book Number 4

In this book about a road trip before cars were invented, two unlikely friends make discoveries and question assumptions while enjoying the scenery of Middle America. Reasons Banned: offensive language, racism

Mystery Banned Book Number 5

This book is about a neglected orphan trying to make friends at a new school while trying to unravel the secrets of his mysterious past and his parents’ deaths. Reasons banned: Occultism, Satanism, violence, anti-family




Celebrate The Hobbit!

Posted on September 21st, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts.

Do you know about second breakfast? Elevensies? If you are a fan of Middle Earth you do!

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of the classic J.R.R. Tolkien book, The Hobbit. How better to celebrate than to nosh–Hobbit Style! Join in with fans across the world and have a celebratory nibble, but act fast it is happening at 11am! Don’t worry if you miss the time–Hobbits always have a little something tucked away for just such an occasion!

While you are snacking, enjoy this trailer for the first movie in Peter Jackson’s three part adaptation…it doesn’t come out until December so that gives you plenty of time to read the book….and pack some more snacks.

Bonus question—can you name all the dwarves? Give me a shout in the comments!



Do you like Parrots? Muppets? Johnny Depp? You are Going to Love this Post

Posted on September 19th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Events, Random Fun.

The pirate speaks,”Books and Fun about Pirates! Today be talk like a pirate day and we love pirates! Read about them, find your own pirate name, learn the lingo and sing a song o’ the high seas! Talk like a pirate day be about fun and if you don’t like it you can walk the plank!”

  • Need a good yarn? Read these books about pirates! (WPL is not responsible for your sudden desire to own a talking parrot)
  • Don’t have a pirate name? Find your name and insist that your parents call you by it! Like this, “Mother–you simple DO NOT command Captain Jane Squiddly Britches to clean her room.  Saavy?” (WPL is not responsible for groundings and/or lectures about respectful discourse)
  • Learn the lingo. Don’t Sprechen Sie the lingity? You can learn to speak pirate with our Mango Language program from our online collections.
  • Sing a pirate song! Here is a super mash up video from Pirates of the Caribbean and Muppet Treasure Island. Have you considered the life of a professional pirate? Maybe you should! (WPL is not responsible for angry guidance counselors or your sudden disinterest in attending business school)



Books about Carnivals: Creepy or Cool?

Posted on September 12th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.


After watching this video today  from the Vlogbrothers about an abandoned Ferris Wheel that still turns….10 years after the park closed, I started thinking about how creepy a carnival can be. I have never actually had a bad experience at one so why can they seem so creepy? Is it because it is so “other-worldly” to have garish lights and music going at all hours? Maybe because it is unnatural for our bodies to fly and twist they way they do on rides? Maybe. But those are also the reasons that make carnivals and theme parks SO MUCH FUN!

How do you feel about it? Have a story to share? Let me hear your best and worst carnival story in the comments and enjoy these top 5 YA carnival books….got one to add? Give me a shout back in the comments.

#5 The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Gabry knows it is wrong to sneak out of the compound's protection and into the abandoned theme park, but her friends are doing it and the boy she likes wants her to go and the fences will keep the zombies out, right? Wrong, Gabry....dead wrong.

#4 Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman

When sixteen-year-old Blake goes to a mysterious, by-invitation-only carnival he somehow knows that it could save his comatose brother, but soon learns that much more is at stake if he fails to meet the challenge presented there by the beautiful Cassandra.

#3 The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

It's all fun and games until you are being buried alive. Tell that to Fortunato-he was partying at Carnival with his "good friend" and by the time he realizes his life is in danger, he is too drunk and too alone and too far under the city for anyone to hear his cries.

#2 The Likes of Me by Randall Platt

Where do you find work in 1918 when you are half Chinese and half Albino and all in love with a carny boy named Squirl? You join the freak show. But does that make you a freak??

#1 Something Wicked This Way Comes: Graphic Novel Adaptation by Ray Bradbury

The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.

BONUS BOOKS! Like adult reads? Check out these two creepy carnivals from the adult section…

The story of what is perhaps America's first serial killer. He stalked his victims on the grounds of the beautiful Chicago's Worlds' Fair. True Story Bro.

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.