Scout. Jem. Dill. Atticus. Boo Radley. Even now – 52 years after the publication of Harper’s Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – these names warm readers’ souls everywhere as they beckon us back to a tiny town in the 1930’s American South – Maycomb, Alabama. When I read the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in junior… View more
Our founding fathers protected our free speech knowing that a healthy, strong society must have a free exchange of ideas. Banning books is a fear-based exercise which tries to block this exchange by suppressing words that might inspire or enlighten. When I come across a book that has been banned, I immediately want to read it to find out what it is that someone else thinks I shouldn’t know. That is why banning a book will never work .
“He’ll be famous – a legend… there will be books written about Harry – every child in our world will know his name!” Professor McGonagall, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
For the past thirty years, at the end of September, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom holds Banned Book Week celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Book Week is an opportunity to bring communities together: librarians, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all kinds, and remember the importance of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unpopular.
Tana French’s fourth book in her Dublin Murder Squad series, Broken Harbor, now follows Detective Frank “Scorcher” Kennedy as he investigates a mysterious family murder in a quiet suburban village outside of Dublin, Ireland destroyed by the recession. Scorcher is also dealing with flashback memories of the death of his mother and a younger sister… View more
There are times when books leave you feeling heartbroken that they are over. This was the case with “Heft” by Liz Moore. In “Heft” we meet the severely obese Arthur Opp, a former professor who hasn’t left his home for over a decade. Arthur’s struggle with his weight and the shame of it keep him inside and it takes the chance phone call from an old friend to shake things up.
“If Jack’s In Love” by Stephen Wetta is a very pleasant surprise. This first novel by Wetta is set in the late 1960’s, the summer when Jack turns 13. Something terrible has happened in Jack’s small town–a popular boy has gone missing–as Jack’s older brother is the only suspect. To make matters worse, Jack is… View more
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a recently released young adult book by first time author Ransom Riggs. The story of teenage Jacob and his grandfather’s mysterious stories and death is combined with odd, old photographs which appear throughout the book. Miss Peregrine’s is delightfully creepy, like listening to ghost stories by campfire. My… View more
I recently started running long distance again after taking a few years off. A running friend of mine recommended this as a way to inspire myself to keep it up. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a memoir by Haruki Murakami which is composed of brief essays of how running has impacted his life. … View more
The Alex Awards are given each year to books originally written for adults that appeal to a young adult audience. As a Young Adult librarian, I really wanted to read at least one of the winners, and I was really pleased with this year’s awards. The list was full of exciting titles, from vampire families… View more