Monday, September 25, 2017


It's Banned Books Week!  This is an annual event, usually held during the last week of September, in which we celebrate the freedom to read.  Every year, books are challenged and/or removed from public and school libraries.  The Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most challenged books each year.  The 2016 list is available here:

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit or

Here are a few books that have been challenged and/or banned in the last 25 years.

Children's Books:
George by Alex Gino
Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Young Adult Books:
Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Forever by Judy Blume
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Adult Books:
Make Something Up by Chuck Palahniuk

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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Monday, September 18, 2017


Next month, we will be discussing The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.  This novel travels between Syria in the 1910s and New York in the 2010s.  This is a book of parallel stories of Elizabeth Endicott during her time in Syria during the Armenian Genocide and Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in modern day New York.

Chris Bohjalian is the author of over 15 novels.  His newest work, The Flight Attendant, is set to be published in March 2018.

Already finished The Sandcastle Girls and want to know what to read next?  Check out the novels listed below.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Sage Singer befriends an old man who is beloved in their community.  One day he asks Sage for a favor; he asks her to kill him.  Sage refuses, but then he tells her that he deserves to die.  After he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he is right.

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian - After Orhan's grandfather is found dead, Orhan inherits the old family business.  However, his grandfather's will brings more questions than answers.  His grandfather left the family estate to a stranger.  Why would he leave his home to an unknown woman rather than his own son or grandson?

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - This story follows Vivian Schuler in 1964 Manhattan and Violet Schuyler Grant in 1914 Berlin.  One day Vivian receives mail from overseas that contains items that draw her back into her family's past, to the hushed-over crime of an aunt she never knew.

The Last Day of the War by Judith Claire Mitchell - This is the story of a Jewish girl and an Armenia-American solider who enter a maze of politics at the end of World War I.

The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Johnson - Years after participating in a project to redesign Jerusalem with British parks, William Harrington visits the daughter of his former employer, and his revelations about the past transform her life.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton - During a summer party at her family home, Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house.  While there she sees a stranger approach and speak with her mother.  Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a crime; that crime will challenge everything she knows about her family.

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Monday, September 11, 2017


School is back in session!  Whether you are starting school for the first time or are a seasoned veteran, this time of year is always full of excitement; you get to meet new people, start new classes, and learn new things along the way.

Here's a list of some school-themed books for kids and teens:

Picture Books and First Chapter Books:
School's First Day of School by Adam Rex
Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman
Rufus Goes to School by Kim Griswell
Puddle's New School by Amber Stewart
Angelina's New School by Katherine Holabird
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
If You Take a Mouse to School by Lara Numeroff
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Middle Grade:
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot
School of the Dead by Avi
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Amber Brown is not a Crayon by Paula Danziger
Harriet, the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Young Adult:
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl
Surviving High School by Max Doty
Two Roads From Here by Teddy Steinkellner
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Romancing the Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Selden Edwards is the author of The Little Book (2008) and The Lost Prince (2012).  Edwards graduated from Princeton and Stanford, and began writing his first novel while working as an English teacher. 

The Little Book is a love story that spans generations, from the end of the century Vienna through the twentieth century.  It tells the story of Wheeler Burden.  He is living in San Francisco in the late 1980s, when he suddenly finds himself wandering around in 1897 Vienna.

The Lost Prince is a sort of sequel to Edwards' first novel.  This novel is set in the late 1890s and early 1900s.  After a stay in Vienna, Eleanor Burden returns home where she marries the man she is supposed to marry, and waits for life to come to her.  What sets Eleanor apart from the other women of this time is her belief that she has advance knowledge of every major historical event to come during her lifetime.

For something similar to Selden Edwards' books, check out one of these books today!

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell
Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon

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