Sunday, September 30, 2012

Banned Books Week

We are celebrating Banned Books Week this week. The American government may not ban books from being printed, bought and sold but books are still frequently requested to be removed from schools and library shelves. During Banned Books Week, we celebrate the freedom to read whatever we want and discuss the dangers of restricting a community's access to books.

In 2011, there were 326 known attempts to remove materials from schools and libraries. The following books were among the top ten books challenged or removed from libraries last year.

 ttyl, tffn, l8r g8r (Internet Girl Series) by Lauren Myracle
Told entirely through instant messages, this series follows the friendship of Maddie, Zoe and Angela, three sixteen-year-old girls ,as they experience some typical pitfalls of adolescence: boys, queen-bee types, a flirty teacher, beer, crazy parents and more.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Capitol of Panem is harsh and cruel and keeps the twelve outlying districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. One boy and one girl are selected by lottery to play. Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to participate in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender--and a symbol for rebellion. She will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
 Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Based on the author's own experiences, this novel chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live. 

Alice Series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Alice Series follows Alice McKinley as she grows up from third grader  high school graduate in Silver Springs, Maryland. Alic lives with her older brother and father. Her mother died when she was five and Alice struggles growing up in an all-male household. The books follow Alice as she navigates her life, her adventures with her three best friends, her family, and her romantic entanglements 

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
In 2540, most of the world has been unified into the World State. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. John has grown up outside of the World State and when he is brought to London, he cannot accept the merits of a world based on consumerism without individuality, spirituality or personal freedom.
What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
Composed entirely in short poems in free-verse, Sophie describes her struggles of freshman year and her relationships with a series of  boys. She's openly dating sexy Dylan, chatting online with Chaz, and crushing on sweet, nerdy Murphy.
Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
This series revolves around the lives and loves of privileged teenagers at the Constance Billard School for Girls, an elite private school in New York City's Upper East Side. The series primarily focuses on best friends Blair and Serena whose experiences are chronicled by an anonymous blogger known as "Gossip Girl."
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Scout lives with her brother Jem and her father Atticus in 1930s Alabama. The children and their friend Dill spend their summers exploring their small town but when Atticus defends a black man accused of rape, Scout discovers that her town is steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy and she learns the power of quiet heroism.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Hunger for Excitement @ Your Library!

It's National Library Card Sign-Up Month and the library has a lot of Hunger Games themed activities going on this month. We'll be showing the film, hosting a scavenger hunt, and there are plenty of chances to win prizes all month long! See our newsletter for more information.

And here are some new Hunger Games readalikes to keep you busy until the Catching Fire movie is released!

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
When Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave and no one can come back. Those still healthy must fight for the island's dwindling supplies or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
The oceans stopped working before Willo was born so the world of ice and snow is all he's ever known. He lives with his family deep in the wilderness, far from the government's controlling grasp. But, suddenly, Willo's survival skills are put to the test when he arrives home one day to find his family missing. It could be the government; it could be scavengers - all Willo knows is he has to find refuge and find his family. It is a journey that will take him into the city he's always avoided, with a girl who needs his help more than he knows.

Legend by Marie Lu
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family, June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths--until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. 

Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Alex is home alone when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. Now Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister. Along the way, he struggles with a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait--to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.

And don't forget to read Divergent by Veronica Roth! You can also find more dystopian novels here.