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Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Books Week is here!  Defend the First Amendment and read a banned book September 25-October 1, 2016.  You can choose from the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2015 (click here to watch the video) or one of the titles featured on the many lists available on the official Banned Books Week website.  They have lists about frequently challenged children's books, teen books, books by authors of color, books with diverse content, and classics.

What else can you do?
Contribute to the Banned Books Week conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek.
Find out what authors have to think about Banned Books Week.  Take a look at guest author posts on the Intellectual Freedom blog.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Blogging and Coding How-to

The Super Skills series has two new books to help you become more tech-savvy in our technology-driven world.  Perfect for beginners and near-experts alike!

How to Be a Blogger and Vlogger in 10 Easy Lessons by Shane Birley (2016)
J  006.7  BIR
This brisk read provides 10 lessons for those interested in bringing their voices to the internet, covering blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and everything that goes with them. The book expands upon these lessons in each chapter. For example, the “Record Your Podcast” chapter not only covers basic podcasting formats, but highlights the anatomy of a podcast, how long shows should be, theme-music development, and more. The book also features a section dedicated to internet safety, one all kids should read regardless of their online ambitions. The graphics and charts are serviceable, featuring racially diverse children and dutifully breaking up the chunks of text in a format that’s easy on the eyes. A chapter focused on developing audience is especially helpful to those looking to get their voices heard. But above all, the book positions online expression as equal to any other form of artistic expression: maintaining a web series is just as valid as photography or painting in the eyes of the book’s audience

How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons by Sean McManus (2015)
J  794.81  COD
The spiral binding on this book is completely necessary, as it enables the book to lay flat for readers to consult while working on their Scratch programs via computer—following along with the book without having the Scratch website open would be a confusing undertaking. The first couple of sections provide background on Scratch’s purpose and why one would program in it: it easily makes programs with graphics, and it does so while the programmer is online, requiring no software installations. Then programming teacher and prolific code-guide writer McManus hits his stride in guiding readers through increasingly complicated code. He takes readers from simple quiz games to games in which the player’s character jumps between moving platforms while dodging enemies. The book’s full-color design takes advantage of Scratch’s very visual, color-coded format, but the true-to-screen reproductions falter with some glossy code images of black text on dark colors, which are much harder to read than their computer-backlit equivalents. The final sections cover the basics of HTML tags and an impressive demystification of CSS, with the goal of embedding the Scratch game in a personal website.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Telgemeier Ghosts

Were you wondering if Raina Telgemeier has officially hit the bigtime?  The answer is YES!  Even the New York Times is crazy about her and her newest graphic novel, Ghosts.

"Raina Telgemeier’s characters fizz with visual energy. They DASH! across the page, trailing motion lines and little clouds of smoke. When they’re angry, steam whistles from their ears; when they’re crushing, they expel perfect red hearts from their blushing cheeks. . . . This can make them appear, on first glance, a bit simplistic — cartoonish, in the pejorative sense. But Telgemeier’s interest in knotty issues of tween and teenage social and family life [is] evident. . . . the book’s lovely darker palette of blues and grays hints at the sadness that inflects this story of childhood illness and dislocation. Catrina has moved with her family to the foggy, windswept Northern California town of Bahía de la Luna, in hopes that the cool air will help her little sister Maya’s cystic fibrosis. Cat, about to enter sixth grade, is moody and upset about the move; Maya, despite her grim prognosis, is joyful and excited.  A neighbor boy, Carlos, who guides “ghost tours” around town, tells Cat and Maya that (fictional) Bahía de la Luna is filled with spirits, who like to gather in the old mission and feed off the cool winds. With Day of the Dead approaching, this scaredy Cat has to overcome her fear of the unknown while protecting her ailing sister from an uncertain future."

Read the full review here.  Then place a hold on Ghosts here.

The Triple Threat series by John Feinstein follows the ups and downs of one talented kid-athlete’s year in sports.  The first book, The Walk-On, tackles football.  The second title, The Sixth Man, puts you courtside for basketball drama.  The third and newest title, The DH, takes you out to the ballgame -- the baseball game.

"Alex Myers’s football and basketball seasons were mired in controversy, and his dad’s been MIA since his parents split up. All Alex wants this spring is to work on his fastball and hang out with his maybe-girlfriend, Christine. But he runs into unexpected competition. Matt Gordon was suspended from sports after he admitted taking PEDs during football season, but the athletic board has decided to give him another chance. So he’s on the team—and he’s got something to prove. He’s also got his eye on Christine. The question this season—is all fair in love and baseball? Or are some things truly unforgivable?"

This series is highly recommended for fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green . . . and John Feinstein, of course!

This month we're featuring a double perfect pair in honor of the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.  

  • Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2016)
    J  BAS  NEW BOOK
    Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day—until a plane struck the World Trade Center. But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will’s father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Naheed has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she’s getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Aimee is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business. These four don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. 
  • Towers Falling by Jewel Parker Rhodes (2016)
    J  RHO  NEW BOOK
    When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can't help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers? Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren't alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.
  • America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell by Don Brown (2011)
    J  973.931  BRO
  • Straightforward and honest, this account moves chronologically through the morning, from the terrorist plane hijackings to the crashes at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania; from the rescue operations at the WTC site in New York City to the collapse of the buildings. Vivid watercolor illustrations capture the emotion and pathos of the tragedy making this an important book about an unforgettable day in American history.
  • What Were the Twin Towers? by Jim O'Connor (2016)
    J  973.931  OCO
    Discover the true story of the Twin Towers--how they came to be the tallest buildings in the world and why they were destroyed. When the Twin Towers were built in 1973, they were billed as an architectural wonder. At 1,368 feet, they clocked in as the tallest buildings in the world and changed the New York City skyline dramatically. Offices and corporations moved into the towers--also known as the World Trade Center--and the buildings were seen as the economic hub of the world. But on September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack toppled the towers and changed our nation forever.

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