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.
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.