"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's Monday, October 29 and I'm reading...

Sheila at Book Journey

Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Textt
Currently Reading:
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa...a housekeeper assigned to assist an old professor who has a head injury that allows for only 80 minutes of memory. So far I've found it charming.
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers...one of my Mock Printz selections. So far I haven't read enough to form an opinion.
I'm listening to:
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray... a good selection for Halloween month since it falls into the horror genre. My husband and I had to work pretty hard to get this book downloaded onto my new iTouch so he is invested in listening to it, too.
What I've recently finished:
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova...a book club selection about a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer disease. Very touching and thought-provoking.
  • The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George---billed as good GLBT lit I think this book goes beyond that. It really addresses issues that relate to what makes a good friend and what we can do to foster and or harm our relationships.
  • Legend by Marie Lu...an exciting dystopian novel very popular with my students. I listened to this on audiobooks.
  • My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt...set in Vancouver, BC about a girl living the life of a prostitute but is worried about the man who is preying on others in her trade. Very well-done.

What I hope to read next: I am frantically trying to finish reading all the books on my Mock Printz list, yet all the books are checked out to my students right now so I need to see what the public library has available. Here are a few a still need to read:
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Saenz.
  • A Certain October by Angela Johnson.
  • A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix...I decided to drop this book from my list after a student returned it saying he thought the book wasn't well-written. He told me he thought if he wrote a book it would be this quality. Hmm... not a good recommendation.
  • Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan.

What are you reading?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mock Printz Roll Out

 2013 Mock Printz

I rolled out Mock Printz at my school this week. So far 45 kids have signed up. Obviously, I need to purchase more copies of the books, which is a good thing! Here are the steps I use in preparation for the roll-out:

  1. Read. Read. Read. All books for the 2013 Printz award have to be published in the 2012. I read both School Library Journal and Booklist searching for YA books with starred reviews. I also pay attention to the YA books that the blogosphere is buzzing about. These help form the beginnings of my reading list. The other high school librarians and I share this reading list every time we meet and divide up the reading assignments.
  2. In September the three of us get together and choose the books for our list. We purposely leave some flex for books yet to be published. This year we decided to remove books from the list if the books just doesn't seem to measure up and add books that are generating buzz these next few months.
  3. Order books. As books come in I ask students from last year's Mock Printz teams to start reading them. One student has already read six of the books on the list because he takes his task of pre-reading the selections seriously.
  4. Contact the Public Library and let them know about the books on our list so they can be sure to get several copies of the books, too.
  5. Advertise dates of the roll-out event(s). This year I held two introduction meetings, one during Study Support, the other during student lunches.  I still missed some students that I think would like to participate. To prevent having to do 25 more one-on-one presentations I may host one more general introduction next week.
  6. Create paperwork: Powerpoint Presentation, contracts, and list of books for students.
  7. The Powerpoint presentation explains the Printz Award, our role as a "mock" Printz committee, how to read looking for literary excellence, how to sign up to be a member of the team, and a list of the books.
  8. If the students sign the contract they agree to read at least five of the books on the list; to return each book within two weeks or in a timely fashion; and they will attend the Mock Printz Workshop in January when we spend several hours pretending we are the actual committee, voting for our favorite YA book of the year.
  9. Create a spreadsheet of participants and books to keep track of which students have read what books. I use this spreadsheet (and make it available for my clerk) so we can figure out who gets the next book once one is checked in. It gets a little complicated but not too bad. I am very active in contacting students when a book is available. I communicate with students via little notices my TAs deliver to students in class.
  10. Keep reading. Of the eighteen books on our list this year I've currently read only 10. By January I'll have all of them read.
I know I make this sound complicated. But I highly recommend hosting a Mock Printz or Mock Newbery at your school.  It is so rewarding.  I get to know kids and will form relationships with them that last throughout their high school careers. Students are introduced to a variety of genres and writing styles that they wouldn't read if they weren't part of the team. Even kids who struggle to read five books in the three months feel good about their accomplishment and the workshop is fun!

It is not too late to start a Mock Printz team at your school.  My first year I just took someone else's list and used it. That removes the necessity of freaking out about how to read so many books to make your list.  Help yourself to our list HERE or do a Google search for Mock Prtintz 2013. Several other folks have published their lists already, too.  Have fun.

Feel free to contact me at school if you want a copy of my Powerpoint or any of my handouts.  I'm fine with sharing. abennett(AT)bethelsd(DOT)org

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Salon...Oct. 14

Purple Mountain Ash in the background and a Japanese Willow in the foreground. Fall has arrived to our backyard.
Weather:  Cold and rainy. The weather has turned and Fall is definitely with us.

This past week: 
I kept my head down and just tried to do my work without doing anything to draw attention to myself. I needed this after the blunders of the week before. I also rolled out the Mock Printz books for my students.  We are underway. 

Yesterday. I spent the day reading and blogging. I finally have my reading mojo back and I didn't want to lose my momentum. I finished five books this past week which equals the total reading for the month of September.

Today:  I need to write a few thank you cards and hope to find a break in the weather to walk the dog.

Book(s) I've finished this week:

  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson...it took me almost a month to read it, but I finally completed it.  As with most books, when you read them too slowly they don't hold the attention. I liked the ending but I still think the book was too long.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.... my new favorite!  Love this book from start to finish. In fact, I can attribute the return of my reading mojo to this audiobook. I wanted to listen to this story all the time (which, of course, I couldn't do.)
  • Beyond Courage: the Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport... divided into regions and themes this nonfiction book relates stories of Jewish heroism during WWII. It is a Mock Printz selection.
  • October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman... this slim volume contains over fifty poems in a variety of poetic styles about the life, death, and legacy of Matthew Shepard, the gay boy who was tortured and killed for being gay in October 1998.
  • The Good Braider by Terry Farish...a war victim from Sudan makes it to America with her mother but assimilation isn't easy.
Currently reading/listening to:  
  • Every Day by David Levithan...I just started this book before bed last night so I haven't gotten far. The story line--a boy wakes up every morning in a different persons body.
  • Legend by Marie Lu...I just started this audiobook yesterday. I can't tell if it is considered Dystopian or just set in the future. Students report that they like this book and want to read one just like it.  Guess I'd best figure out what all the fuss is about.
Scripture Lesson today: Isaiah 65:1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’

I'm praying for
: my husband's job situation.

From the kitchen: Today I hope to make a pot of pumpkin soup. The recipe in Parade Magazine sounds good.

Review: October Mourning: a Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman

"On the night of October 12, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a bar by two young men, then savagely beaten, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, and left to die. Five days later, Leslea Newman arrived on campus to give the keynote speech for the University of Wyoming's Gay Awareness Week."- from the book jacket

This lovely tribute to Matthew's life and his legacy explores the impact of this vicious crime through a variety of points of view. All these fictitious monologues are written utilizing different poetic forms. Even the fence and moon have their own poems. This book is a moving and obviously deeply personal account by the author Leslea Newman.

I was very touched by this small volume. I read it in an hour, which included the end notes. Several of the poems brought me to tears. In a strange act of synchronicity I actually read this book on October 12, the very day that Matthew Shepard was savagely beaten fourteen years earlier. I didn't notice this fact as I read the book but realized the coincidence today after receiving an e-mail from ThinkProgress about the anniversary of the event and the progress that has been made in GLTB issues since Matthew's death.

I highly recommend this book for all public and high school libraries. It is not only an important witness to a despicable event, a gentle reminder that all life is precious, and it is a lovely poetry book that could be used for examples of poetic styles.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Review: Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Dear Maggie,
I want to thank you for two things, maybe three.

First, thanks to Raven Boys I got my reading mojo back! It has been a long summer of listless reading and these doldrums were starting to cut into my esteem as a reader. When I popped the Raven Boys audiobook into the CD player in my car, wham-o everything changed. I felt my strength returning with each new disk. I couldn't consume the book fast enough to just listen to it and had to start reading the actual book in between car trips. This week-end I have already completed three books. That is near the total of books read the whole month of September. Like I said, my reading mojo is back and it is thanks to you. BTW-I hope you give Will Patton, the voice actor for Raven Boys, a shout-out from me. He was spot-on perfect.

Secondly, I want to once again thank you for creating such a thrilling, fascinating, and unique book. You might not remember me but I am the person that wrote you the love letter after I finished Scorpio Races. (See my love letter here.) I am still a huge fan of that book and as a teen librarian I am in the unique position to talk it up every day, and I do! Raven Boys is quite a different story yet it has a lot of the same magical realism that I enjoyed with Scorpio Races. Once again you tickled my interest by inserting a character from local myths, this time about the Welsh hero and sleeping king, Owain Glynd┼Ár. You also introduced the concept of ley lines, causing me to run to the Internet to learn more. Below is a picture of the Seattle ley lines map. Until I read Raven Boys I didn't even know a thing about these supernatural high energy lines. Thanks for the fun of researching a new topic.
I can't really make heads or tails of this map but I did notice that there is a huge energy field right off the Washington State coast so maybe Glendower is here!

Lastly I stand in awe of your talent as a writer, an artist, and a musician. Once again I am blown away by your book trailer because it is all from you.  The song you titled "Henrietta" is perfect! Thank you for sharing your multifaceted talents with the whole YA world. I just found your interview on NPR. Loved it. 

Just wanted you to know that I still love you,

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: The Good Braider by Terry Farish

Written in free verse The Good Braider is the story of Viola and her family's journey from war-torn Sudan, through Cairo, finally ending up in the United States. How does a girl who has escaped the horrors of war cope with the memories of a childhood ravaged? How does a girl who grew up in a small, close-knit town in Southern Sudan suddenly deal with the American culture so different from her own? "...the strange world of America a world where a girl can wear a short skirt, get a tattoo or even date a boy; a world that puts her into sharp conflict with her traditional mother who, like Viola, is struggling to braid together the strands of a displaced life." -Goodreads

As happens so often fiction can teach without a lecture, can illuminate without pain. Though I have been aware of the atrocities occurring in Sudan from their civil war, I really hadn't given much thought to its causes and to the realities of the war on the average person. Shame on me. The Good Braider by Terry Farish brought this war into sharp focus for me. Rape, displacement, death, loss of culture all are tragic results of war. But not being able to plant crops? I had never realized that is also a result of such conflict.  And without crops what do the people eat? Without preaching, the reader also learns that this civil war, as is the case so often, is about religion. Those in North Sudan, mostly Muslim, fighting with those of Southern Sudan who are mostly Christians. Why are these two disparate halves part of the same country? No doubt it has its roots in European Colonialism.

The war in Sudan is only half the book, however. The other half beautifully expresses the conflict for immigrants to America. How can one assimilate into the culture without losing oneself? Conflicts between Viola and her mother demonstrate this point. As Viola goes to school and learns to read and write, she also becomes more Americanized. Her mother who doesn't have the same opportunities for education is unwilling to accept these changes.

I am very impressed by the skill with which Terry Farish has braided together the pieces of a life into a thoughtful story while gently educating the reader. Well done.

*This book is a Mock Printz selection.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2013 Mock Printz reading list

Here is the Mock Printz list of titles for the Bethel School District.  It is a long list and none of the contributors to this list have read all the books so we may actually delete and add titles as we see fit from now until our Mock Printz Workshops in January. But we think that this is a good list with lots of excellent books and we are excited to roll this out to our students. If you check back Friday I will explain how to host a Mock Printz event and how I roll mine out. Stay tuned.

2013 Mock Printz titles (in alphabetical order):

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Saenz 
  • Beneath the Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson                  
  • Beyond Courage: the untold story of Jewish resistence during the Holocaust  by  Doreen Rappaport                 
  • Brides of Rollrock Island  by Margo Lanagan     
  • A Certain October  by Angela Johnson                 
  • Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein                       
  • A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix         (recently removed)         
  • The Difference Between You and Me  by Madeleine George     
  • Diviners by Libba Bray                                         
  • Dying to Know You  by Aidan Chambers            
  • Every Day  by David Levithan                              
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green             
  • The Good Braider by Terry Farish                     
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers                        
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  • My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt (recently added)
  • October Mourning by Leslea Newman (recently added) 
  • Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater  (recently added)
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman                               
  • The Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci  and Nate Powell   

I've only read seven on the list.  So I have to get reading, too. When we divied up our reading list prior to selection most of the books I read were ones we decided to NOT include on the list.  Sigh.  But I still have some on the list that I am tremendously excited about and hope, hope, hope at least one will win!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday...Rewind Week

Top Ten YA Books Published in 2012 that I've read so far...

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green....hands down this is my favorite YA book I've read this year.  Even with all the hype I still loved it. It lived up to the hype.

2. Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers...uniquely special and thoughtful.

3. Code Name Verity by Elisabeth Wein...WWII historical fiction and a mystery to boot!

4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer...I was prepared to not like this book because I had misinterpreted messages from others who read this Cinderella retelling before me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5. The Final Four by Paul Volponi...basketball so realistic I thought I was actually at the NCAA tournament.

6. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony...few words and lots of images. I got to tell myself the story.

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews...Oh no, I thought, another book about death and dying it couldn't possibly match up to FIOS. However, it is a very different book and I enjoyed it.

8. Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson...the story is pretty depressing, meth addiction, but the symbolism is strong and the story is redemptive.

9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth...the exciting second book to the Divergent series...even though it took me forever to read.

10. The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison...a mystery with a twist, the main character has OCD and is a compulsion to steal things.

Do you have any favorite YA books published this year?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Salon...October 7

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Simply beautiful day. We are having an amazing Fall in the Pacific NW. The evenings are cool but after the chill of the morning burns off we have been experiencing beautiful, warm days.

This past week: I had some frustrations at work that made me both angry and disappointed in myself. I hate it when that happens.

This Week-end: we are participating in a program organized through our church called Faith in Action. The motto for this program is: "Don't go to church, be the church."  We had over 20 projects in our community providing opportunities for our members to serve. Examples: working at a local clothing bank switching over the clothing from summer to winter wear; collecting food outside a grocery store for the Salvation Army to give from their food pantry; assisting a shut-in with yard work; building a wheelchair ramp for person recently disabled; making quilts for a nursing home, kids made cookies and delivered them to local firefighters as a thank you for their service to us; etc.

Yesterday. I collected food outside a grocery store for Salvation Army and my husband cleaned up the yard of a church member who is a shut-in. He made many trips to the dump in our old truck with debris from her yard.

Today: We spent four hours working at the L'Arche Farm helping put the vegetable garden to bed for the winter. If you have never heard of L'Arche before it is an amazing community that assists adults living with intellectual disabilities. It was an honor to serve them with my sweat and labor. Plus it was fun working along side my husband and other friends from our church.

Book(s) I've finished this week:

  • Abhorsen by Garth Nix...the third book in the Old Kingdom/Abhorsen trilogy. I had that sad feeling that comes sometimes when I finish a book that I wish would never end.  Loved it. Loved the whole series.
Currently reading/listening to:  
  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson...I'm half finished with this book. I am really in a reading funk right now and can barely make myself read these days. The plot: a teen returns to a cabin for a summer with her father who is dying from cancer. She also has to confront an event that occurred during a past summer which altered her relationships with friends in the area.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.... thank goodness for audiobooks or my reading would be down to a trickle. I am enjoying this book quite a lot by a favorite author.
Scripture Lesson today: Matthew 25:45 "And he will answer, 'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'

I'm praying for: two friends with lung cancer and for their families.

From the kitchen: Brownies with German Chocolate frosting. OK. I know it is not on the diet but YUM!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix

A few weeks ago the Top Ten Tuesday topic was unfinished series. It was an easy topic since I am more likely to NOT finish a series than the opposite. If I do complete one it is because the books are captivating. the settings are vivid, I care about the characters, and enjoy the plot. Good writing is obviously essential. I enjoy plots that are unpredictable and books where full of multidimensional characters.  That is what we have here with the Abhorsen Trilogy written by Garth Nix.

The series begins with Sabriel (1995) who is the Abhorsen-in-waiting to her father. Only the Abhorsen can keep the living safe from the dead. They do this by using bells to chase the dead past the ninth gate of death so that they cannot return toearth to cause havoc. When Sabriel's father goes missing and many other terrible signs develop in the Old Kingdom, Sabriel is called into action to find him and save the land for the living. Along the way Sabriel is assisted by Mogget, an enchanted cat-being and Touchstone, a prince who previously trapped for several hundred years in a ship's masthead. As the Greater Dead gain strength and determination to rule the world Sabriel's skills and courage are sorely tested. Can she save both her father and the whole country?

Lirael (2001), the middle book of the trilogy is set 20 years after the ending of Sabriel. Lirael, a daughter of the Clayr is waiting to received the gift of sight so that she can fulfill her purpose in life. While she is waiting for her gift to come forward she becomes an assistant librarian and works in the vast library of the Clayr. A lonely girl whose mother is dead and doesn't know her father, Lirael finds a small dog statue on one of her adventures in the library. This statue comes to life as the Disreputable Dog and is a loyal friend to Lirael. When the Clayr "see" that Lirael is a vital person to foil a plot of a great evil being, she and the dog go out in the world not knowing what to expect or how to proceed. They meet up with a prince and face great evil beings together. As in most middle books of trilogies, this one ends on a cliff-hanger.

In Abhorsen (2003) we once again meet with Lirael, Sameth (the Prince), and the Disreputable Dog as they try to save Nick, a friend of Sameth, and defeat Orannis, the Destroyer. As the book progresses we see how the situation is over the head of the team yet they must prevail because Orannis will destroy all life. Nick is unwittingly working for the destroyer which, of course complicates their plans.

I enjoy stories where good triumphs over evil but in this series one was never quite sure how this was going to happen and it certainly seemed that evil had the upperhand a good deal of the time. I cheered for the protagonists Sabriel, Lirael, and Sameth, even though they were all flawed, complex people. I was sorry when the series ended because the characters had become friends. Fortunately for me I just learned that there is a collection of short stories by Garth Nix that includes a few stories of my friends here.

I listened to Lirael and Abhorsen on audiobooks. They were excellently read by Tim Curry of Rock Horror Picture Show fame. I highly recommend this series to all you enjoy a good story and fabulous writing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Banned Book Week...Day 3

I know it sounds like I am whining. OK, I am whining, but I am so busy at work right now that I have barely had time to enjoy Banned Books Week so far. Tomorrow, however, I am doing book talks all day and I plan to promote a lot of good books that have been challenged or banned. Until then, and in keeping with my promise to blog about banned books all week, I decided to share with you portions of an Op-Ed piece by Anna Quindlen written in 1994 and published in the NY Times. Sometimes a little satire and humor says it best.
Monday: Begin Banned Books Week by reading "Bridge to Terebithia" by Katherine Paterson, which parents in several school districts have tried to remove from required reading lists. Weep copiously at realistic tale of friendship and loss among children.
Read account of attempts to have the book removed from school libraries in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Clergyman says the book refers to church services as "boring." Shocked and amazed.
Discover that "Terebithia" caused such a stink in Oskaloosa, Kan., that the school board has required teachers to list each profanity in any book they assign and how many times the profanity is used. Page through book. Find a "damn" and write it down. Feel like a fool. "I hate to say it, but sometimes grown-ups are really stupid," says oldest child.
This reminds me of the time my daughter invited a young girl over to our house for a sleep-over. The girls decided to watch a movie but the young friend told my daughter she couldn't watch Disney's Pocahontas because of some impure scene. Then the girl went on to describe said scene in great detail. My daughter and I sat with our mouths gaping open. We had watched the movie many times and never noticed any inappropriate scenes, yet here was a girl telling us all about it and she supposedly hadn't seen it. All I could think was what a disservice the adults in this child's life had done to her...by telling her to avoid it they had created an almost insatiable curiosity and obsession within this young girl. My daughter, who had no such ban, came across as the innocent child in the room.

Back to Anna Quindlen:

Tuesday: Read reams of material about the banning of "In the Night Kitchen," fanciful account of dreams of little boy by Maurice Sendak. Boy falls out of clothes, is naked, has penis. Penis has been described as "desensitizing children to nudity" (Beloit, Wis.), "nudity for no purpose" (Norridge, Ill.) and "the foundation for future use of pornography" (Elk River, Minn.). In Missouri copies of book were distributed to kindergarten class after artist was commissioned to draw shorts on boy.
Discover that the profanity in "Terebithia" includes the repeated use of the word "Lord." Begin to agree with oldest child. 
Honestly. Don't parents see how ridiculous it is to draw shorts on the boy in the Sendak story? My hometown did something just as ridiculous.  A sculpture was installed outside the public library of three naked angels. After many complaints the artist returned and put cloth underwear of the stone sculpture.  That didn't look stupid at all, nor did it attract more attention to ludicrousness of the complaints. Ha!

Back to the Op-Ed piece...(Can't you relate to it?)

Wednesday: Contemplate bookshelves in office. "Moby Dick" encourages whale hunting, "Anna Karenina" adultery, Shakespeare teen suicide, usury and the occult. Faulkner, oy. Consider what would remain if all books containing sex, profanity, racial slurs, violence were removed from shelves. Narrow it down to "Cat in the Hat," dictionary and Bible.
Realize cat with hat encourages children to make a mess while mother is out. Discover in American Library Association Banned Books Week literature that the Bible was challenged as "obscene and pornographic" at library in Fairbanks, Alaska. Fear for future of human race.

The Bible. Where's Waldo. Winnie-the-Pooh. The Diary of Anne Frank. All of them banned or challenged and all for ridiculous reasons. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

Read the rest of the excellent piece by Ms. Quindlen here.

I'm off to read The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss which, you guessed it, is another banned book!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banned Books Week...Day 1

Banned Books Week 2012 began this past week-end.  I had such a crazy week-end I didn't get my post ready to participate in the Banned Books Week Challenge and Giveaway. Sorry. Even though I am no longer on the official list I promise to blog about censorship, 1st Amendment, and/or book banning every day this week.

Start the week by listening to this brief introduction to the 30th anniversary for Banned Books Week by Bill Moyers. Bill talks about the impact libraries have had on his youth, his dismay over book challenges in modern times, and why censorship is the biggest enemy of truth.

Then jump over to the BBW Virtual Read Out on YouTube-Banned Books Weeks and start the week off listening to Stephen Chbosky, author of Perks of Being a Wallflower, reading a poem about suicide.

"It's strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book."- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Preserve freedom, read a banned book.

What is your favorite banned book?  My long time favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird, but my new favorite is Hunger Games.