Banned Books Week: Stand Up For Your Right to Read!


Celebrate Banned Books Week 2016: September 25 through October 1

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.infographictopten2015-long_The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Since 1982, Banned Books Week has rallied librarians, booksellers, authors, publishers, teachers, and readers of all types to celebrate and defend the freedom to read. After years of advocating Banned Books Week and protecting readers’ rights and liberating literature, ALA is pleased to unveil this interactive timeline of significant banned and challenged books, highlighting one book banned or challenged in each particular year. In most cases these books presented significant controversy spanning over multiple years. The timeline presents only a sample of particularly notable challenges to particularly notable books during this period.

How will you celebrate Banned Books Week and stand up for your right to read?


Explode Your Holds List with New Mysteries & Thrillers!


Gear up for some scares and suspense with these new Mysteries & Thrillers:

and-the-trees-crept-inAnd the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Sisters Silla, seventeen, and Nori, four, are trapped in their aunt's cursed manor and can only escape with the help of a mysterious boy. 

scary-out-thereScary Out There by Jonathan Maberry

Multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jonathan Maberry compiles more than twenty stories and poems--written by members of the Horror Writers Association--in this terrifying collection about worst fears.

the-darkest-hourThe Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond

My name is Lucie Blaise. I have many aliases, but I am none of the girls you see. What I am is the newest recruit of Covert Ops. And we are here to take down Hitler. After the Nazis killed my brother on the North African front, I volunteered at the Office of Strategic Services in Washington to do my part for the war effort. Only instead of a desk job at the OSS, I was tapped to join the Clandestine Operations--a secret espionage and sabotage organization of girls. Six months ago, I was deployed to German-occupied France to gather intelligence and eliminate Nazi targets. My current mission: Track down and interrogate a Nazi traitor about a weapon that threatens to wipe out all of Western Europe. Then find and dismantle the weapon before Hitler detonates it. But the deeper I investigate, the more danger I'm in. Because the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, and trusting the wrong person could cause millions of lives to be lost. Including my own.

the-lost-and-the-foundThe Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

A twisty psychological thriller about a girl whose older sister is found thirteen years after she was abducted from their front yard. But is she really who she claims to be?

radicalRadical by E. M. Kokie

Bex is determined to survive, whatever the crisis, whatever it takes--she knows exactly what to pack, she can handle any gun, and she's got plans to drag her family to safety by force, if necessary. So she's intrigued when she discovers Clearview, a group that takes survival just as seriously as she does. So what if some people think they're wackos? There's nothing crazy about being prepared. But Bex isn't prepared for meeting Lucy, who complicates Bex's careful plans. As secrets at Clearview begin to mount and all the pieces of her life become more difficult to juggle, Bex has to figure out where her loyalties really lie--and what it'll really take to survive.

pasadenaPasadena by Sherri L. Smith

When Jude's best friend is found dead in a California swimming pool, her family calls it an accident, her friends call it suicide, but Jude calls it murder, and the suspects are family and friends.

overdriveOverdrive by Dawn Ius

Seventeen-year-old Jules Parish turned to stealing cars to try to get her sister out of foster care, but after she is caught, a wealthy eccentric offers a promising--but perilous--solution.

Review: Legacy of Kings

Legacy of kingslegacy-of-kings by Eleanor Herman is a powerful book set back in the time of Alexander the Great when he was prince of Macedonia. The story follows six young characters each  on individual quests of their own, and looking for a way to change their fates or paths. This book is riveting: it contains twists, turns, betrayals and more. And as the author comes to show us, things aren’t always the way they may seem. Throughout the novel, the pages come alive and you feel as if you are living in their world and going on adventures with the characters. This is a great book to read if you like fantasy and historical fiction. Be sure to check out the next book in her “Blood of Gods and Royals” series, Empire of Dust.

Reviewed by Emma Carroll


Explode Your Holds with New Speculative Fiction!


Check out what's new in Speculative Fiction:

naked-76Naked ‘76 by Kevin Brooks

In the summer of 1976, when punk rock is taking over England, Lili finds herself playing bass for a wild new band called Naked, and struggling to sort out complicated relationships with self-destructive band mates.

infinite-riskInfinite Risk by Ann Aguirre

Beyond the pull of life and death lies the Immortal game. Edie Kramer has leaped back to put things right and save the boy she loves. Alone in the wrong timestream, she must reinvent herself and square off against dangerous Immortals determined to win this mortal match once and for all. But righting past wrongs carries fresh dangers. As she navigates a new school and tries to put Kian on a different path, she also battles powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to keep her from derailing their deadly schemes. With few allies and her first love treating her like a stranger, Edie faces the most dangers enemy of all--time itself. Yet she's come a long way from that dark night on the bridge, and when her back's to the wall, she'll go down fighting.

the-gracesThe Graces by Laurie Eve

A secretive loner discovers her own hidden powers when she's taken under the wings of three glamorous witches.

the-smaller-evilThe Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn

Chronically sick and anxiety plagued Arman Dukoff runs away to attend a self-actualization retreat where he eventually discovers both a bloody corpse and a sense of self that was not what he bargained for.

poppyPoppy by Mary Hooper

In 1914-15 England, fifteen-year-old Poppy works as a parlormaid until she is transformed by forbidden love and a war that sends her to the front line as a nurse.

the-thousandth-floorThe Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible -- if you want it enough. Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something ... and everyone has something to lose.

the-fixesThe Fixes by Owen Matthews

Eric Connelly is crumbling under the weight of his dad's expectations. He can't seem to live up to the "Connelly Man" standards--but when he meets the mysterious, free-spirited Jordan Grant, his dad's rules seem so much less important than they used to. Jordan and Eric--now "E"--join up with two of the most popular girls in school to combat their rich-kid boredom by cruising their beachside hometown of Capilano. But as Jordan seduces E further into this depraved life, the group starts to kill time in more nefarious ways. It's Jordan who escalates the pack's dares from mostly harmless jaunts like joyrides in boosted cars and Bling Ring-style luxury shoplifting sprees into more violent activities. Eric is intoxicated...swept up in the pack's activities, even as Paige and Haley start to have reservations about what they've been doing. When Jordan starts talking big--can E help him build a bomb, he wonders?--E must decide if he's too far down the rabbit hole to back out now.

tales-of-the-peculairTales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

Presents an illustrated edition of the fantastical book featured in the Miss Peregrine series that includes unusual fairy tales about wealthy cannibals, a fork-tongued princess, and the origins of the first ymbryne.

someone-i-wanted-to-beSomeone I Wanted to Be by Aurelia Wills

When an insecure teen starts impersonating someone else, her life spirals dangerously out of control in a realistic, relatable novel about finding yourself--and discovering your true friends.

Leah Lobermier dreams of becoming a doctor, but it's hard to stay focused on getting good grades when boys make oinking sounds at her in school and her mother spends every night on the couch with a bottle of wine. Leah's skinny and popular "friends," Kristy and Corinne, aren't much better and can hardly be counted on for support. When the girls convince a handsome older man to buy them beer, Leah takes his phone number and calls him, pretending to be Kristy--coy and confident--and they develop a relationship, talking and texting day after day. But as the lie she created grows beyond her control, can Leah put a stop to things before she--or Kristy--is seriously hurt?

Explode Your Holds With More New Materials!


Check out what's new with this selection of new materials:

Mystery and Thrillers:

running-girlRunning Girl by Simon Mason

Garvie Smith is a sixteen-year-old with a genius level IQ, who can not be bothered with school, smokes cannabis, and hangs out with the bad boys--but when fifteen-year-old Chloe Dow is murdered he comes up against the ambitious Detective Inspector Singh, and both of them are determined to solve the case.

dont-you-trust-meDon’t You Trust Me? by Patrice Kindl

Fifteen-year-old Morgan, an emotionless schemer, moves in with a family after impersonating their niece and will continue the deception no matter the cost.


100-days100 DAYS by Nicole McInnes

A teen girl suffers from progeria, a rare disease that causes her to age rapidly. This is the story of three unlikely friends learning to live life to its fullest before ultimately letting it go.

just-kill-meJust Kill Me by Adam Selzer

After taking a summer job with a Chicago ghost tour company, eighteen-year-old Megan is interrogated for murder, when the reports of "real" ghost sightings increase along with the number of missing tourists.

the-monster-on-the-road-is-meThe Monster On The Road Is Me by J. P. Romney

In Japan, a teenage boy with narcolepsy is able to steal the thoughts of supernatural beings in his sleep, and uses this ability to defeat a mountain demon that's causing a string of suicides at his school.

the-callThe Call by Peadar O’Guilin

For the last twenty-five years every teenager in Ireland has been subject to "the call" which takes them away to the land of the Sídhe, where they are hunted for twenty four hours (though only three minutes pass in this world)--handicapped by her twisted legs, Nessa Doherty knows that very few return alive, but she is determined to be one of them.

Continued Series:

last-descendantsLast Descendants by Matthew J. Kirby (An Assassin’s Creed Series)

An all-new series based on the hit video game franchise Assassin's Creed!

Nothing in Owen's life has been right since his father died in prison, accused of a crime Owen is certain he didn't commit. Monroe, the IT guy at school, might finally bring Owen the means to clear his father's name by letting him use an Animus--a device that lets users explore genetic memories buried within their own DNA. During a simulation, Owen uncovers the existence of a powerful relic long considered a legend--the Trident of Eden. Now two secret organizations will stop at nothing to take possession of this artifact--the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order. It becomes clear the only way to save himself is to find the Trident first.

Under the guidance of Monroe, Owen and a group of other teenagers go into a memory they all share within their DNA: the 1863 Draft Riots in New York City. Owen and his companions will find themselves tested on the violent streets of New York, and their experiences in the past will have far-reaching consequences in the present.


for-this-life-onlyFor This Life Only by Stacey Kade

A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this contemporary novel about loss, redemption, and love.


a-world-without-youA World Without You by Beth Revis

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes that he's actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have 'superpowers.' At the Academy, Bo falls in love with Sofia, who helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofia, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age. But Sofia, unable to overcome her depression, commits suicide, leaving Bo convinced that she's not dead but is stuck somewhere in the past. Determined to save her, Bo comes to realize that his choice lies between facing his demons head-on or succumbing to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.

tell-me-something-realTell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

The three Babcock sisters must travel to a Mexican clinic across the border so their mother, ill with leukemia, can receive alternative treatments. The sisters' world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal. . . an illness far more insidious than cancer that poisons their home.


spontaneous-cdSpontaneous by Aaron Starmer (CD)

Mara Carlyle's senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until-- wa-bam!-- fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.

girl-in-pieces-cdGirl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (CD)

As she struggles to recover and survive, seventeen-year-old homeless Charlotte "Charlie" Davis cuts herself to dull the pain of abandonment and abuse.

julia-vanishes-cdJulia Vanishes by Catherine Egan (CD)

Julia has the unusual ability to be ... unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it's a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned--crime pays. She's being paid very well indeed to infiltrate the grand house of Mrs. Och and report back on the odd characters who live there and the suspicous dealings that take place behind locked doors.

and-i-darken-cdAnd I Darken by Kiersten White (CD)

In this first book in a trilogy a girl child is born to Vlad Dracula, in Transylvania, in 1435--at first rejected by her father and always ignored by her mother, she will grow up to be Lada Dragwlya, a vicious and brutal princess, destined to rule and destroy her enemies.

before-i-fall-cdBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver (CD)

After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.

a-torch-against-the-night-cdA Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (CD) (Book 2 in the Ember in the Ashes Series)

Following the events of the Fourth Trial, an army led by Masks hunts the two fugitives as they escape the city of Serra and journey across the vast lands of the Martial Empire. Laia is determined to break into Kauf-- the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison-- and save her brother, whose knowledge of Serric steel is the key to the Scholars' future. And Elias is determined to stay by Laia’s side ... even if it means giving up his own chance at freedom.


understanding-suicideUnderstanding Suicide: A National Epidemic by Connie Goldsmith

What causes people to take their lives? How can suicides be prevented? Looking beyond common myths and misconceptions, Understanding Suicide examines common risk factors including mental illness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, and bullying.

Review: Lock and Key

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessenindex (1) is a gripping story about a young girl struggling with her life. The book follows Ruby, a teenage girl whose mother has left her to fend for herself. The situation doesn’t work out well and she ends up living with her sister and her husband. This is Ruby’s story about finding where her home and heart lie. It makes you rethink everything you have taken for granted, as other people don’t have that luxury.

I also liked how the novel had romance intermixed throughout the story-line. Sarah Dessen is a great author if you like different genres mixed together. If you like Lock and Key make sure to check out her other books as well.

Reviewed by Emma Carroll.