Archive for September, 2009


Thursday Thirteen #86

It’s Banned Books Week again!

Ah, the lure of the Forbidden. As a general rule, all that happens when you challenge or ban a book is that you make other folks curious, and then they want to read it to find out what the excitement is all about. Cause enough of a stink and chances are someone will want to make a movie out of the book. Which will, of course, make folks curious about the book again. Especially if you insist on protesting the film. All that does is provide free marketing. So, really, if you don’t like a book, that’s just fine. Don’t read it. The moment you try to stop others from reading it too, your attempts are just going to have the opposite effect from what you want.

(Seriously. It’s like telling me not to touch something. I have never outgrown the childish need to come running over and say “I’m not touching it” while waving my hands really close to whatever the item is.)

Anyway, here is a list of Thirteen Banned or Challenged books that I have read. What Forbidden Literature have you perused? If you need a little memory jog, check out ALA’s Banned Books Site.

13 Banned or Challenged Books I Have Read:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (Loved it)

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Liked it more than I expected to)

3. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Not really my thing)

4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Loved it)

5. A Separate Peace by John Knowles (Liked it)

6. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford (Really fun)

7. Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling (Loved them)

8. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (Loved it)

9. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (Liked it)

10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Loved it)

11. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (Loved it)

12. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Liked it)

13. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (Liked it)


Read Full Post »

October is:


Did you know? October is:

  • Church Library Month
  • International Starman Month
  • National Go On a Field Trip Month
  • National Medical Librarians Month
  • National Sarcastics Awareness Month

So I suppose that a bunch of sarcastic Librarians are going to go on a field trip and watch old episodes of Starman?

Source: Chase’s Calendar of Events 2009

Read Full Post »


Workshop & Talk

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.
Joseph Campbell


Please join us for these workshops and talks on dreams and dreaming by two graduates from the JFK University Consciousness and Transformative Studies Program with specialization in Dream studies.

The Dream studies program was founded by Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D. It is a pioneering program at an accredited university. The program is designed for students and professionals who desire to work with and explore dreams for use in education, research, consulting and writing.

  • Ryan Hurd who is a dream researcher and writer and just wrote an e-book called “enhance your dream life”.
  • Kevin Kovelant is adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University and recently finished his Masters thesis on Visitation Dreams from the dead. (Note, the website is NOT active yet, but will be soon.)

Dates Saturdays Oct. 3rd & 31st, 2009
Time: 1:30 P.M – 3:30 P.M.
Place: Fukaya Room A
Fremont Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd
Fremont, CA 94538

– Farah

Read Full Post »

sammyHave you met Sammy? She is secretly living with her grandmother because her mom has run off to be a movie star. Sammy is smart and very curious. This leads to a lot of adventures. On Halloween night she convinces her friends to ring the doorbell of the spooky neighborhood house, The Bush House. Sammy expects that they will just ring the bell and run away. She didn’t expect the door to open, or to see what she saw. As I said, she is curious. She needs to know what is going on , while trying to keep her own secrets.

Join the Centerville Kids Book Club on October 8th at 4pm to discus Sammy Keys and The Skeleton Man by Wendelin Van Draanen.

Read Full Post »

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!


It’s Banned Books Week from September 26−October 3, 2009!

This is the week that you celebrate your freedom to read by reading books that other folks would like to prevent you from reading. Mostly, I’ve found that trying to keep me from reading a book makes me more interested in reading it. I rather suspect that other folks have a similar reaction.

To give you someplace to start, here is the list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2008 (according to ALA.) Get out there and read!

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group

2. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence

3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series) by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

4. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence

5. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group

7. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group

9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

10. Flashcards of My Life by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

Read Full Post »

13 Ways to Say “Hello”


Thursday Thirteen #85

I have a weakness for languages, so this week I’m looking at different ways to say “Hello.”

13 Ways to Say Hello:

1. Bonjour (or Salut- “Hi) (French – listen here)

2. Aloha (Hawaiian)

3. Здравствуйте! (Russian – listen here)

4. Halò (Scottich Gaelic listen here)

5. guten Tag (German – listen here)

6. Kaixo (Basque – listen here)

7. Hallo – (Icelandic – listen here)

8. Moien (Luxembourgish – listen here)

9. Hallo (Norwegian – listen here)

10. Salut (Romanian – listen here)

11. Merhaba (Turkish – listen here)

12. Hello/What’s Up? in ASL

13. Greetings and Salutations (My Friend Anne Marie)

Read Full Post »

Review: Tris’s Book


Last time it was an earthquake, now Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar must face off against pirates in Tris’s Book the second book in Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series. Tris’s Book focuses on Tris, but, as before, all four of the children are the “main character” of the story. The storyline showcases Tris’s abilities this time around, and we see much of the action from her perspective. I warn you now, that rather like the first book in the series, you will get sucked in to the story and find it difficult to put the book down. Tamora Pierce writes the best fantasy. I listened to the Full Cast Audio presentation this time around (I’ve read this book several times before) and as with Sandry’s Book it was very well acted. I hope that they keep the same voice talent for the whole series. Those folks really know their stuff. It’s also a bit of a godsend to have the author as the narrator, as there is no question about whether or not she is pronouncing certain words correctly. Great story!

(place a hold on the book.)

Read Full Post »

Yes, schools have already started and homework is getting on us.  Do you know there is free online homework help right at your fingertips?  If you have an Alameda County Library card, you can get connected with a live tutor anyday between 1:00 pm and 10:00 pm, or you can submit your questions 24/7 and get your answers back within 24 hours.  The live tutors can also help you build Academic skills.  They provide assistance for most of the major subjects you may have in school–Math, English, Writing, Science, Social Studies, Algebra, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, foreign languages, etc. 

In addition to these services, you may also submit your writing to get advices from an expert.  There is also a Test Center where you can take practice tests and receive live test tutoring.  If you are taking a foreign language, you can get homework help from the Foreign Language Lab.  Right now only Spanish is offered but more will be added in the future. 


How do I access Alameda County Library’s Homework Help Now?

  • Go to the library’s website at http://www.aclibrary.org
  • Look at the left side of the screen and click on the blue “Homework Help Now!” box.  (If the box is not there, go to the “Articles and Databases” under “Research Guide” in the main area of the webpage.  Click on either “For Students & Teachers” or “Test Preparation” and find “Brainfuse”.)
  • Enter your library card number to access the service.  It’s recommanded to create an account with the service to maintain your records and track your progress.

Wish you a very successful school year!

Read Full Post »

Did you know:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was banned in China (1931) for portraying animals and humans on the same level.

Four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee (1983) called for the rejection of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl because it is a “real downer.”

Gulliver’s Travels was denounced as wicked and obscene in Ireland (1726).

James and the Giant Peach has been challenged at the Pederson Elementary School in Altoona, Wis. (1991) and at the Morton Elementary School library in Brooksville, Fla. (1992) because the book contains the word “ass” and “promotes” the use of drugs (tobacco, snuff) and whiskey.

Le Morte D’Arthur was challenged as required reading at the Pulaski County High School in Somerset, Ky. (1997) because it is “junk.”

The Lorax was challenged in the Laytonville, Calif. Unified School District (1989) because it “criminalizes the foresting industry.”

Where the Sidewalk Ends was challenged at the West Allis-West Milwaukee, Wis. school libraries (1986) because the book “suggests drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence, disrespect for truth, disrespect for legitimate authority, rebellion against parents.”

Where’s Waldo? was removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top.

Celebrate your freedom. Read a banned book.

Information sources: The Forbidden Library (now defunct, sadly) & ALA

Read Full Post »

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. That much we know. But just how did Humpty fall off that wall in the first place? Humpty’s brother, Joe Dumpty, has his suspicions, and none of them good. He’s sure Humpty was pushed off that wall. But who could have done such a thing? It’s up to Joe to solve the crime. Decked out in his detective’s trench coat and armed with a serious hunch, the intrepid Joe Dumpty is on the case. His story, as told to Jeanie Franz Ransom, is a hilarious homage to all those Mother Goose nursery rhymes you loved as a kid. This is one of those children’s books that fits adults as well.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »