Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Banned Books in Canada

Canada will celebrate Freddom to Read Week February 22-28, 2015.
The latest compilation of Banned Books (2013) can be found here

The Annual Challenges Survey is a voluntary survey sponsored by the CLA, so readers are cautioned that the self-reports described here represent a subset of challenges that occur. In fact, the American Library Association (ALA) has estimated that there may be as many as 4 or 5unreported challenges for every challenge that is reported to them (“Frequently Challenged Books,” Office for Intellectual Freedom, on ALA’s website,; This under-reportage
phenomenon is thought to be greater in Canada.

Some of the books listed are:
Individual items – 1 challenge each:

Alligators All Around: An Alphabet ( Juv.S474A)
, by Maurice Sendak
- reasons: racism [The book contains racist caricatures of Indigenous peoples under the 'I'
section. It also reads ‘Imitating Indians’.] [BC]

Daddy's Roommate ( Juv.W715D)
, by Michael Willhoite
- reasons: homosexuality, age inappropriate [Book presents homosexuality as normal,
acceptable and even moral.] [ON]

Docteur Dog
, by Babette Cole
- reasons: age inappropriate[Smoking, teen smoking, including pictures; scratching private areas to describe taking care of one's health, including picture/illustration; bathroom humour,
could be objectionable. Remove or add a label.] [BC]

Hop on Pop
, by Dr. Seuss
- reasons: violence [Children hop on their father, are encouraged to use wanton violence against their fathers.] [ON]

How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets
, by Garth Stein
- reasons: homosexuality [‘alternative sexuality”], sexually explicit [“gross sexuality’],
offensive language, age inappropriate [AB]

If I Ran the Zoo
, by Dr. Seuss
- reasons: racism [BC]

It's a Book
, by Lane Smith
- reasons: age inappropriate,offensive language [A children's book with the last line, 'It's a
book, jackass' is not appropriate for 2-6 year olds . I don't want my 6-year-old to repeat that
line at school and get a detention. The concept and the rest of the language is adorable, funny,
and appropriate, but the subversive twist at the end makes it a picture book for grown-ups.][AB]

Je déteste l'école ( I hate School) ( Juv, W734i)
, by Jeanne Willis
- reasons: age inappropriate [Illustrations scared grade 4 child (and patron herself).] [ON]

Spooky ABC (Juv.811.54 .M568H 2002)
, by Eve Merriam and Lane Smith
- reasons: occult, violence, age inappropriate,religious viewpoint, offensive [Violence and mention of Devil were found to be offensive.Letters ‘D’ and ‘I’ poems not very appropriate for kids to read, and quite honestly the whole book was not ok to read to a child of any age really. I don't know if it woul
d be useful to another child. Many other alphabet books available. This one just seemed

bad all across the board.] [BC] 

The Walking Dead ( Juv.W1868 v.1)
[part of a comic book series], by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and CharlieAdlard]
- reasons: violence, offensive language [profanity], age inappropriate for K-12 school [rated
17+ book] [AB]

More can be found at
There are also links from past years ( 2006-13).

Also Freedom to Read Week

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2013 Banned Books List

 Banned Books Week 2014  takes place September 21-27th

Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.
A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported.

Here is the list of Frequently Challenged Books for 2013:
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey(Juv. P638a)
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (PS3563.08749 B55)
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence)
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Juv. A3847a)
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group)
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    : Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Juv. C7136)
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green (Juv. G7955L)
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (Juv.C513p)
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group)
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya  (PS3551. N27 B6)
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith (Juv.S6512b)
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Morristown Festival of Books- September 26-27, 2014

The very first Morristown Festival of Books will be held September 26th & 27th on South Street in Morristown.

Keynote Speaker

The Friday night Key Note speaker is William Cohen, author of The Price of Silence; The Duke Lacrosse Scandal and tickets for this event are $20.00 per person.  All 20 author talks on Saturday are FREE.


Some of the authors will be:

Ishmael Beah ( Radiance of Tomorrow), Miranda Beverly-Whittemore ( Bittersweet),Breena Clarke (Angels Make Their Hope Here) ,Julia Fierro ( Cutting Teeth), Dorothea Benton Frank (Hurricane Sisters),Caroline Leavitt ( Is This Tomorrow),Caroline Campion and Kathy Brennan (Keepers), Dan Fagin (Tom's River: A Story of Science and Salvation), Allyson Hobbs (A Chosen Exile: A History of  Racial Passing),Marta McDowell (Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life:The Plants and Places that Inspired the Classic Children's Tales), Nancy Krulik (George Brown, Class Clown),Jane O’Connor ( Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century), Elizabeth Eulberg (Better off Friends)Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14,Savage Drift)Kieran Scott ( Only Everything)


 All four venues are within a few minutes walk of each other, with  the Morristown & Morris Township Library right in the middle of all  the action.

Morristown is located in Morris County and is accessible by car, train and bus.  It is a very walkable town with lots of restaurants, hotels and interesting things to do.

For more information
 or visit

Thursday, May 15, 2014

All white world of children's books question continues with the BookCon controversy-UPDATE



 A conversation about the whitewashed lineup of BookCon guests sparked 22 writers, publishers and bloggers to begin the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign on May 1st. Since then, they’ve reached out to a community of readers, teachers, librarians, authors, booksellers and publishers who want to see more diversity within the publishing industry. Their message has been received: As of May 6th, 2014, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag on Twitter has garnered 87,520 posts from 23,275 unique users, with over 162 million timeline deliveries.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign took the Internet by storm with more than 160 million impressions in a week’s time, but soon its reach will spread even further—into the conference halls of BookCon on May 31, 2014 in New York City.

New Panels
 The Blockbuster Kids Panel has been enlarged.

A new Blockbuster Kids  Panel includes Rachel Renee Russell author of the Dork Diaries

Here is a picture of the old panel

Publishers Weekly has announced that the campaign members, in conjunction with Lee & Low Books, have secured a diverse panel of acclaimed children’s authors, including Grace Lin, Matt de la Peña and Jacqueline Woodson for

The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks panel featuringAisha Saeed, Ellen Oh, Grace Lin, I.W. Gregorio, Jacqueline Woodson, Lamar Giles, Marieke Nijkamp, Matt de la Peña, Mike Jung.

After taking the Internet by storm, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is moving forward with brand new initiatives to continue the call for diversity in children's literature. Join the WNDB team as they share highlights of their campaign, discuss the success of grassroots activism, highlight diverse books and how everyone can diversify their shelves and talk next steps for the campaign. Ellen Oh (PROPHECY Series), Aisha Saeed (Written in the Stars, 2015), Marieke Nijkamp, founder of DiversifYA, Lamar Giles (Fake ID) and Mike Jung (Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities). Special Guests include acclaimed Authors Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Matt de la Peña (The Living) and Jacqueline Woodson (Beneath a Meth Moon). Moderated by I.W. Gregorio (None of the Above, 2015).

 More to Come
The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign will reveal further news and action plans at 10:00 a.m. during the BookCon diversity panel in room 1E02 at the Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

View the Campaign Archive
To see the submissions for the we need diverse books campaign, Check out the archive

and some of the submissions below
#WeNeedDiverseBooks because everyone should be able to find a book and say look that’s me!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks because we have to tell our stories and hear the stories of others!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks because  we need to share our collective truth!

We are all in this together! We > Me

#Weneeddiversebooks because people from all parts of the world need a story or character to relate to!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks because we are not one color!!!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks because they speak to us!!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks because everyone should be able to find a book and say look that’s me! #WeNeedDiverseBooks because we have to tell our stories and hear the stories of others!#WeNeedDiverseBooks because  we need to share our collective truth!

We are all in this together! We > Me
#‎WeNeedDiverseBooks‬ we>meshouts to my coworker for getting me to post this! - JP Porcaro#Weneeddiversebooks because people from all parts of the world need a story or character to relate to!
Submitted by Diana DeJesus#WeNeedDiverseBooks because we are not one color!!!
Submitted by Lisa S.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks because they speak to us!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

All white world of children's books question continues with the BookCon controversy

The continuing concern over the "all white world of children's books"  continues with the recent announcement of an all white, all male panel of top children's authors authors at BookCon.

BookCon is a production of ReedPop which is behind the very successful ComicCon.

Reaction has included varied blog posts summarized here

The reaction to this has cumulated in a group called We Need DiverseBooks,  online participation/events on May 1 to 3 to show that we need diverse books and that this is something that readers do indeed want! 


On May 1st at 1pm (EST), there will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We want people to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.

  • Take a photo holding a sign that says “We need diverse books because ___________________________.” Fill in the blank with an important, poignant, funny, and/or personal reason why this campaign is important to you. 
  • The photo can be of you or a friend or anyone who wants to support diversity in kids’ lit. It can be a photo of the sign without you if you would prefer not to be in a picture. Be as creative as you want! Pose the sign with your favorite stuffed animal or at your favorite library. Get a bunch of friends to hold a bunch of signs. 
  • However you want to do it, we want to share it! There will be a Tumblr at that will host all of the photos and messages for the campaign. Please submit your visual component by May 1st to with the subject line “photo” or submit it right on our Tumblr page here and it will be posted throughout the first day. 
  • Starting at 1:00PM (EST) the Tumblr will start posting and it will be your job to reblog, tweet, Facebook, or share wherever you think will help get the word out. 
  • The intent is that from 1pm EST to 3pm EST, there will be a nonstop hashtag party to spread the word. We hope that we’ll get enough people to participate to make the hashtag trend and grab the notice of more media outlets.
  • The Tumblr will continue to be active throughout the length of the campaign, and for however long we need to keep this discussion going, so we welcome everyone to keep emailing or sending in submissions even after May 1st.
On May 2nd, the second part of our campaign will roll out with a Twitter chat scheduled for 2pm (EST) using the same hashtag. Please use #WeNeedDiverseBooks at 2pm on May 2nd and share your thoughts on the issues with diversity in literature and why diversity matters to you.

On May 3rd, 2pm (EST), the third portion of our campaign will begin. There will be a Diversify Your Shelves initiative to encourage people to put their money where their mouth is and buy diverse books and take photos of them. Diversify Your Shelves is all about actively seeking out diverse literature in bookstores and libraries, and there will be some fantastic giveaways for people who participate in the campaign! More details to come!

For some lists of diverse books see:

We hope that you will take part in this in any way you can. We need to spread the word far and wide so that it will trend on Twitter. So that media outlets will pick it up as a news item. So that the organizers of BEA and every big conference and festival out there gets the message that diversity is important to everyone. We hope you will help us by being a part of this movement.