Banned Books Week Staff Picks

Banning Books Silences Stories

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Banned Books Week 2018

Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of the freedom to read. This year, the Banned Books Week Coalition chose the theme “Banning Books Silences Stories” to remind everyone of the importance of speaking out against censorship. In the spirit of celebrating banned and challenged books, our staff picks below are pulled from the Coalition’s lists of books that have been challenged in schools and libraries around the country over the years. For the most recently challenged titles, check out the Top Ten Most Challenged Books for 2017. Read more…

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9 Audiobooks for a New School Year

Calm the first-day fears with these audiobooks

Chu's First Day of School

Whether you’re headed to Kindergarten or middle school, starting a new school year can be scary no matter how old you are. This collection of audiobooks about heartwarming school friendships can help calm first-day fears and show your child that there can be a bright side to a new start, too.

Chu's First Day of School
Wemberly Worried
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Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

Audiobooks and Literacy: Own Voices

Inclusivity in children’s books and audiobooks

The JumbiesThe lack of diversity in children’s books has been noted by many parents, teachers, librarians, and children who seek more new books that reflect experiences that are more inclusive than the traditional reflection of white middle-and upper-class characters and concerns.

Children’s authors, publishers, librarians, and book bloggers have written extensively through social media and editorials about the disconnect between available children’s books and potential audiences whose experiences were under-represented. Two movements, We Need Diverse Books (#WNDB) and #OwnVoices, were born.

While the We Need Diverse Books movement’s goal is to increase inclusivity overall, #OwnVoices specifically focuses on story creators. The message? Telling stories from marginalized experiences requires authenticity, and the storytellers who live outside the empowered culture are the ones whose voices need to be heard.

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Francisca Goldsmith
Francisca Goldsmith has worked with teens, collections, and administering branch services in public, school, and academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Connecting communities to information and supporting new Americans in learning both language and culture are her passions. To those ends, she’s worked with audiobooks and listeners for the past 20 years.