November Tweens Talk Banned Books

Tweens Talk Banned Books
Grades 4-6
Thursday, November 17th, 2022 at 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Registration required. Register here.

Note: All of our youth-focused virtual programs require a registered Zoom account to attend. Sign up for a free Zoom account here:

As cases of censorship have grown more widespread throughout the U.S., White Plains Public Library has kicked off a year-long celebration of banned books – #WPFreedomToRead– that started during Banned Books Week (September 18-24 2022.) The Library’s celebration of banned books will feature a variety of programs for adults, teens, and children throughout the year.

Join us at the Trove for a monthly virtual book club designed for tweens in grades 4-6 – “Tweens Talk Banned Books” – to discuss challenged books! Our monthly book discussion series seeks to engage in open and honest conversations about diverse books and sometimes difficult material as an alternative to book banning. There will be a trivia game (with a sweet treat for the winners!), and we will provide a free copy of the book to the first eight individuals to register for the Zoom discussion. When the books are available, we will email to arrange pickup; please list an email address when registering.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, our November pick is The Great Bear by David A. Robertson. You can place a hold on the print book with your library card here, the eBook on Libby here, or the audiobook on Libby here.

In this second book in Robertson’s Misewa Saga Cree middle-grade fantasy series, Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, traveling back in time. Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends.

This book was pulled by the Canadian Durham District School Board which stated it was temporarily removed pending a review following complaints from Indigenous families in April of 2022. According to CBC News, Robertson stated there are no racial slurs or offensive content that he can think of in his book, noting it's about standing up against bullying and creating representation for Indigenous youth. In response to the school district pulling his book, Robertson told CBC News, “I'm not going to change what I do. I'm not going to change my approach. I'm not going to change the stories I write. I'm not going to change the fact that I address difficult subjects because the truth can be uncomfortable,” For further reading here is the article by Clara Pasieka for CBC News, Cree Author Questions Why Durham District School Board Removed His Book From Shelves.

David A. Robertson has won numerous awards for his writing, some of which are listed below, as well as the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award, the McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People Award, the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction, the 2020 Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and others. Robertson, a member of the Cree Nation living in Winnipeg, also writes and hosts a podcast. You can read more about him on his website here.

The Great Bear has won numerous awards including the Canadian Children's Book Centre Favourite Book of the Year 2021, it was a 2022 nominee for the Silver Birch Award for Fiction, and David A. Robertson was the 2021 recipient of the Writers' Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award. Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo highly recommends The Great Bear in her American Indians in Children’s Literature article, Thoughts on David A. Robertson's THE GREAT BEAR Being Removed From Libraries which is well-worth reading.

Categories: Library News.

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