January Tweens Talk Banned Books
January 19th 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: http://zoom.us/signup.
As cases of censorship have grown more widespread throughout the U.S., the 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 International Holocaust Remembrance Day (1/27), our January pick is White Bird by R. J. Palacio. 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.
White Bird is the heartrending story of how Sara, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during the Holocaust; and how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend.
White Bird was one of the books challenged in Houston, Texas schools, specifically for being “political,” “biased,” and potentially “skewing…a young child’s mind,” but the book was found to be appropriate during the review process and stayed on the shelves (found in a Houston Chronicle article here and an NBC article here).
White Bird has received a number of honors and awards, including a selection by the International Literacy Association, a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan winner and a Sydney Taylor Book Award winner – given out by the Association of Jewish Libraries, an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA). It has received glowing reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.
R.J. Palacio’s 2012 debut book, Wonder, was “a favorite of teachers and educators all over the country” and inspired Palacio to write a number of other books, including White Bird (which she also illustrated), the story of Julian’s grandmother that she tells her grandson in the wake of his bullying Auggie. Palacio has lived in New York her entire life; she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two sons and two dogs. You can read more about her on her website here.