February Tweens Talk Banned Books
February 23 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.
To celebrate Black History Month, our February book pick is The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson. 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 the book, The Parker Inheritance, twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure–but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow bookworm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.
The Parker Inheritance was one of numerous titles banned by the Central York School District’s board in 2020. Cyril Mychalejko writes in his article for The Bucks County Beacon, “In the summer of 2020, Central York School District’s diversity committee put together a list of books and educational resources for teachers and students to use as the local community, like the rest of the nation, struggled to make sense of the murder of George Floyd and the deep racial and social strife that ensued. However, the district’s all-white, right-wing school board apparently didn’t think resources like a ‘Sesame Street’ town hall on racism and books such as ‘Who is Rosa Parks?’ and ‘The Hate U Give’ were appropriate. They banned the entire list.” After concerted anti-ban protest efforts by teachers, students and parents in the community, the full list of resources was reinstated by the school board in September 2021. I recommend Mychalejko’s full article, Teachers, Students and the Central York Community Defeated a Racist Book Ban in Their School District, for further reading.
Awards and praise for Varian Johnson’s The Parker Inheritance include winning a 2019 Coretta Scott King Author Honor, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor, being chosen as a New York Public Library “Top Ten” Book of the Year, and an ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Notable Children’s Book. The work was named a Best Book of the Year by: The Boston Globe, Parents Magazine, Horn Book, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Bookpage, CSMCL (Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature), Common Sense Media and the Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, Sacramento, and Baltimore Public Libraries.
To find out more about Varian Johnson, and his great titles visit his website here.