Blogs

Banned Books Week: September 18–24

Celebrate Banned Books Week 2022

Books unite us. They reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, divides us and creates barriers. One of our most important goals here at the Library is to provide free and equitable access to information and resources. Among the many implications of that word–access–is the notion of freedom: you are free to read, watch, play, or listen to whatever interests you.

For nearly 40 years, the American Library Association and other organizations who are committed to preserving the tenet of intellectual freedom have promoted Banned Books Week in late September. Libraries around the world celebrate this annual event by hosting author visits and book talks, special programs and book displays, and other initiatives to promote awareness of the many literary works that are routinely challenged and censored.

   
Think Library    Adults    Teens   

Great MCPL Kid’s Bake Off

A cake decorated with blue candy waves, a lightning bolt, a trident, and icing writing Percy Jackson.

The first Great MCPL Kid’s Bake Off is a wrap! We challenged 17 children to make their best book-inspired dessert. The catch? They had to include a mystery ingredient–beet root powder!

Each participant received a kit that included measuring spoons, beet root powder, some suggestions for baking books, and a copy of The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists: Good Science Makes Great Food: 70+ Recipes, Experiments, & Activities to keep.

According to children’s librarian Kate Duneman, the participants had two main charges in creating their dessert–to use the secret ingredient and to tie in a book they’ve read, by decoration or taste.

“While I enjoyed seeing the different ways kids used the mystery ingredient, I think my favorite aspect was the literary tie-in and how wildly creative people were with it,” Kate said.

   
Create    DIY    Learn    Library Events    Library News    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Miss Quinces

Sue (Suyapa) does not want to have a quinceañera where she'd be required to wear a poofy dress and dance around, so when her mom surprises her by having planned one and invited guests during a family trip to Honduras, Sue isn't happy. That is, until she makes a deal with her mom: 1 quinceañera for 1 overnight sleep camp with her friends. However, preparing for the celebration takes a tragic turn when Sue's beloved grandmother passes away suddenly.

I love this sweet (and sad) coming-of-age graphic novel. I especially loved seeing Sue gain some of the independence she desperately craves while making connections with her family and her heritage. Recommended for readers ages 8–12.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children's Librarian

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Pony

When Silas's father is taken away in the middle of the night by a group of outlaws who seem to mistaken him for someone else, Silas knows he has to do something. With his best friend, a ghost named Mittenwool, Silas heads out to rescue his pa while riding his beautiful bald-faced pony. Will Silas be able to rescue his pa? And what's so special about his pony? Read this book to find out!

I didn't know too much about this book before I started reading it and thought it would be a horse story more than anything else, but there is so much more going on here; it kept me guessing and surprised me! I also loved the daguerreotypes leading each chapter and feel these and the discussions of photography throughout the book would make this a great read for anyone interested in photography and history! Recommended for readers age 10 and up.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children's Librarian

   
Pony   
Adventure    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Both Can Be True

Ash is a middle schooler who loves music, is a synesthete who can see sounds, and is figuring out their gender identity after being bullied at their last school for being a “flip flop freak.” It doesn’t help that Ash’s dad is putting more and more pressure on them to just choose a gender and “stick with it.” Then Ash meets Daniel at their new school. Daniel is a photography fan, kind, in-tune with his emotions, scared his parents are going to get a divorce, and mourning the loss of his dog. When Daniel saves an older dog who is about to be euthanized because the owner doesn’t want to care for the elderly dog, their worlds collide and suddenly, Ash and Daniel are pinned together in this mission—save Chewbarka at all costs.

   
Animals    Bullying    Coming of Age    Diversity    Fiction    Inclusiveness    LGBTQ+    Read    Realistic    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Living With Viola

Livy is starting at a new school and that's just the tip of the iceberg for her! She's growing anxious about making friends and fitting in when she feels different because of her culture as well as family expectations for her to achieve great things. Then there's Viola. The little voice in her head that tells her she's not good enough and that no one likes her. Sometimes Viola's voice is so loud that Livy has trouble expressing her own. She has to find some way to live with Viola.

This fun and funny graphic novel gives life to the concept of anxiety by featuring it as a real figure (Viola) in which Livy can interact with. Negative self-talk, worries, and feelings of overwhelming pressure plague Livy on a daily basis, but as soon as she asks her parents for help, she begins to feel relief as she learns to coexist with her anxiety.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

I Love You Because I Love You

This children's picture book contains simple, poetic words but it expresses powerful emotion. The beautiful illustrations depict diverse characters experiencing the joys and security that unconditional love offers. I recommend reading this book with someone you love just because you love them.

Reviewed by Christa S., Senior Information Assistant

   
Family    Read    Relationships   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Shirley & Jamila Save their Summer

Jamila has to find a way to avoid going to boring old Science Camp and spend more time shooting hoops! So when oddball Shirley Bones offers a deal that will keep Jamila out of camp, Jamila jumps at the offer. There is only one problem - Shirley is weird. But soon, Jamilia realizes that Shirley isn't just weird, she's a detective! The two girls set out to solve the case of the missing gecko and save their summer!

This book is a wonderfully fun mystery with a lovely tale of friendship. If you fall in love with Shirley and Jamila like I did, then be sure to take a look at the sequel Shirley & Jamila's Big Fall.

Fans of books about friendship like Shannon Hale's Real Friends and for fans of mysteries like Kate Petty's The Leak: For the Love of Truth.

Recommended for ages 8-12.

Reviewed by Kim B. Children's Librarian

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

MCPL Digital Collection Launches

Text says "MCPL Digital" on a peach colored background with illustrations of an open yearbook and an owl with a graduation cap. MCPL Digital is a growing repository of high-resolution digital photograph collections of Monroe County Yearbooks and other local historical records. Our mission is to bring digital versions of the community's historical records to a broader audience!   Library Director, Grier Carson, says the digitization program has been in full force since early 2020. The first items to be digit

MCPL Digital is a growing repository of high-resolution digital photograph collections of Monroe County Yearbooks and other local historical records. Our mission is to bring digital versions of the community's historical records to a broader audience!

Library Director, Grier Carson, says the digitization program has been in full force since early 2020. The first items to be digitized were the Library’s collection of area school yearbooks.

“We’re excited to make some of the Library’s most unique physical materials, particularly those which represent and/or reflect Monroe County, more accessible,” Carson said.

MCPL Digital currently includes over 230 yearbooks from local high schools, scanned from physical copies housed in our Indiana Room. Spanning 114 years, the archive begins with Bloomington High School, The Gothic, from 1908!

   
Think Library    Adults   

Tween Space Mural Contest

Have you heard of our Tween Space? The Tween Space at the Downtown Library is a place where kids ages 7–12 can hang out, explore crafts and other activities, enjoy pop-up programs, work on homework, or play!

Later this summer, a local artist will be revamping the Tween Space walls with a cosmic mural. We’re calling on kids ages 7–12 to help with the design! Draw the dots of your own imaginary stars (no more than 10), the lines between them, and an outline of the figure or object the group of stars represents. Your constellation might be selected to be included in the new Tween Space mural! 

A constellation is a grouping of stars that forms the base of a recognizable shape, usually an animal, mythological character, or object. Well-known constellations include the Big Dipper, Orion the Hunter, and the constellations of the Zodiac.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

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