Celebrate the Freedom to Read

By Traci Cothran

Reading is central to everything we do here at Gale—and whatbbw you do at your library every day—so it’s a good bet the majority of us use Banned Books Week to rally around the works that cause a little controversy.  This year’s Banned Books Week focuses on celebrating Diversity, and runs September 25 – October 1.

I’m an avid reader of middle grade and young adult fiction, so it drives me a little batty when parents ban amazing novels that speak to youth. Some authors are even dis-invited from appearing at schools to talk about their books and the issues affecting kids today.  For instance, the graphic novel Drama, by Raina Telgemeier, has caused grumblings for two gay characters kissing, but I’ve yet to meet a middle school girl who doesn’t love this series.  Author Meg Medina faced scrutiny with her novel about high school bullying, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, because the title has a swear word in it—and you know such language is never spoken in school hallways!  Kate Messner was dis-invited from a school speaking engagement while on tour for her book, The Seventh Wish, because the main character’s sister struggles with a heroin addiction, affecting the whole family.  But there’s no reason to talk about the real-life heroin epidemic affecting kids in high schools and middle schools across the U.S., is there?

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Stars, Stripes, and History

Posted on June 27, 2016

By Candy Jones-Guerin

Our Nation’s largest birthday celebration is just around the corner and we’re excited to get the party started!

On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, we don our red, white, and blue to pay homage and celebrate with food, friends, and fireworks.

There are also a lot of lesser known facts about this important day. Take note of these and surprise whomever you celebrate with.

Did you know…

  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
  • Including John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, a total of three US presidents have died on July 4th. James Monroe is the third president to share this fate.
  • According to author Kenneth C. Davis, July 2nd is the real day of Independence, but it’s celebrated on the fourth because that’s when congress accepted Jefferson’s declaration.
  • Due to concerns about cracking the iconic instrument, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. Instead, every year, to mark the Fourth of July, the 2,000-pound bell is tapped 13 times to signal for bells across the country to start ringing.

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