Banned Books Week 2021: Shannon’s Favorites

The logo for banned books week: a yellow banner with black text that reads "Banned Books Week" over an icon of a red book.

It’s Banned Books Week again, and now more than ever, it is important to talk to about censorship and the right to read. We as librarians stand against censorship and banning books, and in fact, some of my favorite books are on the list of the most frequently challenged books.

In honor of this important week, here are some of my favorite books from the list:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas book cover + links to RRPL catalog

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

A powerful, moving story ripped straight from the headlines, of a Black girl who was the only witness to her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer; this book is number 30 of the 100 most challenged books of the decade.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi book cover that links to RRPL catalog.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

An excellent graphic memoir that details the author’s childhood growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution; I read this in college and it changed my perspective on regular people living in the Middle East. Number 40.

The Giver by Lois Lowry book cover that links to RRPL's catalog.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I read this dystopian classic in grade school, and it has remained one of my favorite books. It truly helped me see the world differently. This one is number 61.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan book cover that links to RRPL's catalog.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

A beloved series of science fiction space opera graphic novels, Saga is often challenged in libraries due to violence and sexual content. This series come in at number 76 on the list of most challenged books of the decade.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
book cover that links to RRPL's catalog.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
Number two on the list of most challenged books of 2020, this important book teaches racism to children of a new generation.

These are my favorite banned books, but plenty of books are challenged in libraries every day. To participate in Banned Books Week yourself, check out the Banned Books Week website for challenges, activities, interviews with authors, and more.

Image with two hands holding a book that reads: Censorship divides us. The picture is a link to the Banned Books Week website.

Your Library Staff at Home-Social Distancing ABCs

A is for Anxiety. We are all feeling it and we all react to and handle it differently. Our reactions can even vary from moment to moment. How fun is that? Take me for example- today I had a fight over text with my brother and threw rocks at the lake. Engaging in a argument was dumb. Do not recommend; avoid if possible. Rock throwing, on the other hand, was very therapeutic. Definitely recommend. This is hard, friends. I hope you are finding solace-in books, in nature, in friends and family. And be kind to yourself if your solace is a lot chocolate. Chocolate definitely helps.

B is for Books about Libraries. Surprise! I’m switching up the B for National Library Week!

Here are a few of my favorite books about libraries and librarians:

C is for Connecting. My favorite way of connecting this week has been watching old episodes of Supernatural with a friend. We did this before social distancing, so it feel nice and normal. We don’t Zoom or Facetime or even talk on the phone. We load up the episode and just watch and text comments and emojis to each other. Low tech and high comfort.

Take care, everyone.


Celebrate Library Lovers’ Month With Books About Libraries!



How great is this? An entire month dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the value of libraries of a types. It truly warms this librarian’s heart! I might be a little biased, but I think libraries are amazing places. In my little corner of the library world we work really hard to blend traditional services with new trends. One of my favorite things about libraries is all the books, so it would stand to reason that books about libraries are also pretty awesome! Join me in celebrating libraries with one of these great titles:

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This one has a rare book seller and a secret library!

shadow of the wind

2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The main character Henry is a time-traveler and a librarian!

time traveler

3. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat by Vicki Myron. What could be better than an adorable cat hanging out in a library? Maybe an adorable cat who hands out chocolate, but that seems a bit fanciful.


4. The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman. This library houses a special sort of collection-magical artifacts from fairy tales by the brothers Grimm!


5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Liesel is an unconventional librarian. For the duration of  World War II she shares her collection of stolen books with her neighbors during bomb raids.

book thief

6. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. This is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a library!

mr lemoncello

7. The Uncommon Reader by Allan Bennet. The Queen of England is an unexpected patron at a mobile library.

uncommon reader

8. Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines. Isaac is not only a librarian, but a Libriomancer. He is gifted with the ability to draw items out of books. How cool is that?


9. Smoke in Mirrors by Jayne Ann Krentz. This one stars a librarian as a detective!

smoke in mirrors

10. The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr. A little mystery, a little romance, one special librarian.

dewey decimal

I’d say that’s a good start! While you enjoy these books about libraries and librarians I am going to start brainstorming books about books and bookstore!

Happy Reading!





The “domino” effect of reading


Seattle Public Library decided to make their summer reading kickoff more fun by going for a record with the largest domino book chain last week. They managed to set up 2,131 books and create quite an awesome spectacle around 11:00pm (after 4 unsuccessful attempts). AND, even more amazing is that they had to have all of those books cleaned up, boxed up, and back on the library’s loading dock by 12:00pm!

WOW! Watch the video: