Attack of the Banned Authors! Week Three

This week’s banned books blog (Week 1 and Week 2 here) deals with some of the most banned authors in America. These are authors where a very large number of their books have been banned, and as soon as a new one comes out, it faces increased scrutiny. J.K. Rowling has not quite made the list yet, but if she keeps writing, she will soon. Here are the authors:

Judy Blume: Blume has written a great deal of books for children, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Superfudge. In America, 13 of her books have been challenged or banned in over 100 schools and public libraries, for reasons including the fact that “bad is never punished. Good never comes to the fore. Evil is triumphant.”

Exploring Irish-American Roots

Thomas Lynch, the American Book Award winning author of The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade has recently published a new work reflecting on his Irish-American ancestry and many visits to his ancestral home during the past three decades. Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans is a loving mixture of reminiscence, family history, travel writing, cultural and social commentary, and meditation on the complexities of ethnic heritage. A funeral director in Milford, Michigan, Lynch is also an acclaimed poet. He is scheduled to speak about and read from his new book at the Library’s 'Sunday Edition' program on Sunday, October 8 at 2:00 p.m. at the Downtown Library.

The Blue Girl, a Thumbs Up Honor Book

Blue Girl is a Thumbs Up honor title for 2005. This yearly award recognizes top-notch teen titles. Walking into a new high school can be daunting, but when Imogene meets up with the ghost of a boy who haunts the school, the story gets even more interesting. True love, bullies, fairies, and soul-eaters, all add to the storyline; written by a master of the fantasy genre, Charles de Lint.

Cocaine Kate and the Fashion World's Hypocrisy

Perhaps you've heard all about the recent scandal involving the model, Kate Moss and her apparent use of cocaine? The UK paper the Mirror recently printed photos of Kate prepping and snorting snow while in the recording studio of her confessed junkie boyfriend, Pete Doherty. Since this became public she's lost contracts with the Swedish company H&M and Burberry. Of course all of the shock and awe being expressed about this situation is laughable. The world of modeling has long been known to be filled with rampant drug use - which everyone is willing to overlook as long as it doesn't impact their bottom line. From the tragic story of Gia Carnagi - made famous by the biopic Gia starring Angelina Jolie - to the self-professed first Supermodel Janice Dickinson - (now an entertaining train-wreck to watch on VH1's Surreal Life 5) - the modeling world is loaded with drug drama. So while the fashion world pretends this is a shocker the rest of us can just shrug and get on with our day.

The Adventures Continue This Spring

We have good news for those picture book fans of the wild and wacky Pigeon. Mo Willems has written a new story due out this April called Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late. Can you imagine how cranky a sleep deprived Pigeon will be? We will make sure to have copies at all locations so you can find out. Now we just have to get through the winter. While you are waiting, entertain yourself by visiting Mo's great website at

Good Brother, Bad Brother

It's fun to get more out of a book than you expect. Yes, Good Brother, Bad Brother offers fascinating information about Edwin, who is fondly remembered as the finest classical actor of his day and John Wilkes, reviled because he assassinated Abraham Lincoln. But the unanticipated bonus is the wealth of information about 19th century American theater. Giblin's theatrical interests in combination with his penchant for thorough research results in a fascinating read about the drama both brothers faced on stage and in real life.

Edinburgh Chronicle

Not a devoted fan of Alexander McCall-Smith yet? You will be after listening to his newest title, 44 Scotland Street. He takes leave of Botswana to chronicle the lives of the residents of an Edinburgh apartment house. You’ll swear McCall-Smith spent time in Ann Arbor as he describes the lives of artsy Domencia, an Auden-reading 5-year-old and his therapy-loving parents and plenty of other well-drawn characters. Kilts, brogues and Scottish fare are fair game too. So take leave of the serious stuff for this droll and enjoyable story.

Emmy Winners

Sunday was highlighted by the 57th Annual Emmy Awards. Those taking home statues at the end of the night included: Lost (Drama Series), Warm Springs (Made for Television Movie), The Lost Prince (Miniseries), Tony Shalhoub for Monk (Actor/Comedy), Geoffrey Rush for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (Actor/Miniseries or Movie), Felicity Huffman for Desperate Housewives (Actress/Comedy)

Simon Wiesenthal: 1908-2005

Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal died September 20 in Vienna, Austria. In a tireless and decades-long campaign to bring justice to the 6 million Jews (including 89 members of his own family) who died during the Holocaust, Simon Wiesenthal is credited with bringing more than 1,000 Nazi war criminals to trial. For more about Wiesenthal, check out the 1996 biography Simon Wiesenthal: A Life in Search of Justice (left).

Read the obituary in the New York Times.

Attention Teen Filmmakers!

Interested in making films but don't know where to begin? Check out these two new titles in the Teen Collection downtown.

Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts by Troy Lanier and Clay Nichols is a great resource for anyone who wants to get started in filmmaking. It not only covers the mechanics but the writing,editing, financing, producing, directing and promotion. The whole process, from conception to final film is spelled out. Its hip language is fun to read and the book is current on all the latest technology. Check out the authors' website to see what other high school students are doing with filmmaking.

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