Portrait of Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) by Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo

Happy Birthday to the Marquis De Sade!

The works of Donatien Alphonse François (1740-1814), better known as the Marquis de Sade, were banned nearly-immediately upon publication by both the King of France Louis XVI and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and remained so for over two centuries. Combined, his books have been banned for nearly 1000 years (more than 200 years apiece). Who was the man alternatively called the “Divine Marquis” and the author of the “most abominable book ever engendered by the most depraved imagination?”

Jodi Picoult

Happy Birthday, Jodi Picoult!

Each time I read one, I asked myself, “What makes her books so compelling?” It could be her writing, with its fast-paced plot lines peppered with thoroughly researched details. It could be the twist endings, which keep me on edge as I read up until the very last page. But mostly, I think it’s the way she fearlessly tackles difficult, hard-to-grasp topics: abortion, teen suicide, faith, rape, euthanasia, racism, school shootings, LGBTQ+ rights.

Unpresidented: a Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough

Moving Post- Post-Truth in a Trump Biography for Young Readers by Martha Brockenbrough

Living in a post-truth political climate can make it difficult for teachers and school librarians to select reading materials while also appearing neutral. Read excerpts of an interview with Martha Brockenbrough, author of Unpresidented: a Biography of Donald Trump, to learn more about how she approached writing a biography on the 45th president for young readers, challenges to herself and the book, and what she hopes young readers will take away after reading.

Stars Over Latin America

Burning Books for Children

By: guest contributor and author M. Earl Smith – In the United States, there is a group that, sadly, ties patriotism into a fervent, almost cult-like devotion to certain figures, ideas, and symbols…Yet the second that someone presents the work of someone who views the world differently than the American Dream myth, they are either shouted down or they are, ironically, twisted, contorted, and used to continue that ethos.

Tweet from Alex Gino: Hey Last Week Tonight, congratulations on coming in second on this dubious honor. #LeaderOfTheBanned

Responses from Authors of the Top 11 Most Challenged Books

On Monday, the American Library Association released the Top 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018 in the State of America’s Libraries Report. The reasons for challenging the titles ranged from LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, to “anti-cop” and profanity. Here are some responses from authors on their books being on the Top 11 Most Challenged Books list.