Death has a few creepy reads he’d like to share with you at the Berwyn Public Library. Wait! Why are you running away? He only wants to recommend a book. Poor Death. So misunderstood. *sniff*
These are the 100 most challenged books between the years 2000-2009, according to the American Library Association’s website. How many have you read? How many would you have read if those who wished to censor these books had been successful?
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank
My friend got a new game for the holidays and we finally had a chance to sit down and play it a few weeks ago. It’s called Qwirkle – a silly name for a clever game. It’s won a bunch of awards and was featured on Wil Wheaton’s YouTube show, Tabletop, which is where we heard about it.
Game play is pretty simple. Each player receives a “hand” of 6 tiles. The tiles have a variety of shapes in a variety of colors. Players place their tiles on the playing space to make lines of tiles that all share one attribute, for example they are all yellow or all share the circle shape. This is where the strategy comes into play. A single line cannot have any duplicate tiles and a line that has exactly one tile of each shape in a single color (or a tile of each color in a single shape) earns extra points. Qwirkle reminded me a little bit of Uno, a little bit of Scrabble, and a little bit of Dominoes, but it’s a fun, unique game all its own!
The game box says it’s for ages 6 and up. It’s simple enough for a kid to match up the shapes and colors, but there’s enough strategy to keep a teen or adult interested. The box also says it’s for 2 – 4 players and I wish I had read that prior to playing. We played with five people and it got a little complicated and time-consuming with five of us. I would recommend sticking to the 2 – 4 player limit.
Qwirkle is a fantastic game for a small group with simple rules and quick game play.
Everyone agrees; Eleanor, the new girl, is weird. She has bright, red hair and freckles. She’s chubby and she has a seriously broken sense of style – like she wears a man’s tie in her hair. Park takes momentary pity on her and shares his seat on the bus with her. But they don’t talk to each other; they just sit in awkward silence. For the whole bus ride. Twice a day. For weeks.
Park is, like, the only Asian kid in all of Omaha. (His mom is from Korea.) He’s quiet. He loves Alan Moore’s Watchmen and listens to the Dead Kennedys. He wears a lot of t-shirts with punk bands on them. But his dad’s family has lived in the neighborhood forever and Park was friends with the popular kids when they were all little. So, even if he is a little offbeat, the other kids pretty much leave him alone.
Eleanor has no such saving grace. Her stepfather has lived in the neighborhood for years too, but everyone knows he’s no good. And it’s not her fault that her family can’t afford a telephone and all her clothes come from Goodwill. As awful as her school life is, it’s a hundred times better than her home life.
These two lovable, relatable characters meet, stare at each other awkwardly, and start to fall in love in the most heart-wrenchingly sweet and quirky love story EVER. Seriously. This book beat up my soul and made me cry. And I couldn’t stop reading it!
We recently added about 30 new games to the Teen Room’s game collection! We got a bunch of classics like Battleship, Clue, Yahtzee and Pit. And we also got some less well-known games like Once Upon a Time, Qwirkle, 10 Days in the USA, Munchkin, and Give Me the Brain! Stop in and play a game!
Another young physicist endeavors to rectify his roller coaster’s stability issues. In other words, “Meh. This pipe is too floppy!”
One of our itinerant engineers is trying to determine the ideal amount of velocity and slope necessary for success. In other words, why won’t my marble go all the way through my loop?!?
Zombie Dice might just be my new favorite game! It’s quick and easy and you get to devour people’s brains! Ok, there’s no actual brain-devouring, but it’s still a lot of fun!
The game comes with 13 six-sided dice (with varying amounts of brains, footsteps, and shotgun blasts depicted on each) and a dice cup. That’s it. That’s all you need. If you roll a brain, yay! You ate someone! Go you! If you roll footsteps, they got away. Phooey! If you roll a shotgun blast, oh no! Someone fought back!
Each turn starts with a player rolling three random dice from the dice cup. Put any brains you’ve rolled to one side. Put shotgun blasts to the other side. If you’ve rolled three blasts, your turn is through. If you have less than three blasts you may go again and roll a new set of three random dice, but keep in mind if you reach three blasts in a turn, you’ll lose all the brains you have to the side. If you choose to play it safe and hand the dice cup over to the next player before you reach three blasts, you may “bank” the brains you’ve acquired this turn and add that number to your score. The player who eats 13 brains, wins!
Zombie Dice is recommended for ages 10 and up (but I’ve played it with younger) and for 2 – 8 players. It’s a quick play, pretty addictive, and a tad on the darkly silly side.
For the next four week I’ll be showing a series of fantasy films. No, not The Lord of the Rings. Before Peter Jackson blew everyone out of the water with that trilogy there were so many good fantasy films. Conan the Barbarian, the 1983 version with Arnold Schwarzenegger, is one of my favorites, unfortunately it’s a bit too violent for general consumption. But if you want to see Arnie at his best, in one of his first starring roles you can’t do much better. Fun fact: Arnold and many of the other actor do most of their own stunts and many of the stunts were not planned out that well, so when you see someone running from a pack of dogs they are really running for their lives. In summation, Conan the Barbarian, definitely worth a look.
Conan aside, I’m starting the series with Willow, another childhood favorite starring Warrick Davis, who played Wicket (the Ewok) in Return of the Jedi, and a young Val Kilmer. Before Lord of the Rings, I firmly believe that Willow set the standard for fantasy films. Special effects, a great cast, and an original story. Can’t miss.