Drop Everything and Read on BC School Library Day




The BC Teacher Librarians’ Association, in conjunction with the BCTF, challenge you to join people all over our province as they “Drop Everything and Read” for at least 15 minutes today.

Put away the phone, turn off the TV, pause the video game or whatever else you are doing. If you are at school put away the textbooks and the homework. Even if you are at work, we challenge your employers to give you 15 minutes to enjoy some silent reading.

People who read for pleasure benefit in so many ways. Obviously, the primary benefit of reading for pleasure, is, wait for it… pleasure. However, there are so many more reasons how reading for pleasure if beneficial for you as an individual, and even for all of us as a society.

Why should schools give you time for reading? Students who read for pleasure do better in school. Why should your work care if you read? People who read for pleasure bring a multitude of skills and abilities to the workplace, including greater capacity for concentration and focus, along with more obvious benefits such as improved reading, writing and other forms of communication. Why should society care if you read? Readers are better prepared for responsible citizenship. Readers of non-fiction are better informed to effectively participate in our democracy, while readers of fiction develop understanding and empathy and a greater sense of our common needs as fellow citizens of our communities, our nations and our world.

These are just some of the reasons why reading for pleasure is good for you and good for all of us. Enjoy some reading today, and every day.

Bring a good book on Monday


Monday, October 25 is BC School Library Day and the day of the annual DEAR Challenge. Every student and staff member in the school, along with all British Columbians all over the province, are challenged to “Drop Everything and Read.”

Make sure that you are prepared for 15-20 minutes of glorious silent reading. Read something that you have chosen, something that you are interested in for your own reasons, outside of required reading assigned by a teacher.

Read to escape. Read to learn. Read for fun. Read to experience new things. Read to be entertained. Read to find out more about things you are interested in. Read to laugh or to cry or to be scared. Read for joy of reading.

If you need help finding something good to read, you have many options, not least of which is coming down to your school library!


Parachutes


Surrey Teens Read has once again come up with an incredible list of titles for students to enjoy. This week we look at Parachutes by Kelly Yang.



Kelly Yang was born in Hong Kong and grew up in the U.S.. Ms. Yang has led an incredibly interesting and accomplished life: Find out more here. She is also the author of Front Desk, both an award winning novel, and a book that has faced censorship.

Come down to the School Library to see Parachutes and the other nine nominated titles for this school year’s version of Surrey Teens Read.

Find out more at surreyteensread.weebly.com

Book Banning: Not Just History but Current Events


It can be tempting to think of the banning of books as something that happened in the past, only by extremely conservative types, or in authoritarian regimes. Sadly, book banning is alive and well here and now. Sure, it is not shocking that anti-democratic governments in places like China, Russia, Iran, Hungary or Venezuela strictly control the flow of information and literature. Yet in our society, where we make claims on being champions of democracy and freedom, book banning is on the rise.

Kara Yorio writes in School Library Journal: “It has been a busy Banned Books Week, as the stepped-up challenges to books and their authors continue,  with books by kid lit creators Jerry Craft and Kelly Yang added to the list of titles some parents claim are objectionable.” Read the rest of this article.

Meanwhile “Ruby Bridges Goes to School” has been targeted by book banners as well. Author Ruby Bridges recounts the true story of her experiences as a 6 year old girl who became the first black student to attend a formerly whites only public school. An organized group of parents wanted their local school board to ban this book, “for supposedly “explicit and implicit anti-American, anti-white” bias (source).” Read more in this Miami Herald article.

Here are four of the most challenged books from the last year, all available in our school library:

  • George by Alex Gino. Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community.”
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote antipolice views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now.”
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, it was claimed to be biased against male students, and it included rape and profanity.

Read the rest of the “The Top 10 Challenged Books of 2020” from the American Library Association.