Celebrate Your Freedom To Read With Banned Books Week!

Every year, certain books are challenged in public schools and libraries for a number of different reasons, including profanity, vulgarity, LGBTQIA+ content, references to magic and witchcraft, going against “family values/morals, being sensitive, controversial, or politically charged, and so on. In order to inform the public about this censorship, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top challenged books based on reports and media stories. 

566 books were targeted in 2019, and of those books the most challenged are listed below. You can check all of them out in at least one format from Abbot Public LIbrary, and many are in multiple physical or digital formats. Some even have movies or TV shows based on them, which you can reserve in DVD format for curbside pickup, currently with no charge! 

George by Alex Gino (print, Overdrive/Libby app ebook and e-audiobook, hoopla e-audiobook)

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebook

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller (Overdrive/Libby app ebook and hoopla ebook)

Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth (print and hoopla ebook)

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis (print only)

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas (print only)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (regular print, large print, book on CD, related TV show Seasons 1-3, and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling:

All the Harry Potter books are also available on hoopla in different languages in ebook and audiobook format.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole (print and hoopla e-audiobook)

Celebrate your freedom to read what you choose by reserving the above titles for Curbside Pickup (please read about the process here for reserving titles and setting up an appointment to pick them up), or checking them out online through our digital services.

Find out more about Banned Books Week on the American Library Association website or the Banned Book Week website, including the history of Banned Books Week, virtual events taking place this week, the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books or the decade, and more! 

Get Wild at Home with the New England Aquarium and Zoo New England!

We may not be able to visit our favorite furry, feathery, or fishy creatures, but the amazing folks at the New England Aquarium and Zoo New England have found some creative ways to bring a little bit of wild into our homes. 

Bonnethead Shark at New England Aquarium

The Aquarium’s Virtual Visit page features daily presentations starring southern rockhopper penguins, harbor seals, bonnethead sharks, and more! A particular highlight is Reggae the Harbor Seal’s tooth brushing routine. The Aquarium has also curated a list of fun at-home activities and educational resources, from making a 3D turtle shell out of items at home to a tide pool aerobics class.

Zebra at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston

Zoo New England is bringing the #ZooToYou through daily videos and activities on their Facebook pages, letting viewers check in on all of their favorite animals at the Stone Zoo and Franklin Park Zoo. They also have a great kid’s activity and resource page on their website, featuring word searches, coloring pages, instructions on how to make a butterfly garden and compost, printable animal masks, and much more.

Be sure to also explore our digital collections for more resources about these animals and the natural world. hoopla has an extensive selection of National Geographic nature documentaries, running the gamut from wild pandas and tigers to killer whales and emperor penguins. And for our Libby app users, check out Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus, a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction featuring the octopi of the New England Aquarium!