Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2015 celebration will be held September 27-October 3.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 311 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2014, and many more go unreported. Follow this link for a list of the 10 most challenged titles of 2014 and more information:

By Mark Twain, Jayne Anne Phillips (Afterword by), Padgett Powell (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780451530943
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Published: Signet Classics - May 6th, 2008

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884

The first ban of Mark Twain’s American classic in Concord, MA in 1885 called it “trash and suitable only for the slums.” Objections to the book have evolved, but only marginally. Twain’s book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged even today because of its frequent use of the word “nigger.” Otherwise it is alleged the book is “racially insensitive,” “oppressive,” and “perpetuates racism.”

Novelist Ernest Hemingway famously said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.  ... All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

During their trip down the Mississippi on a raft, Twain depicts in a satirical and humorous way Huck and Jim’s encounters with hypocrisy, racism, violence and other evils of American society. His use in serious literature of a lively, simple American language full of dialect and colloquial expressions paved the way for many later writers, including Hemingway and William Faulkner.

What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child's windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?

Waiting is a big part of childhood—waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen—but in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes's extraordinary career.

By Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062368430
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Published: Greenwillow Books - September 2015

“Quiet yet evocative, this is a lovely melding of artwork, design, and text... Little ones, to whom each experience is new, will know what it’s like to dream and wait.” — Booklist (starred review)

“Kevin Henkes, who both illustrates and writes with a gentle and elegant style, creates an appealing cast of toys to get at the concept of waiting-a tough one to convey to a child. …Calming in a way that emphasizes the theme of patience.” — New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“In his illustrations, Mr. Henkes uses soft nursery shades of pink, greenish-blue and chocolate brown on a creamy background to convey a feeling of such safety and contentment as to beguile even the most irritable adult tooth-gnasher.” — Wall Street Journal

What Pet Should I Get?

A never-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss!
This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can’t choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it! 
Told in Dr. Seuss’s signature rhyming style, this is a must-have for Seuss fans and book collectors, and a perfect choice for the holidays, birthdays, and happy occasions of all kinds.
An Editor’s Note at the end discusses Dr. Seuss’s pets, his creative process, and the discovery of the manuscript and illustrations for What Pet Should I Get?

ISBN: 9780553524260
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Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 28th, 2015

A boy wants all of the pets in a pet store but he and his sister can choose only one.

ISBN: 9780394844947
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Published: Random House Children's Books - August 19th, 1989

The classic that no one can beat is celebrating its 60th anniversary. As Marco makes his way home along Mulberry Street, the sights he reports get more and more outrageously outlandish. Theodor Geisel's first children's book. 

A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

ISBN: 9780062409850
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Published: Harper - July 14th, 2015

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch "Scout" returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past a journey that can only be guided by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

ISBN: 9780446310789
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 11th, 1988

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior -- to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 15 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Poor Gerald the elephant -- all he wants is to take a nap. A bleary-eyed Gerald blinks out at readers from the cover, blanket and Knuffle bunny tucked in his arms. Piggie's head pokes into the frame from the side at a 90-degree angle, hinting at the disruption to come. Inside, "I am tired," Gerald announces. "And cranky. I am going to take a nap." Those declarations set off a characteristically hilarious encounter between the fussbudget elephant and his porcine pal. He spreads out his mat, lies down and in marches Piggie, hollering, "GERALD!" Gerald explodes from slumber in alarm. Readers will not find it at all surprising, though they will find it funny, that pretty soon Gerald's cranky mood spreads to Piggie, who decides that she will take a nap, too: "SNORE!  SNORE! SNORE! SNORE!" Several pages later, the stertorous swine wakes up, rested and smiling. "How are you enjoying your nap, Gerald?" Beside himself, the elephant rages that he is "NOT napping!" -- but if he's not napping, then how come Piggie is floating? And endowed with a turnip-head? Careful readers will have noticed the change in background color that cues this extended dream sequence-and they may also find themselves wondering whether Gerald could possibly be as rested as he seems when he really wakes up. As naps go, this is about as strenuous -- and as funny -- as it gets. (Early reader. 3-9) Kirkus.

By Mo Willems, Mo Willems (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781484716304
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Published: Disney-Hyperion - June 2nd, 2015

Gerald is tired and cranky and wants to take a nap, but Piggie is not helping.

Experience the beauty, essence and character of thirty North American bird species. Inspired by traditional Asian brushwork and haiku, the artwork and text capture the quirky traits peculiar to each species. Zen Birds celebrates the amazing lives of birds - a must-have for any bird lover or nature enthusiast.

ISBN: 9781591932727
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Published: Adventure Publications(MN) - July 2nd, 2010

Fans of Mary Poppins will love this whimsical tale of a boarding school for children of very busy parents, where an extraordinary headmistress teaches them life lessons about courage, adventure, friendship . . . and the importance of birthday cake.

Nestled inside a lighthouse, Great Rapscott School for the Daughters of Busy Parents takes its motto from Amelia Earhart: Adventure is worthwhile in itself. Headmistress Ms. Rapscott couldn’t agree more, but her students, who are shipped to the school in boxes, could use a little convincing. Still, despite their initial reluctance, the students are soon soaring through the sky and getting lost on purpose. In addition to learning what birthday cakes are and how best to approach a bumbershoot tree, the students also manage to learn a little something about strength and bravery.

Bestselling author Elise Primavera has created an irresistible, richly illustrated story about finding your way.

ISBN: 9780803738225
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Published: Dial Books - March 10th, 2015

A spring 2015 Indie Next Pick 

“Whimsical and magical with a dose of gentle social satire.” — New York Times Book Review

* “Fits neatly into the literary world of May Poppins and Nanny Piggins… An invigorating romp with more adventures on the horizon.” —Booklist, starred review

“Move over, Mary Poppins, and make way for Ms. Rapscott…these adventures will entice young readers to take Ms. Rapscott’s advice and get ‘lost on purpose’ in a great story.”—BookPage

From the bestselling, Edgar Award–winning author of the “terrifically good” (The New York Times) Red Sparrow, a compulsively readable new novel about star-crossed Russian agent Dominika Egorova and CIA's Nate Nash in a desperate race to the finish.

Captain Dominika Egorova of the Russian Intelligence Service (SVR) has returned from the West to Moscow. She despises the men she serves, the oligarchs, and crooks, and thugs of Putin’s Russia. What no one knows is that Dominika is working for the CIA as Washington’s most sensitive penetration of SVR and the Kremlin.

As she expertly dodges exposure, Dominika deals with a murderously psychotic boss; survives an Iranian assassination attempt; escapes a counterintelligence ambush; rescues an arrested agent and exfiltrates him out of Russia; and has a chilling midnight conversation in her nightgown with President Putin. Complicating these risks is the fact that Dominika is in love with her CIA handler, Nate Nash, and their lust is as dangerous as committing espionage in Moscow. And when a mole in the SVR finds Dominika’s name on a restricted list of sources, it is a virtual death sentence…

ISBN: 9781476793740
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Published: Scribner Book Company - June 2nd, 2015

"Red Sparrow, Jason Matthews’s debut thriller, is a challenging act to follow. Palace of Treason, the sequel to Red Sparrow, does not disappoint. The book is enthralling. Matthews deftly weaves in enough back story to hook both new readers and those returning. Palace of Treason shimmers with authenticity. The villains are richly drawn...the scenes of them on the job are beyond chilling. Whether in Vienna, Moscow, or Washington, Matthews’s scene-setting is superb, and he has a fine eye for telling details."

– New York Times Book Review

The unpredictable events of a particular Tuesday unroll before the reader’s eyes with the precision and clarity of a silent movie in this Caldecott Medal-winning book.  In this ingenious and imaginative nearly wordless picture book, frogs in a pond lift off on their lily pads and fly to a nearby town where they zoom through a woman’s living room, encounter a dog playing in his yard, and distract a bathrobe-clad citizen from his midnight snack.  Who knows what will happen next Tuesday?

ISBN: 9780395870822
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Published: Clarion Books - September 27th, 2011

"Dominated by rich blues and greens, and fully exploiting its varied perspectives, this book treats its readers to the pleasures of airborne adventure. It may not be immortal, but kids will love its lighthearted, meticulously imagined, fun-without-a-moral fantasy"--"School Library Journal, " starred review. A Caldecott Medal Book.

The Spoon River Boys
Appear At
Local Music Showcase!
June 13, 1:00 P.M.

The Spoon River Boys, featuring original music and area musicians will debut its new CD on Local Music Showcase, Saturday, June 13, 1:00 P.M. at New Copperfield's Book Service, 120 North Side Square, Macomb, IL.

Area musicians Dave Otey and Chico Malo will be performing the original music by author and poet Randy Sollenberger from their new CD. Mr Sollenberger recently published his book My Guardian Angel and Beating the Reaper: With Songs and Stories of Forgottonia.

Local Music Showcase! gives all area music lovers an opportunity to see the finest local musicians in live performance in an intimate, family-friendly atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon. The event is free and everyone is invited. Bring the family!