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Banned and Spooktakular Books

Lauren Tagman, Editor

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A “banned book” is a book or other printed work that has been “prohibited by law or to which free access is not permitted” according to The American Library Association. Banning books is a form censorship “from political, legal, religious, and moral motives.”

From 2000-2009, 5,099 book challenges were made to the office of Intellectual Freedom. Many of these books were challenged because they contained sexually explicit material, offensive language, referred to homosexuality, and many other reasons.

Mrs. Jyringi, DPHS librarian extraordinaire, in collaboration with Ms. Gingras, have been working on a banned book project for the month of October. Jyringi created a display of books which had been covered in brown paper bags. On their cover, students could read a list of reasons why the book had been contested to the ALA. Students had to open the cover to find out which books had been banned. Some students were shocked to discover, Harry Potter and The Outsiders were among the bunch. 

Ms. Gingras said banned book week has taught our students, “about our first amendment and about our freedom of speech. They learned how to challenge banned books and how to use their freedom of speech for reading the books.”

The students also learned about the American Library Association, the oldest and largest library institution in the world and how they handle books that may be considered controversial without impeding first amendment rights.

For the month of October, Mrs. Jyringi has a spooktacular horror story project in the library. If you are looking for a new scare, check out some of her suggestions!

The library was decorated with dripping, sticky blood on the windows, a huge skull being used as a bookend and orange twinkle lights circling the scare. Students were treated to the game, “Find the Raven” a reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem. If they found the Raven they were rewarded with either a snack or a fun Halloween themed toy and then had the opportunity to hide it for the next student to find. It turned into a twisted game of hide and seek that frustrated many, many students and teachers alike.

Stephen King’s Firestarter is on display which tells the story of a man and a woman who subjects of a top-secret government experiment designed to produce extraordinary psychic powers. Then, they are married and have a daughter. Early on, the daughter shows signs of a wild and horrifying force growing within her. Desperately, her parents try to train her to keep that force in check and to “act normal.” But the government wants its brainchild back – for its own insane ends. Check it out if you want to sleep with a nightlight forever.

Trish Doller’s book The Devil You Know is also among the group. It’s about a road trip gone wrong and trusting someone who you thought you knew.  

Ms. Jyringi’s displays change frequently and are filled with books you may never have considered but are guaranteed to grab your attention and hold it to the very last page.

At the very least, you should swing by our library to check out the new decorations and themes.

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