HMHS Library Newsletter
What's Happening in our Library & Classrooms! February 2022
A HUGE THANK YOU to the Haddonfield Educational Trust!
Over a 100 NEW DIVERSE Library Books Have Arrived!
Book Ban Efforts Spread Across the Country
The New York Times recently published the article, “Book Ban Efforts Spread Across the U.S.,” where Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter write about the growing trend of parents, political activists, school board officials and lawmakers arguing that some books do not belong in school libraries.
The New York Times followed up the article by asking teenagers to share their perspective about the rise in book challenges and book banning taking place throughout the country. Check out what the next generation had to say about this hot topic, "What Students Are Saying About Banning Books in School Libraries" along with our own HMHS students and guest faculty member's reflections & opinions.
Junior, Pilar Caruso provides thoughtful insight to the ramifications of Book Banning, she states, "At HMHS, the theme of Accelerated English 10 is “global citizenship,” and the curriculum includes books ranging from The Namesake to The Kite Runner. When most people hear the term “global citizen” they think of someone who advocates for human rights, amplifies perspectives from across the world, and practices empathy-not someone who demands certain books be banned from schools due to their “inappropriate content.” Literacy is generally agreed upon as a fundamental human right, as books are designed to educate, transform, and inspire. Banning books from school curriculum not only ignores this principle, but it denies the voice of those who have fought to even write books in the first place. It is often those who hold the privilege of always being represented who push to ban books outside of their limited perspective. To deny students the right to read books that discuss issues they are unfamiliar with or want to learn more about hinders their growth as global citizens. Often books that are banned discuss issues outside of a white and heteronormative space, which directly affects the ability of marginalized students to connect with their reading. Books that challenge a limited perspective can inspire meaningful conversations about issues that have concrete relevance to our history, current world, and future. These issues should not be deemed “inappropriate for school,” for that reinforces the detrimental standards that issues such as violence, racism, classism, among others, do not matter. Ultimately, young generations of students have the power to define and create change where they see fit, and diverse and inclusive reading is essential to achieving this change; the movement of banning books threatens this and possibly of global citizenship."
Junior, Julia Hart weighed in on the topic..."The rise in book challenges and book banning will only lead to more ignorance and lack of knowledge. While these banned books may cover extremely sensitive topics, they are still essential and fundamental to education. By banning these books, it not only shields people from what is happening in the world, but also will continue the harmful cycle of ignorance."
Senior, Albert Lento had this to say about the recent surge of book challenges and bannings. Albert believes reading books with a variety of perspectives gives people a greater exposure to the world around them. Banning books limits perspective and narrows the scope to which we see one another. He offers this advice to parents who want to ban books, try reading the book in question together with your child and discussing some of the concerns together instead of wiping it from the shelves completely.
English Teacher, Corinne Welsh also provides some insight on this important topic, "Banning books means banning voices. When schools ban books by certain groups (like transgender authors), they are telling students those voices aren't worth listening to. When we ban history books with unpopular analysis, we are suggesting that our democracy can't tolerate dissent, or handle criticism.
Students should be able to "see" themselves in the books we offer. Students should also read books that challenge them and offer new viewpoints in order to better understand the world and themselves. Both of these kinds of reading help us maintain a healthy, vibrant conversation about America's future. Banning books subverts all of these essential needs. "
HMHS Library: Bulldawg of the Month
Junior, Julia Hart
This month's Library Bulldawg goes to junior, Julia Hart. Julia is a leader who leads by example. She listens to others while working hard to meet her own goals and aspirations. She flies under the radar with her quiet demeanor, but is the first to step up when a peer needs an extra hand. Julia is incredibly empathetic and listens with patience to her peers and friends. She is also thoughtful and intuitive. She works incredibly hard each and every day.
Ms. Christa Wesley, HMHS math teacher has this to say about Julia..."Julia has just about the best attitude and work ethic I've ever seen in a student. She is creative and kind to everyone, and I know she values other peoples' opinions because when you're talking with her you can tell she's really listening. My day would be a lot more dreary without getting to see her smile when she is inevitably the first person to arrive at my 4th period class. I could take a lesson from how she's so slow to complain about things and quick to find a solution to a problem."
German teacher, Frau Ann Feinleib has this to say about Julia, "A very conscientious, diligent, kind-hearted person and a rare type of student who excels academically every single day."
2.22.22 PBL Expo Highlights - Staff Shoutouts!
March Book Club Choice: Ace of Spades
Freshman, Grace Miller has selected our March Book Club book, Ace of Spades written by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. This contemporary thriller novel has been recognized as the NAACP Outstanding Literary Work for Teens & Young Adults as well as School Library Journal's Best Young Adult Books of 2021.
Please feel free to join our HMHS Book Club on ANY last Thursday of the month in the Library to discuss books, literature, and anything else that might interest you in the reading world! Our next meeting is during lunch, no need to sign-up! The more, the merrier!!
Family Matters @ Home & in School - check out these relatives working TOGETHER!
Join the Student Library Advisory Board - LAB!!
New Books are Coming IN! Stop By & Pick One Up Today!!
Here's to Us (Sequel to What If It's Us) by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Arthur is in New York for a dream internship on Broadway, with a boyfriend back at home that he couldn't be happier with. But when he comes upon Ben cuddled up with a mystery boy, he starts to wonder if his feelings for Ben ever truly went away.
Even as the boys try to focus on their futures, they can't seem to help running into each other in the present. Is the universe forcing them to question if they’re actually meant to be?
Possibly not. After all, things didn’t work the first time around.
Possibly yes. After all, the sparks are still flying.
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and raise a glass.
Here’s to celebrating old friends!
Here’s to embracing new beginnings!
Here’s to believing in second chances!
Across a Field of Starlight by Blue Delliquanti (Graphic Novel)
When they were kids, Fassen's fighter spaceship crash-landed on a planet that Lu's survey force was exploring. It was a forbidden meeting between a kid from a war-focused resistance movement and a kid whose community and planet are dedicated to peace and secrecy.
Lu and Fassen are from different worlds and separate solar systems. But their friendship keeps them in each other's orbit as they grow up. They stay in contact in secret as their communities are increasingly threatened by the omnipresent, ever-expanding empire.
As the empire begins a new attack against Fassen's people--and discovers Lu's in the process--the two of them have the chance to reunite at last. They finally are able to be together...but at what cost?
This beautifully illustrated graphic novel is an epic science fiction romance between two non-binary characters as they find one another through time, distance, and war.
Four Streets & a Square: A History of Manhattan & the New York Idea
A veteran nonfiction storyteller dives deep into the four-hundred-year history of Manhattan to map the island's unexpected intersections. Focusing on the evolution of four streets and a square (Wall Street, 42nd Street, West 4th Street, 125th Street, and Union Square) Marc Aronson explores how new ideas and forms of art evolved from social blending. Centuries of conflict--among original Americans and Europeans, slavers and the enslaved, rich and poor, immigrants and native-born--produced segregation, oppression, and violence, but also new ways of speaking, singing, and being American. From the Harlem Renaissance to Hammerstein, from gay pride in the Village to political clashes at Tammany Hall, this clear-eyed pageant of the island's joys and struggles--enhanced with photos and drawings, multimedia links to music and film, and an extensive bibliography and source notes--is, above all, a love song to Manhattan's triumphs.
Check out previous Library Newsletters below!
Mrs. Jessica Miller
Location: 401 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033, USA