Author of “I am Malala” receives 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

malalaHave you read “I am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai, co-authored by Christina Lamb?  This 2013 memoir by a 15-year-old Pakistani girl is one of the 5 contenders for the “Two Towns – One Book” choice for 2015.

If you haven’t heard of Malala, here’s a brief account:  When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan and banned girls from school, Malala fought for her right to an education. On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school.  She miraculously survived to tell the tale, and now lives in Birmingham, England.

Time magazine featured Malala on the cover of the April 29, 2013 as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”  On 12 July 2013, Malala spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education, and in September 2013 she officially opened the Library of Birmingham.

Indian child-rights activist Kailash Satyarthi shared the prize with Malala.  Here are a few more recent books on this topic you might also like to read: “A call to action: women, religion, violence, and power” (2014) by former president Jimmy Carter, and “Girls like us: fighting for a world where girls are not for sale, an activist finds her calling and heals herself“(2011) by Rachel Lloyd.

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Kite RunnerColor Purple          September 21-27, 2014 is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.  Banned Books Week also draws attention to the harms of censorship.  According to the American Library Association, while books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

How many of these challenged books have you read?

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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For some, September is the most wonderful time of the year — is that Office Max commercial still on TV? For others, September says, sadly, summertime has come and gone.  Are you looking to escape to a different time? BookPage has published a list of 2014 books that will allow you to do just that.  Take a look! 




popular-a-memoir-by-maya-van-wagenenRegular Reader’s Corner followers know that I love spy novels and baseball books, but lately I have read and enjoyed several memoirs.  My favorite so far was written by an 8th grader.  Maya Van Wagenen wanted to be popular (she wasn’t), so her mother suggested that she follow the advice in a book that was published in 1951 called Betty Cornell’s Teenage Popularity Guide.  Maya followed the advice for a year and wrote about the reaction of her peers and what she learned. Her book is called Popular, and it is at times both hilarious and touching, while being genuinely thought provoking throughout.

Here is Maya being interviewed on The Today Show.

Speaking of popular memoirs, Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, which has become a #1 Netflix original hit show, will be a guest here at the library on Monday, September 22 at 7:00. You can register here beginning on August 2nd.

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library
475 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065
phone: 518.371.8622   fax: 518.371.3799