HISTORY OF BOOK CENSORSHIP: This presentation is perfect for Banned Books Week or as an introduction to book burning in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The slides give a brief history of nine censorship and book banning incidents in world history.

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THE MAID: Molly’s orderly life as a hotel maid is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect.


Library Challenge #1 tasks you with an annual review (or maybe your first review) of your library's Selection and Reconsideration Policies.

LIBRARY CHALLENGE #1 Are library book challenges scary? I think so! But they are much less scary when you have a strong plan. When you know exactly what to do

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This article is 10 essential tips for new school librarians. These are the 10 things you should do FIRST in your new school library.

You’ve landed a brand new school librarian job–congratulations! All summer, you’ve looked forward to standing in the middle of your very own library, taking a deep breath, and reveling in

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This is a collection of fun ideas for middle school library orientation. Even if you don't use the ideas, the videos are a lot of fun to watch!

Ahh, the first day of school! Call me crazy, but I’ve always loved it! I will see my first middle school library orientation classes this Wednesday. We have a book

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Review: Running On Empty (Ballard)

AUTHOR: Colette Ballard
SERIES: none
ISBN: 9781939392800
PAGES: 376
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: action, mystery

SUMMARY: In an attempt to save herself and the boy she loves, River Daniels commits murder. Dazed and in shock, River’s two best friends help her flee the state and the possibility of jail time.

REVIEW: This will no doubt be compared with Thelma & Louise, and that is a pretty decent comparison. As in T & L, our main character River Daniels shoots and kills someone to prevent an imminent rape. Her best friends Billie Jo and Kat find River walking along the road, dazed and covered in blood. Knowing River will not get a fair trial in their area, the two friends whisk River away to Las Vegas, where they struggle to find jobs and stay off the police radar.

I really enjoyed this story, which despite its focus on the three female protagonists, still contains a sweet romance between River and her long-time best friend Justice, whom River was trying to protect the night of the shooting. Though there are some overly-convenient coincidences, the story mostly kept me on my toes and turning pages late into the night.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Action-packed with some mystery and romance, Running on Empty is a fun, engrossing read that compares with one of my favorite movies of all time.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don’t have it–too mature for a MS library (see content notes below).

READALIKES: Speak (Anderson), Nineteen Minutes (Picoult)


  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Engrossing: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: medium-high–includes multiple bit**, sh**, and fu**
  • Sexuality: medium–rape is central to the story; talking about sex/loss of virginity; girls purposely use their sexuality to distract male characters
  • Violence: high–attempted rape, murder
  • Drugs/Alcohol: high–teen drinking, marijuana use, cigarette-smoking

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