Archive for October 2012



Banned Books Display


Many books have been banned over the years by whole countries, as in the case of George Orwell’s 1984, banned both in the US for pro-communist ideas, and in the USSR for being anti-Communist/Stalinist.  Other books have been banned by one or more states, counties or towns, such as Bridge to Terabithia or Harry Potter, for being dark, violent and pro-Wiccan.  An early modern example, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, became the centre of controversy during Twain’s lifetime for his use of “vulgar” colloquial language, and because “it portrayed the South in a bad light”.  The objections raised today are quite different, as you can imagine.

The purpose of a good book is to explore difficult, dangerous and controversial ideas in a safe way that doesn’t hurt those who wish to explore, and to open the eyes of the innocent, naive or ignorant to social, philosophical and political ideas that would never have occurred to them otherwise.

Banned Books Week is held each year during late September/early October to celebrate the importance of free and open access to books and information.  Read more here.

To commemorate 30 years of celebrating Banned Books Week, the American Library Association has commissioned an interesting visual timeline of significant banned and challenged books.


To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publishing of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit, a number of our Middle School boys participated in a ‘second breakfast’ video conference with other schools, run by publishing company HarperCollins. This was part of celebrations  held around the world on 21 September to mark the first publishing of the book on 21 September 1937.

The Hobbit is a prelude to Tolkein’s trilogy Lord of the Rings, and the first of three movies of the book, An Unexpected Journey, is due for release in December this year.

Read more about this much-loved classic: The Hobbit: What has made the book such an enduring success?


Images and video from