Saturday Round Up: 5th February 2022

In this week’s post I summarise some of the latest news to hit the book and publishing industry, up until the 3rd February January 2022.

I’m going to begin with a lovely story about Dillon Helbig who is an 8 year old boy living in Idaho and during his school Christmas holiday he created an 81 page book called The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis. The young man then left his book in his local library where it became an unexpected hit, with the library making more copies and some publishers contacting him to officially publish the work. It is great to see someone who is so young doing something so creative which has bought joy to his local community.

Meanwhile in another story which deserves to get as much attention as it can is in Lee-on-the Solent, Hampshire, an appeal has been launched to save The Book Shop, an 89-year-old bookshop which is threatened with closure as a result of the Covid pandemic. The fundraiser has so far reached £15,000 of her £30,000 target and the bookshop has been described as a pillar of the community so it would be a shame to see it go, especially as Covid has driven people online for shopping and so many high streets are now a shadow of what they once were. You can donate on the Go Fund Me page.

In another story, Costa’s Book of the Year Award 2021 was given to poet and Brunel university lecturer Hannah Lowe, who wrote a book of sonnets about life teaching in an inner-city London school which discuss themes such as growing up, parenthood and learning, as well as her own upbringing in the 80s and 90s.

Finally and sadly the book banning in America has continued. Records requests to nearly 100 school districts in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin regions — a small sampling of the state’s 1,250 public school systems — revealed 75 formal requests by parents or community members to ban books from libraries during the first four months of this school year. Of these the vast majority were banned for reasons of racism or sexuality with many being recently published books librarians purchased to try to diversify the books available to read.

I mentioned some of my views about this before and for the nation known as the “Land of the Free” and the leader of the free world I do find this to be a disgrace if I am completely honest. The books are available and everyone should be able to read what they choose to and it is sad that a small-minded majority cannot cope with that.

Anyway that has been this week’s roundup and I would love to know what your thoughts are and what your favourite stories have been. Let me know in the comments down below!

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