Category Archives: News

Are you ready for some Monster Fun?

JULY 2024 – “Everyone’s gearing up for big superhero moments in the cinema, but Deadpool and Wolverine isn’t for all comic book fans – but our graphic novels are! With super cool heroes that can rival those big screen characters.” says Monster Fun Editor Keith Richardson, as Monster Fun launches it’s first two graphic novels in The Monster Fun Collection this summer. This new range of graphic novels for children aged 7-12 collects up exciting stories from the epic Monster Fun comic, giving children a whole new range of books to love!

In fact, our new graphic novels will keep kids entertained throughout the summer holidays. Keith continues, The movie’s age rating prevents so many young comic book fans from experiencing it. But The Monster Fun Collection won’t be doing that. We have brilliant books with stories suitable for all ages, and definitely a great alternative for those who won’t be allowed in to see the movie!

The Monster Fun Collection aims to undoubtedly be the highlight of this year’s school summer holidays. After all, it’s not every day that a brand new line of children’s graphic novels launches!

The Children’s Book market shows children are devouring graphic novels like never before, with 425% volume growth in the category since 2019 (Source: The Bookseller), providing a more fun reading experience over traditional novels. The heroes of our graphic novels may have graced just the pages of the Monster Fun comic rather than the silver screen, but will provide the same amount of joy and entertainment to those who read them – as well as the main hero of each book having been around years longer than Marvel’s big screen characters!

The Leopard From Lime Street is the UK’s answer to Spider-man, and was published for over a decade before Marvel’s merc with the mouth even graced a comic book page. Meanwhile, whilst Wolverine made his first appearance in 1974, our very own metal-plated soldier Steel Commando has been kicking around since 1970! Whilst the versions found in The Monster Fun Collection are rebooted for a new generation of readers, the admirable qualities and fun stories that made these characters endure the test of time are present in the new graphic novels.

So what are the new books all about? Steel Commando: No Time To Lose sees World War II robot hero Steel Commando travel across past, present, and future to defeat the forces of evil on an epic time-travel adventure, whilst The Leopard From Lime Street: Birthright sees young Billy Farmer unlock his powers after being bitten by a radioactive leopard (these things happen, right?), uncover family secrets, and just maybe save his home town from destruction from dastardly super villains.

The brand new Monster Fun Collection graphic novels, Steel Commando: No Time To Lose and The Leopard From Lime Street: Birthright can be purchased now on Amazon or in the Monster Fun webstore; where individual issues, international orders, and subscriptions to the monthly Monster Fun comic can also be purchased.

Project 2025 Threatens Library Workers

This screenshot is taken from page five of the forward to the Heritage Foundations Mandate for Leadership.

The text reads:

Pornography should be outlawed. The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders. And telecommunications and technology firms that facilitate its spread should be shuttered.

The definition of pornography is deliberately vague and appears to label anything not heteronormative as porn. Basically anything that appears to vaguely condone LGBTQ+ lives or exploring gender and sexuality.

The attacks on libraries with the addition of Project 2025 take on a more sinister, coordinated appearance. Any organization or individual that threatens the “innocence” and “purity” of children gets labeled as groomers.

Of course it is predominantly white children that are deserving of protection, but it is ever thus.

You can read the Mandate for Leadership here:

I will share resources examining this as they become available.

The anatomy of an attack on a book & library

One of the things I do to keep track of what is happening in right-wing ecosystems with regard to libraries and books is peek at the Facebook pages of some of the right-wing reactionary folk that live in the same general geographic location as me from time to time.

During one of my check-ins I noticed that the person who runs the fb page had shared a post by a county commissioner for a large and populous county in Kansas. The post was a web cartoon by a local conservative cartoonist attacking the library for having a book called You Know, Sex by Cory Silverberg & Fiona Smith in its collection.

Truth Toons cartoon copyright Tim McCabe

I visited the commissioner’s fb page and noted that prior to posting the cartoon she attempted to do an end run around official library procedure by making a post encouraging followers to contact the county librarian as well as the board of county commissioners to complain about the book.

This particular library is incredibly well-resourced and has a comprehensive, publicly available collection development policy as well as a request for reconsideration procedure that is also available for any patrons that wish to have materials moved or withdrawn.

Like some other attempts to fan the flames of indignation online, these posts are light on factual information, using trigger words to cause a negative response in whoever reads them.

Does this book contain information about porn, rape, anal and all of it? Yes it does but it is not gratuitous, it is a guide to being safe and aware. Pornography this book is most definitely not!

Break for a quick book review:

Being an inquisitive sort, I put a request in for a copy of You Know, Sex and what I found may astound you. Yes it is a graphic (as in graphic novel) non-fiction guide to sex, sexuality and gender. It is thoughtfully written and illustrated, with nothing that can be considered prurient, titillating or pornographic. The illustrations of human bodies are presented in all their unique, imperfect glory.

In short this book is about as far from porn as you can get, it introduces concepts and ideas in a way that does not talk down to the reader – whatever their age may be. It is frank, open and honest and contains a LOT of information that can be digested at whatever speed the reader is happiest with. The author addresses the reader in the opening Letter to the Reader acknowledging that sex is a complex subject to learn about, and suggests ways in which to cope with using this book.

It also contains a glossary which is important for fostering better understanding of the subject and an index and resources and organizations that can further understanding of the subject. Another thing I found particularly useful are the tips on searching for information online and URLs for trusted web resources.

If you are a parent, or educator looking for a book about sex for readers of all ages then I highly recommend You Know, Sex for your family or/and library collection.

I will say that you as an adult should also read it – you will definitely learn something and will also be able to discuss it with the young people in your life, if they trust you enough (or, are not too embarrassed) to broach the subject.

This is not the first time that the commissioner in question has used her position to attack the library over books for young readers. In 2023 she weighed in on the YALSA Teens Top 10 program that the library was involved with that had upset a parent, from The Heartlander News: Library in suburban Kansas City offers free books to youths, perhaps unnoticed by parents, that portray whites as racists, colonizers

From Free State News comes a slightly reworded piece, similar to the one in The Heartlander News: Johnson County Library distributes pornographic gore to developing teen minds in their Summer Reading Program

Although the change from the Heartlander piece saying “Williams doesn’t accuse the Gardner library, or even the Johnson County library system, of propagating leftist propaganda, but adds, “I do believe 100% that it’s pushed intentionally from a larger agenda, maybe even outside of our state.

to: “I would like to know what staff created this list, and I would like those people arrested for distributing murder-fetish porn to my child. This should be a criminal offense, punishable by jail time.

In Luke 17:1-2 the Bible states, “Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

I’ll take millstones for 1,000, Alex. These people need to be punished to the full extent of the law for warping and destroying the minds of our youth with their selfish, morbid agendas.” in the Free State news piece is quite a change in tone.

and Could Public and School Libraries be Guilty of Felony Distribution of Obscene Materials to Children per KSA 21-6401?

We are in an election year and it remains to be seen if culture war topics, particularly an attack on a large and popular library over books will be a vote-getter in a county that has been consistently trending purple over the past few years.

TeenLibrarian Newsletter

The latest issue of the TeenLibrarian Newsletter is now available to read online:

Thrills For The Future!

New home, same attitude – Cadet Dredd is coming to the Judge Dredd Megazine, and he’s bringing his friends!
Following the success of 2000 AD’s quarterly all-ages Regened special issues, the best of Rebellion’s all ages revolution will find a home in the Judge Dredd Megazine as they step up into the regular roster in our legendary comic books.
As part of Rebellion’s continuing mission to hook a whole new generation on Thrill-power, strips such as Cadet Dredd, Departmetnt K and Pandora Perfect will find a new home in the monthly title.
June’s edition of Judge Dredd Megazine is proud to welcome back some more familiar favourites to its monthly roster of Thrills. Get ready for the return of…
Pandora Perfect! Lock up your loot, because criminal mastermind and nefarious swindler Pandora and robot companion Gort are back and ready to cause more chaos across the galaxy! Writer Roger Langridge is joined by artist Gary Welsh for a high-octane space adventure with the most notorious robber in the universe!
Department K: Interdimensional Investigators! Mega-City One Justice Department’s most chaotic team must once-again battle threats to protect the dimensional safety of the world. Having already travelled a multiverse of monsters and warded off threats from beyond the fabric of reality, join Ned Hartley and Mike Walters as Department K come face-to-face with the craziest creatures in the cosmos!
And later this year get ready for the return of Cadet Dredd! Paul Starkey and Nick Brokenshire invite you to join young Joseph Dredd and his clone brother Rico as they attempt to learn the ropes of the Justice System, and earn their badges as Judges!
The move follows the successful transition of Alex de Campi and Eduardo Ocaña’s Full Tilt Boogie, as well as Pandora Perfect and Department K, into 2000 AD, paving the way for a richer mix of all ages stories as part of the Megazine’s blend of sci-fi action and adventure!
Plus, as they replace the classic reprints which have been published in Judge Dredd Megazine each month, it means readers get to enjoy more all-new Thrills each and every issue for the same galaxy-busting price.
With these awesome new Thrills coming soon to Judge Dredd Megazine, it’s never been a better time for Earthlets of all ages to try out The Galaxy’s Greatest and explore new universes through the wonderful world of comics!

Solidarity to Student Protesters!

As long-time teen services library person as well as being someone who has participated in a number social movements protesting injustice over the years, I am in awe of the students on college grounds across the US standing up to protest the cruelty being meted out against a captive population of predominantly women and children in Gaza.

Armored police officers being unleashed on students that are participating in their constitutionally protected right to protest is bringing up memories of the actions of the police set loose on protesting students by the apartheid government in my home country of South Africa.

The “youth of today” get a lot of grief from people my age and older about how they have no oomph or are unwilling to stand up for anything or get involved in making the world a better place. Well after this current time of protest is over then I think anyone who says shit like that should shut up!

I have worked as a youth services and teen librarian for over 20 years now and the level of engagement and involvement young adults have shown in standing up for what they believe in over the years has always inspired me! The student newspapers are covering the protests on their campuses better than many of their national press colleagues – have a read below.

Links to US Student run College Newspaper articles about the Protests:

NYU Student Protest

Emerson College Student Encampment

Minnesota Faculty, students protests occur on Northrop Mall, at Coffman Union

Student Radio

Girl Scout’s Anti-censorship Commendation Censored by Board of Supervisors

Inspired by the Hanover County School Board’s decision to ban 19 books from the libraries in the schools they oversee; on June 2023 Kate Lindley started Free to Read, her project for the Girl Scout Gold Award.

She created a Free to Read app with information on each book, including why it was banned and how to access copies of the books. After the board banned a further 75 books in November of 2023 Kate went a step further and set up book nooks in two local businesses.

Screenshots of the Free to Read app

I think that everyone who has observed the national mania for book-banning that has been emerging over the past few years agrees that it is positively Orwellian; but this is where things start taking a turn for the Kafkaesque. On April 10, the Hanover County supervisors met to approve language honoring the Girl Scouts that had completed their Gold Award projects. During the meeting the supervisor for the Cold Harbor District Michael Herzberg pulled Lindley’s proclamation and submitted a motion for amending it, removing language that identified locations where the books were available as well as any mentions of censorship or banned books.

The Board of Supervisors has bestowed upon me the greatest honor anyone fighting censorship and banning could receive by censoring me and my project ~ Kate Lindley

When the young adults of our society act with more maturity and decorum than the actual adults that are running things, I get a hankering for generational change in leadership. Then I feel guilty for wanting to dump the problems created by my generation and the ones that have come before us onto the next generation that are still growing and learning.

We need to address these issues and let our kids be kids. Looking at them, and the work they are already shouldering to make the world they are on the cusp of inheriting a better place I know that they are going to be alright!

Links for more information

Hanover girl scout creates ‘banned book nook’ after new policy takes 19 books off school shelves:

Hanover Girl Scout fights censorship with ‘Banned Book Nooks’  

Hanover County students fight the book ban

Hanover County supervisors censor commendation for Girl Scout who fought censorship

Free to Read app:

Free to Read Instagram page:

Original draft of the proclamation celebrating Kate Lindley:

Amended proclamation:

Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award:

Free to Read Amazon wish list:

National library organisation sounds alarm over ‘fire sale’ of library buildings

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a national charity which exists to raise standards in library provision has sounded the alarm over a potential ‘fire sale’ of library buildings following the Government announcement of ‘exceptional financial support’ to 19 Councils[1].

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that 19 councils in England will benefit from an ‘Exceptional Financial Support (EFS)’ framework for the fiscal year 2024-25, totalling around £1.5 billion.

Rather than representing new investment or capital support, the framework allows the Councils involved to use capital receipts from the sale of assets or borrowing to cover their day-to-day costs up to this amount. Additionally, there is further support for capitalisation requests from previous years amounting to £976 million.

Commenting on the announcement, CILIP interim CEO Jo Cornish said,

This ‘exceptional financial support’ announced by Government is in reality nothing of the sort. Instead, central Government is suggesting that cash-strapped Councils should do the equivalent of using their savings (long-term investment budgets) and selling property to cover day-to-day running costs.

This framework creates a material risk that Councils will sell off parts of their property portfolio, including libraries, to address the funding shortfall caused by the withdrawal of central Government grants. We know from our experience supporting library services across the UK, this is a one-way trip – once a library building is sold off, it permanently impairs the life chances and property values of local residents. It’s a one-way deal and very much like using the credit card to pay the mortgage.

We urgently call on central Government to work with Councils to provide long-term sustainable investment to protect local services and halt their decline, including statutory public library provision.

In response to increasing concerns over proposals to reduce or close library services, CILIP has launched the ‘Libraries at Risk Monitor’ – a regularly-updated map of proposed changes to libraries across the UK with an indication of where CILIP and their partner organisation, CILIP in Scotland are intervening to seek better outcomes for local taxpayers (


TeenLibrarian Newsletter February 2024

The February issue of the TeenLibrarian Newsletter was released yesterday, you can read it here: launches new charitable initiative ‘Read It Forward’ with BookTrust

London, Thursday 1 February 2024. is today launching the charitable initiative Read It Forward, in partnership with BookTrust, where 10% of every sale of a children’s book made in February will be donated to the charity, while also supporting independent bookshops as per the platform’s ongoing mission.

Launching on the first day of the month, just in time for half-term, and lasting until the end of February, Read It Forward encourages all parents, teachers, guardians and educators to consider purchasing books from, with a portion of the profit of each kids’ book donated to the UK’s largest children’s reading charity.

The aim of the initiative is to inspire a love of reading in the next generation, with the money raised by the drive going towards BookTrust’s work of getting children reading – especially those from low-income families or vulnerable backgrounds.

Each year BookTrust reaches millions of children with books, resources and support for families to get every child reading regularly and by choice. A research-led charity, their specially designed programmes and products help children from all backgrounds experience the many benefits of shared reading. In addition, every sale on supports independent bookshops across the UK, giving them an additional stream of income and keeping them thriving.

Lizzie Catford, Director of Children’s Books at BookTrust, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with on the Read it Forward initiative, a wonderful opportunity for readers to make a meaningful impact. This collaboration not only supports independent bookshops, vital pillars of our literary community, but also contributes directly to our mission of fostering a love of reading among children, particularly those facing challenges. At BookTrust, we believe in the transformative power of shared reading, and the funds raised through this initiative will support our vital work across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This wonderful partnership emphasisesthe collective strength of readers, booksellers, and charities in building a brighter reading future for all children.”

Nicole VanderbiltManaging Director of UK, said: “This February, you can feel even better about buying books online. We are incredibly excited to launch a charitable book drive with BookTrust, marking our first collaboration with them. This month, we are giving parents and educators one more reason to buy books from In addition to supporting independent booksellers across the UK, this month we will be donating 10% of each children’s book sale to BookTrust, contributing to their mission to develop a love of reading.”

Find out more about Read It Forward’ here.