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20 Years Of Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling published ‘Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone’ on June 26th, 1997, and it instantly became a cultural touchstone. The Onion looks back at the most important moments in the 20-year history of the Harry Potter franchise.

Most Commonly Banned Books

Whether they are deemed to contain problematic themes or even incite violence with their content, many iconic books have been historically banned around the world. The Onion highlights some of the most commonly restricted titles:

Most Popular Young Adult Fiction Books

The “YA novel” has become an increasingly respected literary genre, entertaining teens and adults alike. The Onion walks you through some of the bestselling and most beloved young adult titles:

Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

The Life And Works Of Dr. Seuss

A 50-year-old manuscript by the late Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, is being released this week, captivating nostalgic readers who grew up on seven decades of children’s books from the prolific author. Here are some highlights from Dr. Seuss’ life and work

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Reclusive Deity Hasn’t Written A New Book In 2,000 Years

NEW YORK—Leading writers, scholars, and publishers gathered this week at Fordham University for a literary conference and panel discussion on God, the widely praised but reclusive deity who has not published a book since His landmark debut 2,000 yea...

Inside Harry Potter World’s New Diagon Alley

Harry Potter fans lined up at Universal Studios Orlando today for the opening of Diagon Alley, the highly anticipated expansion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, which features new rides, restaurants, and shops based on the fictional street.
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Lonely Elementary Schooler Already Crushing Library’s Summer Reading Program

Parata has already plowed through two Beverly Cleary books, a fantasy trilogy, and ‘The Indian In The Cupboard’ and shows no sign of slowing down.
Parata has already plowed through two Beverly Cleary books, a fantasy trilogy, and ‘The Indian In The Cupboard’ and shows no sign of slowing down.

MORGAN HILL, CA—Having blown through nearly half the titles on the 20-book list in less than two weeks, chronically lonely fourth-grader Logan Parata is currently crushing the Santa Clara County Library’s summer reading program, sources confirmed Wednesday.

The bespectacled 9-year-old, who staff members say is a regular fixture at the library despite its greatly reduced seasonal traffic, is reportedly dropped off at the entrance of the building each morning at 9:50—10 minutes before the facility opens—and spends almost the entire remainder of the day alone at his favorite table quietly tearing his way through each of the recommended books for his age level.

According to the librarians, their only regular interactions with the soft-spoken youngster occur when he comes up to the circulation desk to check out more books.

“I swear, that kid’s in here seven, maybe eight hours every day, just knocking out books left and right,” said librarian Marna Atkins, who added that despite the warm summer weather and the fact that there is a community pool just two blocks away, the reclusive elementary schooler can almost always be found in the library with a Roald Dahl or Rats Of NIMH book in his hands, and several more stacked in a pile next to him. “And he always checks out the maximum number of books when he heads home at night, so you’ve gotta think he’s doing the exact same thing back at his house, too. There’s really no other way he could have taken down the entire Judy Blume Fudge series like that in under a week.”

“At this rate, he’s going to be done with the whole program by the 4th of July,” she added. “I think then we’ll just give him the fifth-grade reading list and watch him go to town on that, too.”

While Parata spends a significant portion of each day in the local library—including all three hours the library is open on Saturdays—sources said he can be easy to overlook, as he tends to sit in a far corner of the reading room away from the windows, making only the faintest rustling and crinkling noises as he flips through pages and handles the books’ plastic jackets. Moreover, library staff confirmed that Parata only ever gets up from his chair to scour the shelves for more books or to briefly go sit on the facility’s front steps—the lone time he reportedly ventures outdoors during the day—to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich his mother packs for him, typically bringing along his book so he can continue reading it while he has lunch.

According to the librarians, their only regular interactions with the soft-spoken youngster occur when Parata comes up to the circulation desk to check out more books or to ask them to place another trophy sticker on his progress sheet next to the latest title he’s demolished.

“The computers here are pretty much always available and they have full access to the internet, but he doesn’t even give them a second look—he walks right past them every morning, sits down in the same spot, pulls out a book, and starts right in again wherever he left his bookmark,” said Atkins, who acknowledged that she could not recall ever seeing Parata step into the comic book and graphic novel section of the library either. “Come to think of it, the only electronic device I ever see him use is the digital card catalog, and that’s just to place holds on books he wants to read in the future so no one else can get them first.”

“I kind of want to tell him that it’s totally unnecessary and that he can just relax,” she continued. “Really, The Phantom Tollbooth isn’t going anywhere.”

Dressed in his usual khaki pants and button-down shirt, the 4-foot, 3-inch Parata—the building’s sole occupant under the age of 40—quietly explained to the librarian on duty that he was very much enjoying the summer reading initiative as he placed several Encyclopedia Brown books he had yet to utterly obliterate into his backpack.

“It’s fun to [completely mow down] all the books on the list,” said Parata of the reading program, which only one other child in the community had even begun to partake in, a 10-year-old girl who had reportedly yet to complete her first book. “I like being in here where it’s nice and quiet and I can just get the books right off the shelf and [lay waste to them like a goddamn maniac] all day long.”

“See you tomorrow,” he added.

More from this section

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

The Life And Works Of Dr. Seuss

A 50-year-old manuscript by the late Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, is being released this week, captivating nostalgic readers who grew up on seven decades of children’s books from the prolific author. Here are some highlights from Dr. Seuss’ life and work

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