07 September 2007

Be a Rebel...Read!

I love books. I love to read. I think that reading to your children is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. I think we grow as individuals by reading a variety of books. Even the challenged or banned ones. Heck, especially the challenged or banned ones!

September 29-October 6 is officially BANNED BOOKS WEEK. I encouraged everyone to read a banned book! In this country we have intellectual, artistic freedom. We have the freedom of speech. No book should be banned simply because someone doesn't like it. (If that were the case Shakespeare or The Bible would have been banned long ago!) What sort of books get banned? Pornography? Devil worshipping? No, those don't even typically fall into radar. Instead they are often books that are considered popular or classics even. Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

Who are the top 10 most challenged authors? Probably a few of your favourites:
1. Alvin Schwartz 2. Judy Blume 3. Robert Cormier 4. J.K. Rowling 5. Michael Willhoite 6. Katherine Paterson 7. Stephen King 8. Maya Angelou 9. R.L. Stine 10. John Steinbeck
I'm challenging you, my friends, to pick up a banned or challenged book. And then pass it along, send it out to someone else via Bookcrossings.
And for anyone in the greater Chicago area: You are invited to come and celebrate your freedom to read during the 26th annual celebration of Banned Books Week. Join the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, and the Newberry Library in Chicago, IL at the Pioneer Plaza (on Michigan Ave between the Tribune Tower and the Chicago River) on Saturday, September 29, 2007, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., for the Banned Books Week Read-Out! Local Chicago Celebrities join several acclaimed authors to read passages from their favorite banned and challenged books. Admission is FREE.

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