Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. First recognized in 1982, the annual event reminds us not to take our precious democratic freedom for granted. This year’s celebration also reminds me that there’s a great new book out — they have it down at the old neighborhood bookstore — about efforts to ban, of all books, The Grapes of Wrath. Until I spotted “Obscene in the Extreme” by Rick Wartzman I didn’t know that not long after this American classic was published the book was burned publicly and banned from library shelves. “Obscene” tells the remarkable — and chilling — story behind this fit of censorship. Whether or not you pick up this book, I hope you will consider picking up a banned book this week. The American Library Association offers great resources about the most frequently challenged books.

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