Celebrate Your Freedom To Read

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Banned Books Week
is an annual celebration of the freedom to read. This year it's the week of Sept. 22-28, 2013.

Cover of Eleanor and ParkEvery year, librarians create displays of books that have been challenged or banned in the past. We talk about the importance of access to books. We're passionate about The Freedom To Read.

But sometimes, especially if you or your library has never had to deal with a challenge, we can forget that this is a current issue; that there are books out there being pulled from shelves in schools and there are authors who are being asked not to come speak to students.

This week, the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota canceled Rainbow Rowell's visit to its schools. She was to talk to students about her book Eleanor & Park. I wanted to write about why this particular incident upsets me so greatly, but then I read Linda Holmes' essay True Love, Book Fights and Why Ugly Stories Matter on the NPR blog Monkey See. I realized I couldn't write anything better than what she has already written. So I leave you with her essay and a reminder that Banned Books Week matters. 

"What's worrying about treating Eleanor & Park as a nasty book, or a dirty book, or an immoral book, is that it transforms talking about how to survive ugliness into something that's no different from ugliness itself. It makes the act of telling a story about rising above misery a miserable thing." 
-Linda Holmes



-- Patty Reeber: Children's Librarian