Celebrating the freedom to read

Published 9:44 pm Sunday, September 21, 2008

Parnell Memorial Library will observe Banned Books Week Sept. 29-Oct. 3 by “Celebrating the Freedom to Read.”

Since 1982, America’s libraries and bookstores have called attention to censorship issues by creating displays and hosting various events. Parnell Library will host a poster contest during its observance, said Library Director Katie Davis Williams.

The contest is open to all ages and prizes will be awarded in four divisions — adult, high school, fourth- through eighth-grade and kindergarten through third-grade. The winners’ posters will be displayed in the library through the end of Banned Books Week, Williams said.

Contest entries must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 26. The contestant’s name, age, grade, address and phone number should be noted on the back of the poster. Williams said the posters should illustrate the ideals of the First Amendment. Contestants may stop by the library to view sample posters for inspiration.

In addition, the library will unveil its “Censorship in Schools and Libraries” exhibit, displaying 32 illustrations of book censorship. The illustrations will include scenes from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling — books that are routinely scrutinized by censors.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, the library will show the movie “How to Eat Fried Worms,” based on the 1973 children’s book by Thomas Rockwell. “How to Eat Fried Worms” appears on the American Library Association’s list of most frequently challenged books in the U.S. because of its plot — a dare among four school-aged boys to eat worms.

Other books that appear on the ALA most challenged list include “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck,” and “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker.

For more information, call 665-9207.