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October 3, 2012

Banned Book weeks features historical novels

CHICKASHA — Banned Book Week (Sept. 30-Oct. 5) isn't just a time to appreciate works of literature that have received scrutiny.

"It is to remind us that our constitutional rights are always under assault," Catherine Cook, Chickasha Public Library Director, said. "As Americans, we have the right to say what we want in print and others have the right to read it."

The American Library Association keeps track of what books have been reported to them as being challenged.

For a book to be challenged means that someone has gone to an entity, a school board or a library for instance, and attempted to make a case for why the material should not be read by its intended audience.

The main reasons that books are challenged have to do with content about politics, relation, language, sex and violence, Cook said. It may be because people have different viewpoints on these topics and what is acceptable for them--or their children--to read.

Some of the books that have been challenged in 2011 include "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote, "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut.

"In Cold Blood" was challenged for being too violent for a high school library while "Slaughterhouse Five" was challenged for because it "teaches principles contrary to the Bible" according to Cook.

Cook said that Banned Books Week observed every year because once a year isn't too often to remind Americans that they have the freedom to read what they want.

Every year, there is a display at the Chickasha Public Library that displays a selection of books that have been challenged such as the Koran, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Kite Runner. Library patrons can pick up a free "I Read Banned Books" pin.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

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