Monday, September 20, 2010

Read banned books. Celebrate the right to think for yourself!

September 25 through October 2 is Banned Books Week, the annual event established by the American Library Association (ALA) to celebrate the freedom to read and the freedom of the press covered by the First Amendment.  The MCAD Library staff invites you to join in the celebration of Banned Books Week by reading what you want to and enjoying free and open access to information, but also to remember that censorship and attempted book banning still occurs.

We're all familiar with many of the books that have been singled out.  Deemed 'unsuitable for many audiences,' were (and often still are) To Kill a Mockingbird, The Grapes of Wrath, The Color Purple, and more recently the Harry Potter and Twilight series to name only a few.  Did you know that one of the recommended books for the MCAD all-school project, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie is on the ALA's top ten most challenged books for both 2008 and 2009? 

The MCAD Library's popular collection of of comics and graphic novels is a genre of literature that has historically been a target for censorship so it's not surprising the cartoonist or graphic novelist would address this topic in their work.  We'd like to bring to your attention to the online graphic novel, Americus, written by M.K. Reed and illustrated by Jonathan Hill.  It's the story of a "book-loving boy from the small Oklahoma town of Americus who grapples with the travails of high school and takes a stand when it looks as though his favorite fantasy series, starring a young sorceress (Apathea Ravenchilde, the huntress wytch) who hunts monsters and tyrants, might be banned from the local library."  Americus will be published in book form in its entirety in 2011 but can be read in weekly installments at:

To read more about M.K. Reed and Jonathan Hill's collaborative project go to:

First Second Graphic Novel with Banned Book Theme Appears First on Web, Later in Stores

Read what you like and as the American Library Association says: "think for yourself and let others do the same."

See you in the Libary!

Kay Streng
Technical Services Librarian
MCAD Library

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