Readers’ Advisory: Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 – Oct 3, 2014

Banned Books Week

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. It began in 1982, when there was a sudden uptick in the number of books being challenged in schools and libraries. An astounding number of challenges happen each year (307 reported in 2013, according to the Office of Intellectual Freedom!), and Banned Books Week is a way to celebrate the value of open access to information (1). It is important to point out that of those 307 challenges, few of them were actually banned. The diligence of teachers, librarians, and informed citizens ensured the freedom to read in most situations.

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New Read Alikes for Old Classics

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By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

Remember in high school and college when you were assigned classic fiction reading? Those titles are classics for a reason. They have stood the test of time and are still assigned reading in many classrooms. Some of my personal favorites were The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn, Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, and Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I remember thinking that there were such profound ideas in those novels, and soaking up every metaphor and every turn of phrase.  As an adult, I am interested in these same profound ideas and great writing, and I think that there are a lot of books published in the last ten years or so that make great read alikes to those classic novels. Let’s start with my favorites.

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