Banned Books Week Kicks Off Early

to kill a mockingbird The American Library Association’s Banned Books Week kicks off this weekend with events taking place nationwide, but a group of Rhode Island authors is getting an early start on Friday at the Providence Athenaeum.  Adam Braver (November 22, 1963), Thomas Cobb (Crazy Heart), Rosemary Mahoney (Down The Nile), Stephen O’Shea (Sea of Faith), Mike Stanton (The Prince of Providence) and Ted Widmer (Ark of the Liberties) will gather together to read excerpts from well-known banned books, like Catcher In The Rye and To Kill A Mockingbird.

Then on Saturday afternoon, a group of children’s book authors will be at the Knight Memorial Library reading from such scandalous tomes as Charlotte’s Web and Winnie-the-Pooh.  Scheduled readers include Natalie Babbitt (Tuck Everlasting), Mary Jane Begin (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), Anika Denise (Pigs Love Potatoes), Janet Taylor Lisle (Black Duck), and Naomi Zucker (Callie’s Rules).

No word yet on whether any of these writers will be reading from the popular textspeak YA novel ttyl or the frequently challenged gay penguin saga And Tango Makes Three.  (Click here for a list of the most challenged books of 2009, and here for an interactive map of where challenges happen and why.)

Both of these events are sponsored by the Rhode Island Chapter of the ACLU.

On Sunday there’s a third Banned Books Week event, this one organized by Not About The Buildings [disclosure: that’s me.]  It’s a marathon reading of James M. Cain’s controversial yet very brief 1934 thriller The Postman Always Rings Twice, which was the subject of a censorship case in Boston upon its release.  Anyone can read a few pages, or you can just follow along and listen to the violent and sexy story that’s been adapted into four different major motion pictures.  That’s happening at Abe’s on Wickenden at 7pm.

So to recap:

The Providence Athenaeum
251 Benefit Street

Knight Memorial Library
275 Elmwood Avenue

302 Wickenden Street

All events are free.

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