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For Your Kids, It’s Entertainmentand a Civics Lesson

It’s been Banned Books Week all week, and as always I’m amazed at the books people try to throw out from their local libraries: I know what problems certain groups have with books like Heather Has Two Mommies and The Chocolate War, but My Brother Sam Is Dead? Huh? Anyway, if you take a look at the 100 most challenged books, as complied by the American Library Association, Judy Blume’s name comes up a lot. Tonight (6 p.m.), at Manhattan’s Donnell Library Center Auditorium (20 E. 53rd St.), she’ll be reading from one of her banned books, along with Deborah Hautzig, Robert Lipsyte, Walter Dean Myers, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Peter Sis, and Rita Williams-Garcia. Each of them has run afoul of various bluenoses over the years, for one reason or another–Sis, for example, seems to have drawn fire simply for writing a children’s biography of Charles Darwin. Meanwhile, librarians like Ann Dutton Ewbank continue to fight the good fight.

If you can’t make it in person, try to catch the webcast. Either way, it’s free.

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