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Leaders of the banned

BRECKENRIDGE – What would you deem more dangerous for a child: Harry Potter’s schoolboy magic or Madonna’s intimate magic in her book “Sex?”

According to the American Library Association (ALA), Harry Potter, ranked seventh on the list of most frequently challenged books in the last decade, is much more likely to cast an evil spell on readers than Madonna’s “Sex,” which ranked 19th.

For decades, opposers have been burning, banning and blaming such classics as John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.” Even the American Heritage Dictionary and Bible haven’t escaped the witch hunt.



In celebration of the freedom to read and to draw attention to current censorship issues, the ALA encourages libraries and bookstores to host Read-Outs during Banned Books Week, Sept. 21-27.

In true Summit County style, community leaders and members will read passages from their favorite, or not-so-favorite, banned books – it’s just going to be a few days later. The Backstage Theatre and Hamlet’s Bookshoppe in Breckenridge are joining forces to present an evening of readings from challenged or banned books at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, at the Speakeasy Movie Theatre in Breckenridge.



“It provides more exposure for books that were at one time banned and now have become an intricate part of our community,” said Cary Hardin, owner of Hamlet’s Bookshoppe. “It’s just to encourage people to read classics that used to be considered taboo and understand how racism and mysogenism were prevalent in our society. This gives people a chance to ready dirty books without getting ridiculed or judged.”

“The ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values,” said ALA President Maurice J. Freedman. “In the post 9-11 environment, Americans of all ages and backgrounds are rediscovering the meaning of words like democracy, freedom, citizenship and community. Now more than ever, we must let freedom read.”

An open discussion will follow the free reading from such “filthy” works as “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Flowers for Algernon” and, of course, the presenting bookstore’s namesake, “Hamlet.”

Hamlet’s Bookshoppe also will celebrate its grand opening from 1-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, with a book-signing by Sandra Dallas, author of “The Persian Pickle,” at 1 p.m., a performance by Larry Keen from 4-6 p.m. and light refreshments from the Blue River Bistro. The general bookstore opened July 4 and offers book club and teacher discounts. For more information, call (970) 453-8033.

Kimberly Nicoletti may be reached by calling (970) 668-3998, ext. 245 or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

Banned Books Read-Out

In celebration of the freedom to read and to draw attention to current censorship issues, the ALA encourages libraries and bookstores to host Read-Outs during Banned Books Week, Sept. 21-27.

? When: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1

? Where: The Speakeasy Movie Theatre, Breckenridge


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