Celebrate your freedom to read by contributing a video to the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out!

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by Nanette Perez, Program Officer for ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

For the second year in a row, the American Library Association along with the co-sponsors of Banned Books Week, is hosting the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out! The Read-Out features readers from across the country and around the world proclaiming the virtues of the freedom to read by uploading videos of themselves reading a passage from their favorite banned or challenged book. The videos will then appear on the Banned Books Week You-Tube channel.  We hope you will join us this year by creating a video of your own. Check out ALA’s Virtual Read-Out page for more information.

The Banned Books Virtual Read-Out also includes videos from highly acclaimed and/or frequently challenged authors. We would like to offer I Love Libraries readers a sneak peek at the videos featured this year.

Stephen Chbosky, author of critically acclaimed and often challenged book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, reads a passage from his novel as well as discusses the importance of Banned Books Week. The movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower is out in theaters now and starts Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller:


Dori Hillstad Butler, author of the fourth most frequently challenged book, My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, discusses her views on being a target of censors as part of the Association of American Publishers “What Book Are You Reading?” campaign:


Carmen Tafolla, poet laureate of San Antonio and author of the banned book, Curandera, reads a poem from that banned novel. For more information about the author visit www.carmentafolla.com:


Sara Paretsky, highly acclaimed Chicago author made famous for her V.I. Warshawski detective novels, honors the life of the banned/challenged author Anne Frank by reading a passage from Chilean poet, Marjorie Agosín. For more information on Sara Paretsky, please visit her website at www.saraparetsky.com:


In honor of Banned Books Week, the Association of American Publishers asked highly acclaimed authors what banned book they are reading. Authors include (in order of appearance): Deborah Harness, Lisa Genova, William Joyce, Jen Lancaster, James Meek, Adriana Trigiani, Molly Ringwald, Kitty Kelley, Catherynne Valente, James Patterson, John Green, Jenny Ham, and Junot Diaz:


And last, but certainly not least, is the video essay from Bill Moyers, entitled, “The Bane of Banned Books.” Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers are co-chairs of this year’s Banned Books Week:


Over 800 people participated last year, and we hope to get more this year. So join us in celebration of your freedom to read by participating in the Banned Book Virtual Read-Out! Happy Banned Books Week.

Visit I Love Librarie's Banned Books Week page for more information and an archive of stories published through the week (Sept. 30 -October 6).