On the heels of yesterday’s Fourth of July festivities it seemed fitting to celebrate our first amendment right to free speech by reading a banned book.  The book I picked up at my local library was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  It’s a book I’ve read before but still find something new to enjoy each time I read it.  Published in 1960, the book is full of humor, wisdom, great characters and challenging issues.

Banned Book Week, sponsored by the American Library Association, is scheduled this year for September 25 to October 2, 2010.  This week long event celebrates our intellectual freedoms and our open access to every book.  As a writer and reader, I maintain that we need to protect our rights to all information, no matter how challenging the subject matter.

Last year I organized a Banned Book Reading at my local library.  We had a good turnout, a little media coverage and a great time.  However, this year I want to take it a step further and not just reach out to my local library patrons, but to everyone.  Choose a banned or challenged book and read it this summer!

I’ve chosen a dozen books at random and plan to spend my summer reading as much as I can.

For a list of Banned Books visit the American Library Association’s site: www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie in 1962.