Fifty years after the publication of the Alabama classic "To Kill a Mockingbird," critics of Harper Lee's work are still challenging it in hopes it will be banned from curricula, libraries and even bookstores.
This book and countless others are being celebrated with the kickoff of Banned Books Week Sept. 25.
The week is nationally recognized and attempts to bring attention to the danger of censorship and celebrate the freedom to read.
Margaret Hendricks, general books manager at the Auburn University Bookstore, said the bookstore plans on getting creative with its celebration of Banned Books Week.
"We will be doing a display of banned books on the floor, and then, also to make it a little more real to people, we have a bunch of people in the store that will actually dress up as characters from banned books and let customers guess what characters they are and what book they're from," Hendricks said. "We'd also like to celebrate it on Friday with a banned book cake, but we're trying to see who we can get to do that for us."
Hendricks said the potential dress-up subjects should be easily recognizable.
Among the top 10 most challenged books in 2009 were "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Catcher in the Rye" and "The Color Purple."
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It also included recent sensations like the "Twilight" series.
"The biggest thing about Banned Books Week is it's something to put out the dangers of censorship, and that is really why it's important to most bookstores or libraries because when you ban books, you're actually banning ideas, and I think there are a lot of students that find that offensive as well," Hendricks said.
Bonnie MacEwan, dean of Auburn University libraries, said in previous years, the library displayed an exhibit celebrating Banned Books Week, but ran out of time this year.
"In the past, we've shown the public the kind of books that get banned and how various they are--everything from children's books to the Bible," MacEwan said.
MacEwan said the AU library has never had any books banned.
"We're an academic library, so it's often something that is more focused on public libraries," she said.
The Auburn Public Library said it does not currently have anything planned for the week.
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