The Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), along with the Albany Public Library, will celebrate our constitutional freedom to read what we want with a “READ OUT!” on Wednesday, September 26, at the library’s main branch, 161 Washington Avenue at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
At annual “READ OUTS!” local actors, writers, artists, academics, politicians, students, and others read from their favorite books that have been banned or challenged. This year’s readers will include Assemblymember Pat Fahy and library director Scott Jarzombek. The theme for this year’s event is “BANNING BOOKS SILENCES STORIES!” and readers have been asked to choose selections that they feel are especially important in a time when truth, facts and the freedom to speak out are under attack.
Books that have been challenged recently include such classics as James Baldwin’s Go Tell it on the Mountain (cited as one of the best novels of the 20th century), Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and John Knowles’ A Separate Peace. Young adult novels dealing with issues of gender, sex, bullying, race and the struggles of growing up are frequent targets. Recently challenged works include S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, John Green’s Looking for Alaska and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.