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Banned Books Week Celebrates Freedom to Read

A Pittsburgher, Judith Krug, founded Banned Books Week, which has been celebrated nationally during the last week of September since 1982. Co-sponsors in Pittsburgh are the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU and the Carnegie Library.

ACLU Deputy Director Barb Feige said people may be surprised at what books have been banned: Harry Potter, the Koran, the Bible, The Catcher in the Rye, Huckleberry Finn, and others now considered classics.

According to Feige, the most challenged book since its publication in 2005 is And Tango Makes Three, a children's book that tells the true story of two male penguins who together raise a baby chick at the Central Park Zoo.

While full government censorship no longer occurs in the U.S., Feige said challenges still succeed in excluding books from local school and public libraries, and many internet filters make content inaccessible.

An over-21 event, "Banned After Dark" will take place on October 26 at Brillobox in the Bloomfield/Lawrenceville neighborhood.