This week is Banned Books Week, and to make the occasion I participated in an all-day reading from banned books at our public library. I read a selection from the classic How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. Despite the fact that most of the top Google results are for teaching aids for the book, it has been challenged several places recently because it contains a single instance of the word “bastard” and encourages children to do such things as bet and eat worms. Later in the day, I helped perform a scene from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, challenged because it supposedly promotes a homosexual lifestyle. Just last year, Shakespeare’s works were burned at Christ Community Church in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Don’t wait for next year’s Banned Book Week. Read a banned book today!