Banned Books Week is September 21-27, 2014
To draw attention to the harms of censorship and celebrate the importance of free speech, the California State Library is hosting an online video “Read-Out” during Banned Book Week, September 21-27.
Many books that have been removed from library shelves and classrooms over the years are now considered classics of modern literature and taught in schools throughout the country. One such novel is John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath,from which CDFA Secretary Karen Ross was invited to read. The book and its strong language for its time–1939–was banned due to its bare-knuckled portrayal of Dust Bowl refugees and the hardships they faced coming west. It was banned in at least one California county, and Joseph Stalin banned it in the Soviet Union.
California State Librarian Greg Lucas started the week by reading a passage from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Secretary Ross has joined other Brown Administration cabinet members in reading from banned books throughout the week.
For further information, see the State Library’s press release.