The problems of learning between censorship

Mary B. Nicolini

Editor’s Note: This week is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was started in 1982 in response to a sudden increase in the number of bans on books in schools, bookstores and libraries. The theme of this year’s event (Sept. 18-24) is “Books Unite Us. Censorship divides us.

A few weeks ago, in preparation for the Cubs-Reds Field of Dreams game in Iowa, I rewatched the 1989 movie of the same name. I remembered most of the comments about Shoeless Joe Jackson and the novelist Terence Mann, but I had forgotten the bonfire at the PTA meeting, where a parent objected to a book about the presence of “objectionable content.” Kevin Costner’s wife argued for free speech, the Bill of Rights and anti-censorship, and, at the end of the meeting, the book was not removed from the program.

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