Books Unite Us!

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read September 26 - October 2 at the Athol Public Library

Books Unite Us – Censorship Divides Us: Celebrate our freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2.

During this week, libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the importance of the freedom to pursue knowledge free from censorship. “Having the freedom to read, especially books that extend beyond our own experiences, expands our world and the ability to celebrate our differences,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “Sharing stories that are important to us means sharing a part of ourselves which fosters understanding and inclusion. We should not take the freedom to read for granted and encourage communities everywhere to stand up against censorship and read a challenged or banned book.”

To celebrate, the Athol Public Library is sharing a display of frequently challenged books and the reasons that some people have objected to them. (To be clear, none of these challenges have happened in our community.) Library visitors are encouraged to take a look – You might be surprised to find your favorite book there! We also are offering a fun word search activity. Anyone who completes it will get a small prize – Ask at the adult circulation desk.

Banned award-winning bestselling author Jason Reynolds is the inaugural Banned Books Week 2021 Honorary Chair. Reynolds is the author of more than a dozen books for young people. Recently two of Reynolds' books, "All American Boys" (with Brendan Kiely) and "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" (with Ibram X. Kendi), were among the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020. Readers can join Reynolds for a live-streamed conversation on Sept. 28, from 12 – 1 p.m. CT on the Banned Books Week Facebook page. Reynolds will discuss censorship, young people's literature, and the ways that books bring people together. The Banned Books Week Coalition, which includes the ALA, will host the event.

Other celebration highlights include ALA’s annual Dear Banned Author program that invites readers to send tweets and letters to authors. ALA also will continue to host its Stand for the Banned Read-out, where participants submit videos of themselves reading from banned and challenged titles. Video submissions will appear on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel. For more information, please visit