So Banned Books Week seems especially relevant in Iowa this year.
Here are a couple of ways you can celebrate this week, both free and open to all:
Banned Books Festival, Des Moines
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7
Where: Franklin Junior High Event Center, 4801 Franklin Ave., Des Moines
The line-up includes panel discussions of which books are banned and the reasons behind it (cough, cough), along with banned poetry readings, a children’s storytime, author readings including Iowa author Kailee Coleman, a discussion of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, and more.
“We leave it entirely up to you, our customers, to decide if [challenged or banned] books are right for you and your children—which is how we think it should work everywhere, all the time,” Beaverdale Books says on its site.
Intellectual Freedom Festival, Iowa City
When: Oct. 4-10, various times
Where: Iowa City Public Library, 123 South Linn St., Iowa City
Officially the Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival, named after a longtime Iowa City librarian who expanded library services and was active in her community, this weeklong celebration of Banned Books Week started in 1995 and is sponsored by the library and the city’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.
They’ll kick off Wednesday with an explanation of Iowa’s new law from One Iowa director Keenan Crow (in person and livestream), then feature an escape room designed for third- through sixth-graders, a panel discussion of the history of book bans in the Midwest (in person and livestream), a children’s storytime featuring most-banned picture books, and a special Let’s Talk Books event on Zoom all about banned and challenged books.
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