Banned Books Week 2016

September 25 – October 1

City Books will honor our First Amendment right to free speech, to freedom of the press, and to peaceably assemble during Banned Books Week – and needs your help on Sunday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 1.

I have selected two oft-challenged/banned books which can be read out loud in under 5 hours and am seeking up to 30 people to spend twenty minutes (3 people per hour) reading out loud in the store as part of an organized Banned Books Read-Out. Volunteers may schedule multiple readings and/or participate on multiple days. All readers will receive a free copy of the book they read out loud. Water will be provided. Refreshments will be served.

To kick off the week on Sunday, Sept. 25, we will feature Lois Lowry’s classic The Giver. A 1994 Newberry Award winning book for children and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, The Giver is No. 11 on the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books: 1990–1999 and has been challenged every year since its publication. A haunting dystopian novel about memory and survival, The Giver is recommended by Scholastic for grade 6 and above. It appeals to adults as well as young adults, and children as young as 12 are welcome to participate in the Read-Out.

To end the week on Saturday, Oct. 1, we will feature The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Alexie’s modern classic won the 2007 National Book Award and was No. 1 on the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2014.The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian is recommended by Scholastic for grade 7 and above. Based on the author’s own experiences as a Native American boy trying to break away from the life he was destined to live, this book, too, appeals to an audience well beyond its target audience. Children 12 and older are invited to participate at both events.

If you are interested in participating, please contact me by email at or by phone at 412-321-7323 to set up a convenient date and time. Feel free to forward this call for volunteers to friends and readers who may be interested in celebrating free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to peaceably.

In addition to the weekend Read-Outs, we will have other weekday Banned Books Week events during regular business hours. Follow @citybookspgh on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for forthcoming details.

I look forward to seeing you at the end of the month!