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Sault library challenges patrons to read ‘banned’ books


The Sault Ste. Marie Public Library is challenging readers to step out of their comfort zone.

As part of ‘Freedom to Read Week,’ which runs Feb. 19-25, the library is asking patrons to consider taking out a book that has been either banned or challenged for various reasons.

Library officials said its ‘Banned Book Reading Challenge’ is a means to reflect on its commitment to what it calls intellectual freedom.

“It’s just a way to kind of expand their horizons and to look at some of these books and consider, were they worth banning, are they offensive and anything along that,” said Kevin Meraglia, an archive technician with the library and organizer of the challenge.

Meraglia has compiled a list of books that have been banned or challenged for a variety of reasons, including language, political or religious views and LGBTQ2S+ content.

Library CEO Matthew MacDonald said the library’s collection development policy is regularly reviewed by its board to make sure content is up to date.

“That kind of dictates what kind of materials that we bring into the library,” said MacDonald.

“The thing about the collections is we try to get various points of views on topics.”

MacDonald said the library also has a complaints process for people who might take issue with material offered at its branches -- but the result of a challenge is not a given.

“Just because an objection is brought up, doesn’t mean that we will be making any changes to the collection,” he said.

“But it’s something that we will definitely review.”

Hard copies of the list of banned books, which can be found below, will be available for pickup at the James L. McIntyre Centennial Library and the North Branch on Feb. 1.

Participants will have until Feb. 28 to read as many books on the list as they can. Readers will receive a ballot for each book, which will be entered into a prize draw.


“Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger

“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison

“The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

“Animal Farm” by George Orwell

“Native Son” by Richard Wright (Audio only)

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” by Ken Kesey

“Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess

“Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie

“A Separate Peace” by John Knowles

“Maus” by Art Spiegleman

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

“Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov (ebook/Spanish)

“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

“All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds

“The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian” by Alexie Sherman

“Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Perez

“Harry Potter Series” by J.K Rowling

“We All Fall Down” by Robert Cormier

“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

“Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini

“Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan

“Looking For Alaska” by John Green

“Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

“Habibi” by Craig Thompson

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

“A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard

“Drama” by Raina Telgemeier

“The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls

“Crank” by Ellen Hopkins (ebook only)

“My Sister's Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier

“The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman

“Forever” by Judy Blume

“Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture” by Michael A. Bellesiles

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson

“Summer of My German Soldier” by Bette Green

“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

“This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki Top Stories

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