September 17, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WI – The ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation and Woodland Pattern Book Center will sponsor a free night of reading banned or challenged books on Thursday, October 4, 2012 where members of the community have been invited to read a favorite selection.

This year highlights books by recently deceased authors Maurice Sendak and Ray Bradbury.  Both “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak and “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury have a long history of being on the most frequently challenged book list issued by the American Library Association.

The event will also highlight the January 2012 court decision in Tucson, Arizona where a judge upheld the Tucson Unified School District’s decision to ban the Mexican American Studies program. School officials visited middle schools and high schools and physically removed several books from the students, their classrooms, and the libraries. There are over 50 books that are no longer allowed in Tucson schools, including one produced in Milwaukee, “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson. Rethinking Schools will be participating in the event, sharing their censorship experience, and what it means to be on the list.

The hosted reception begins at 6:00 p.m. at Woodland Pattern Book Center located at 720 E. Locust, Milwaukee, WI 53212. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. The event is also sponsored by Wisconsin Center for the Book, Art Night Books, and Lost World of Wonders. Organizers encourage people to come in costume as their favorite literary character or favorite challenged author, with prizes for the two best costumes in each category.

After the program, participants are invited to the Riverwest Public House, located at 815 E Locust St, to enjoy a drink celebrating banned books.

Come out celebrate the First Amendment with us! If you would like to be a co-sponsor, please contact Angie Trudell Vasquez at  or at 414-272-4032 ext 211.

The ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation is a non-profit civil liberties and civil rights organization working to protect the rights of Wisconsinites. For more on the work of the American Civil Liberties Union and Foundation of Wisconsin, visit our webpage, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.