Authors take stand against calls to ban their work.

Over the weekend, I found this article in the Chicago Tribune by Gerry
Smith about the hot-topic drama of banned books. Did you know that
you can now report challenged books directly through our website?
It’s true! Click here to check it out.

The penguins are so
controversial that some want their story banned from the shelves of
libraries and schools.

In fact, so many have tried that for the second year in a row, “And
Tango Makes Three,” the true story of two male penguins at New
York’s Central Park Zoo who
raised a baby penguin, has topped the American Library
Association’s list of “most frequently challenged books.”

On Saturday, dozens gathered at Pioneer Court in downtown Chicago
to hear authors read their controversial work and celebrate the
right for books to exist, even if some find them offensive. The
event, which was co-sponsored by the Chicago Tribune, marked the
27th observance of Banned Books Week.

Last year, there were 420 “challenges,” or
formal, written complaints filed with libraries or schools
requesting that materials be removed because of content or
inappropriateness, according to the American Library Association’s
office for intellectual freedom.

“What we’re basically saying is our rights are
fragile,” said Judith Krug, director of the intellectual freedom
office. “If we don’t use them we’re going to lose them.”

Justin Richardson, co-author of “And Tango Makes Three,” said the
book has stirred misplaced fears among some parents who believe
their children are more likely to become gay if they learn about
gay families at a young age.

“I think that’s the core fear,” said Richardson, who attended
Saturday’s event. “Those who attempt to block the book are in a way
saying this is not acceptable in our culture. It’s as if they are
trying to put the brakes on a cultural change that’s already