Over the past year, according to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, 46 books have been “banned” in the United States—taken off school and main library shelves, removed as “inappropriate” from class reading lists, attacked by bloggers and family value organizations or re-edited to replace words deemed offensive. All of these books are being showcased this week for a library and bookstore event called Banned Book Week.

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Several fat books stacked on Deborah Cunningham’s lap spilled over the edges of her wheelchair.  As an aide wheeled her away, the dark-haired, elderly woman, a retired English professor in her mid-eighties, grasped them tightly.  She is one of ten or eleven repeat customers at Mercy Retirement and Care Center that look forward to the…

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