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Banned Books Focus of Buffet

Guests of Barrington library read passages from banned books, listened to music and ate some tasty food Sunday evening.

There was a time when 8-year-old friends Ben and Isaiah might have been prohibited from taking turns reading excerpts from any book in the series of books known as "Captain Underpants."

Now, after reading with his buddy Sunday night at the Barrington library, Ben said: "Oh yeah, it's one of my favorite books."

"Captain Underpants" by Dav Pilkey was one of the volumes on the "banned books" table at the library's Banned Books Buffet in the upstairs gallery. 

Marya Schirer, a book buyer for Barrington Books, seated at the table where some of the banned books were displayed, said: The preferred word would be "challenged" since not every store, region, or community had an issue with the selected books. And they might not have been banned, just challenged due to their content. 

Captain Underpants, for instance, "was banned in some schools for insensitivity and being unsuited to the age group, as well as encouraging children to disobey authority," according to Wikipedia.

Other "banned" books on the table included "Carrie" by Stephen King, "Flowers in the Attic" by VC Andrews, "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut and "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle.

Diners ate while they listened to readers reciting from the books. They got to choose from pizza, pasta, beef macaroni, soup, rolls, and dessert, such as cheesecake and cupcakes.

Live music also was provided by a three-member local group, Goodbye Chester, comprised of Ken Taylor, Tim Murphy and Kelly Cleveland.

Community services librarian Amy Greer said registration was not needed to attend the event. So it was difficult to tell how many people accepted the invitation to hear all about banned books.

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