The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is kicking off its 2021 Banned Books Week on Sept. 26. The 11th annual celebration of the fight against censorship is going to be centered around Marjane’s Satrapi’s coming of age memoir-in-comics, "Persepolis." 

"Persepolis" was named one of the best of the year by The New York Times when it was released, but has faced multiple challenges, specifically for language and its depiction of torture. 

The purpose of Banned Books Week is to honor the freedom of choice for individuals, as well as the freedom to write and read about important cultural topics even when those topics have the power to offend. Common reasons for challenging books include: LQBTQIA+ themes, anti-police rhetoric, religious viewpoints, profanity, topics concerning race and many more. Parents are most likely to be the initiators of challenges against books. 

Here are some of the ways you can participate:

Crazy Free Books 2021

In this fourth year for this program, readers can email CALS for a free copy of "Persepolis." Secure one of 50 free copies on a first come, first served basis until the books have all been claimed. Include a mailing address in the email.

Writing Contest

Flex your writing prowess with the annual Banned Books Writing Contest. This year's prompts, of course, center around "Persepolis." Entries (only one per Arkansan) are accepted through Sept. 22. The writing contest has one $400 grand prize and one $100 honorable mention prize. Click here for more contest details. 

"Persepolis" Watch Party

At the end of Banned Books Week, the winners of this year’s writing contest will be celebrated with a free screening of the 2007 film made from "Persepolis," which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature. The screening will be Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 6:30 p.m.

For more info about Banned Books Week, head to the CALS website.