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Banned Books Week 2017

September 24 - 30


Calendar of Events

Banned Books Magnet Craft

Thursday, September 7 • 12:00 p.m. • Nixon Library

Make a magnet with the cover of a banned book in anticipation of the week. Registration required at 457-5038.

Audience: Adults

Community Giving Day

Wednesday, September 20 • 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. • Whole Foods, 501 Bowman Rd.

Buy your weekly groceries (or stock up for the Edible Books contest) at Whole Foods in Little Rock. A portion of the day's sales go to CALS's Arkansas Literary Festival.

Audience: All ages

Azkabanned Bash

Saturday, September 23 • 10:00 a.m. • Children's Library

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PG) will be shown, and themed crafts and snacks will be available during the movie.

Audience: Families

Alice In Wonderland (G)

Monday, September 25 • 6:00 p.m. • McMath Library

The Lewis Carroll classic was banned in China at one point because "animals should not use human language."

Audience: Families
Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow

Fighting A Surveillance Society

Monday, September 25 • 6:00 p.m. • >Main Library

Cory Doctorow's Little Brother was challenged in Florida in 2014. Hear about some of the eerie predictions in the 2007 novel that have come true from one of the directors of the Weekend Theater's production, running through Sept. 30.

Audience: Teens and adults

Banned Books Week Trivia

Tuesday, September 26 • 4:30 p.m. • Dee Brown Library

Test your knowledge about censorship and frequently-challenged books.

Audience: Teens and adults

Know Your First Amendment

Tuesday, September 26 • 6:00 p.m. • Fletcher Library

Attorney John Burnett and former CALS Associate Director Bettye Kerns explore some select banned books cases.

Audience: Teens and adults

To Kill A Mockingbird (NR)

Wednesday, September 27 • 1:00 p.m. • Milam Library

Make a magnet with the cover of a banned book in anticipation of the week.

Audience: Families

Crafty Harry Potter

Wednesday, September 27 • 5:30 p.m. • Terry Library

Make a wand, a Marauders' Map, and an origami Sorting Hat.

Ages: 12-19
James and the Giant Peach

James And The Giant Peach (PG)

Thursday, September 28 • 3:30 p.m. • Fletcher Library

See the Disney adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic that has been challenged and even banned at one Texas school for the use of one word.

Audience: Families

Goosebumps & Fright Craft

Thursday, September 28 • 3:30 p.m. • Sanders Library

Start with a frightening craft and then enjoy a screening of Goosebumps (PG), based on the R.L. Stine book series that faced challenges in the 90s.

Audience: Families

Banned Book Cover Bingo

Thursday, September 28 • 4:00 p.m. • Rooker Library

Play some bingo and discover a bit more about Banned Books Week, too.

Audience: Ages 12-19

Romance Vs. Erotica Writing Workshop

Thursday, September 28 • 5:30 p.m. • Main Library

Find out how the genres differ, what surprising traits they have in common, and how to construct scenes that thrill. Instructors Jobe and Kassandra Klay tell us what's hot and what's not.

Audience: Adults

Cooking By The Book With Rosalia

Thursday, September 28 • 6:30 p.m. • Thompson Library

Rosalia Monroe (Café Bossa Nova & Rosalia's Family Bakery) teaches you how to make champandongo, a dish from the Latin American classic Like Water for Chocolate.

Registration required at or 821-3060

Audience: Teens and Adults
Little Brother poster

Little Brother Performance & Talkback (PG)

Friday, September 29 • 7:30 p.m. • Weekend Theater, 1001 W 7th St

Attend the regional premiere based on Cory Doctorow's book followed by a special talkback with the cast, co-directors, and a special guest, technology willing. CALS will give away six tickets in September.

Tickets available at

Audience: Teens and Adults

Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone (PG)

Saturday, September 30 • 10:30 a.m. • Main Library

Participate in crafts and then watch the first film in the famed series. Rowling's books have been repeatedly challenged, restricted, and even burned.

Audience: Families

Wizards & Wizard Wannabes

Saturday, September 30 • 3:00 p.m. • Main Library

This crafting hour is dedicated to J.K. Rowling's popular characters.

Audience: Ages 12 & under

Tasty Reads On View & Chocolate Tasting

Saturday, September 30 • 6:30 p.m. • CALS Ron Robinson Theater

View the Edible Book entries and taste chocolate by Northwest Arkansas's small batch chocolate maker KYYA. Chocolate will also be for sale, with a portion of sales benefiting the Lit Fest. Bon appetit!

Let us know you are attending here »

Auience: All ages

Like Water For Chocolate (R)

Saturday, September 30 • 6:30 p.m. • CALS Ron Robinson Theater

Finish Banned Books Week with the magical realism, sensuality, and humor of the Ariel Award-winning film adaptation of Laura Esquivel's challenged bestselling novel.

Reserve your free tickets now »

Audience: Adults


2017 Banned Books Week Writing Contest

About the Contest

Aspiring writers, take note! The Arkansas Literary Festival's 2017 Banned Books Week writing contest is focused on Laura Esquivel's 1989 bestseller Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies. Esquivel's book has sold more than four and a half million copies. The author lives in Mexico City.

The writing contest has one $300 grand prize, + a gift worth $80 from Whole Foods; one $100 honorable mention prize; and one $100 prize for under 18. Writers should submit a magical story or newly imagined folk tale, loosely based on or incorporating a specific food, drink, or home remedy. Also, include the actual recipe. Winning entries will be selected based on creativity, flow, style, and originality.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 30, along with the winners of Tasty Reads, CALS' first Edible Books event. There will be a reception and viewing of the food entries from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Winners for both contests will be announced at 6:30 p.m. Following the announcement, there will be a free screening of the film adaptation of Like Water for Chocolate, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The movie is rated R.

Contest Rules

  1. Teen and adult Pulaski and Perry County residents are eligible.
  2. Entries should be in the form of a short story and no fewer than 50 and no more than 500 words in length.
  3. The story should have some magical quality to it or be a newly created folk tale.
  4. Include one recipe for the food, drink, or home remedy included in the story. The separate recipe does not factor into the word count.
  5. One entry per person.
  6. On the first page of each submission include the author's name and age, address, email, and telephone number. Please send entries to CALS Banned Books Writing Contest, 100 Rock Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. If under 18, include age and a parent's signature.
  7. If emailing entries, please send those to
  8. Entries will be accepted beginning September 1. Entries must be received by September 20.
  9. All entries must be typed.
  10. The winner and honorable mentions from the 2016 Banned Books writing contest are ineligible to win in 2017.

Enter the Contest

Fill out my online form.

Tasty Reads Edible Book Contest

About the Contest

Tasty Reads, CALS' first Edible Book event, is calling for book-related entries. Entries must be constructed of EDIBLE substances.

There will be six prizes awarded at the viewing party:

Prize Award
Grand Prize $300+$80 gift from Whole Foods
Honorable Mention under 18 $125
Honorable Mention Adult $125
Honorable Mention Professional $200
Staff $125
Wittiest $125

Registration is FREE if registration is completed Sept. 1 to 29. Late entries may be accepted contingent on space. It is FREE to view/attend the Viewing & Chocolate Tasting on Sept. 30 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Deliver entries Saturday, Sept. 30 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Avenue. Be sure to allow time to set up your entry.

Each Edible book will be judged on a) creativity b) skill c) visual appeal and D) tie to the designated book.

Entries will be on display without refrigeration, so entries should be made from ingredients that do not perish within the 4 hour display window.

Each category must have at least 5 entries for the Honorable Mention prize to be awarded. The Grand prize will be awarded without regard to number of entries. All entries are eligible for the Grand Prize. Contestants DO NOT HAVE TO BE PRESENT TO WIN.

Each creation should include a copy of the book used for creation, if possible.

All those who enter give CALS permission to photograph your entry for publicity purposes.

Entries will be disposed of at the end of competition unless entrant is present and chooses to retrieve an entry. Creators are welcome to share their edible treats at the end of the competition, but CALS is not responsible for the food safety of these items.

CALS is not responsible for personal items left on campus.

Enter the Contest

Fill out my online form.

Read a Banned Book

What better way to celebrate your freedom to read than by checking out a banned or challenged book? All the titles below are available for free from the Central Arkansas Libray System catalog.



About Banned Books Week

September 24 - 30, 2017

Opportunities to learn, craft, taste, create, discuss, play, write, watch, compete, and think abound in CALS expanded Banned Books Week 2017 programming. With more than double the free programs from 2016, the week (September 24-30) ratchets up CALS freedom to read celebration by offering an Edible Books contest, a writing contest, a cooking workshop with Rosalia Monroe (Café Bossa Nova), a romance/erotica writing workshop, a trivia contest, Banned Book cover Bingo, a First Amendment discussion led by attorney John Burnett and former CALS librarian Bettye Kerns, two Little Brother play discussions, multiple films, crafting opportunities, displays in five branches, even a KYYA chocolate tasting.

Screenings include Like Water for Chocolate, James and the Giant Peach, To Kill a Mockingbird, Alice in Wonderland, Goosebumps, and two Harry Potter films, all based on banned or challenged books. The writing contest has more than $600 in cash and prizes and Tasty Reads – an Edible Books contest features more than $1,000 in cash and prizes. Six tickets to the Weekend Theater's production of Little Brother will also be given away.

All CALS Banned Books Week events are free and open to the public. The Weekend Theater production has an admission price.