Small library on an island offers forbidden books

MATINICUS ISLAND, Maine – As more schools and libraries across the US remove books from their shelves, a library on an island is taking those banned books.

The library is located on Matinicus Island, 22 miles off the coast of Maine and serves a community of approximately 100 people.

Some books that library visitors can find there include “And Tango Makes Three,” the story of two male penguins who raised a chick together, to classics like “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood and “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck.

“And Tango Makes Three” is one of the most banned books in the country, according to the American Library Association.

Eva Murray, who helped set up the Matinicus Island Library, told Bangor Daily News: “We buy banned books to publicly resist the push to ban books. To say, ‘If you don’t want it in your library, we want it in ours.’”

The emphasis on banned books seems uncontroversial to Matinicus, the state’s most remote and isolated community.

With only 100 residents living all year round, tolerance for live and let live and appreciation for difference is essential.

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