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Rupert Grint’s Shocking Book Choice for Potter READ Poster

Yahoo headlines blared out the shocking news today that “Rupert Grint has risked upsetting parents of young Harry Potter fans—he’s urging them to read controversial novel A Clockwork Orange.” Grint did so by joining his costars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson to pose for a trio of American Library Association READ posters.

The Yahoo News story goes on to say that ALA’s celebrity READ posters are part of a campaign that “encourages children and teenagers to indulge in classic literature. But Grint has made a macabre choice for his recommended reading—Anthony Burgess’s rape-and-violence-fueled 1962 book,” while his co-stars “have made a more sombre choice”: Radcliffe holds Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita while Watson recommends Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

ALA marketing staff reports that the latest READ posters have created more buzz than any poster in recent memory. A little controversy never hurt sales—but ALA can’t take the credit. Celebrities hold a book of their choice—anything other than something they authored. Sometimes it’s a childhood favorite (Yo-Yo Ma brought his own, worn copy of Goodnight Moon) or something that has inspired them in their life, a classic, or a timely read (rapper/actor Common chose Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope). The celebrities are chosen to help promote the pleasure and importance of reading for all ages—children, teens, and adults.

Perhaps Grint knew what he was doing! A Clockwork Orange, the book and the film, is the frequent target of would-be book banners, and ALA is just finishing up a successful Banned Books Week, celebrating the freedom to read. Maybe next year we’ll have to celebrate a Banned Posters Week.

Original article found here: American Libraries Magazine | October 1st, 2010

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