This Banned Book Scavenger Hunt Is The Perfect Fall Adventure For Readers In D.C.

by E. Ce Miller
Photo by: Farrah Skeiky/Dim Sum Media

For book-lovers across the country, the month of September always plays host to Banned Books Week — a time for adding plenty of contested and controversial reads to your TBR pile. For Washington D.C.-based lovers of banned books, Sept. 5 marked the start of the D.C. Public Library Foundation’s #UncensoredDC Banned Book Scavenger Hunt — a city-wide scavenger hunt celebrating the freedom to read. And we’ve got all the details for you.

Throughout the month of September, 600 banned books will be hidden in over 50 locations throughout Washington D.C., tucked away in local libraries and cafes, restaurants, bars, and bookstores, galleries and museums. Celebrating its second year, the theme of 2017's #UncensoredDC Banned Book Scavenger Hunt is (ehem, appropriately) “Texts Against Tyranny”. The novels included in this year’s hunt are Fahrenheit 451, The Handmaid’s Tale, Parable of the Sower, The Giver, We, and Who Fears Death — so get out there and start looking!

Fahrenheit 451, $9, Amazon | The Handmaid's Tale, $10, Amazon | Parable of the Sower, $9, Amazon | The Giver, $7, Amazon | We, $10, Amazon | Who Fears Death, $8, Amazon

But wait… how will you know if you’ve found a hidden book, and not just some 11th grader’s copy of The Handmaid’s Tale, forgotten in the park after English Lit class? Good question. Each #UncensoredDC book is wrapped in a black cover featuring iconic quotes from the book inside — and, and if you find all six, you can line them up to create a special image.

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Interested in participating? First, head on over to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and checkout the hashtag #UncensoredDC. Every morning daily clues and riddles hinting at the location of that day’s books will be released. (You can also catch these on WAMU's Morning Edition, if that’s part of your regular routine.)

Then, snap a photo of the book featuring you or the location you discovered it in, and hashtag it #UncensoredDC. Not only will you get to keep the book (almost the best part,) you’ll also be entered to win some great prizes, including free tickets to the Newseum, gift certificates to local restaurants, free tickets to the UNCENSORED Underground party — the D.C. Public Library Foundation's annual fundraiser celebrating the freedom to read — on September 30, and more!

Plus, for some Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired intrigue, 15 of the hidden books will be "golden ticket" books. Readers who discover a golden ticket book will automatically win a pair of free tickets to the UNCENSORED Underground party (just be sure to post your photo, with the #UncensoredDC hashtag.)

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To learn more and start sharing all your scavenger hunt pics, connect with the D.C. Public Library on Instagram at: @dcpl_literati and @dcpubliclibrary, Twitter at: @dcpl_literati and @dcpl, and Facebook at: @dclibrary.

Happy hunting! And be sure to keep your calendar marked for Banned Books Week, coming later this month!