Author: Betsy Gomez

Events Spotlight: September 29

It’s the last hurrah for Banned Books Week! How are you celebrating the right to read on the final day of celebration? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Image Comics Livestream: Skottie Young
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young(I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Riverhead Pop-Up Reading Room: Banned Books Week
Brooklyn, New York, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

You’re invited to the latest installment of Riverhead’s open-air, thematically curated pop-up reading rooms! September’s pop-up is in honor of Banned Books Week; join us in celebrating the freedom to read as we feature books and authors from the Riverhead collection that have been challenged in schools and libraries around the country, or address themes or topics that inspire passionate discussion, from startling subversions of religion in Khaled Hosseini’s acclaimed novel The Kite Runner to profoundly honest explorations of sexuality and oppression in Garrard Conley’s memoir Boy Erased. Throughout the day, peruse books that start essential conversations: our shelves will be stocked with Mohsin Hamid’s heartrending and inventive Exit West, R.O. Kwon’s explosive The Incendiaries, and Patricia Lockwood’s equal parts saucy and sublime Priestdaddy. Younger readers are encouraged to attend and get lost in wonderfully original and illuminating titles like John Green’s Looking for Alaska, David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, and many more titles courtesy of our friends at Random House Children’s Books and Penguin Young Readers.

Stop by the pop-up to read, to engage with fellow readers about the vital need for books that generate debate and deeper reflection, and take part in Banned Books Week activities that amplify the stories and voices of those that need to be heard today. The pop-up will ask visitors to consider the question: What would it be like to live in a world without open access to ideas and literature? There will be sponsored snacks and beverages available on-site, and a chance to win Riverhead totes filled with signed copies of the hottest new books by Riverhead authors Khaled Hosseini (including his latest illustrated novel Sea Prayer), Meg Wolitzer, and Lauren Groff, as well as a custom Penguin Random House Banned Books Box.

More info: https://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/riverhead-pop-up-reading-room-banned-books-week

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Houston, Texas
Queensbury Theatre, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Fun Home, Spring Awakening, and The Laramie Project, among other notable works. Join Producing Executive Director, Marley Singletary, who will direct Equity actors and Tribble School for the Performing Arts students, in this celebration of songs and scenes. The pieces will be linked with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman.

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

Penguin Random House Instagram Sweepstakes Benefitting We Need Diverse Books (all week)

This year, Penguin Random House is highlighting quotes from books that have been challenged or banned in a social media sweepstakes competition, open to participants who repost these quotes or tag a friend and comment with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #Sweepstakes. For every entry, Penguin Random House will donate one book – up to 5,000 total – to We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

To participate in this campaign, follow @PenguinRandomHouse on Instagram.

More info…

Other Events

Banned Books Week Open Mic
September 29
Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore, 1122 Commercial Ave.
Emporia, KS 66801 United States

Banned Books Week 2018, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held September 23 – 29. The 2018 theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against the tide of censorship. Celebrate our local authors and artists as they take to the stage and speak out against censorship. Bring something to read (an excerpt from a banned book, maybe?) or something to play (protest songs seem appropriate, yes?) and join Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore as we take a stand against censorship. We’ll be posting video, Facebook LIVE, as we celebrate Banned Books Week. More info…

Banned Book Week at the Warehouse
September 29 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm EDT
The Friends’ Used Book Store at the Warehouse, 8456 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45216 United States

The Friends of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are participating in Banned Books Week. Check out our display when you are shopping. Grab a coloring sheet and enter our coloring contest. Pick up a free Banned Book Week bookmark. Most of all, find hundreds of banned and challenged books on our shelves. Saturdays 10:00 am-4:00 pm

Books on the Chopping Block
September 29

Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s events:

Saturday 9/29, 11:00AM – Bezazian Branch – Chicago Public Library
1226 W. Ainslie St., Chicago, IL

Saturday 9/29, 2:30PM – Lincolnwood Public Library
4000 W. Pratt Ave., Lincolnwood, IL

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 29 @ 12:00 pm – October 4 @ 8:00 pm EDT
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 340 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46260 United States

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is celebrating the freedom to read and expression of ideas during Banned Books Week! This year, Ball State University English professor Rai Peterson will be living in the front window of KVML as our prisoner. For the entire week she will be imprisoned behind a wall of banned books, while joining the community in exploring censorship and challenged works. From September 24-29, we invite you to join our prisoner for readings and discussions with guests such as Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IUPUI professor Trevor Potts, Hunter S. Thompson’s son Juan Thompson, playwright Kenneth Jones, and more! More info…

Virtual Read Out
September 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm CDT
North-East Public Library, 6000 Wilson Rd
Kansas City, MO 64123 United States

Stand up against censorship by participating in a virtual read out! We will record you reading a banned or challenged book on iMovie. Then, we will guide you through the editing process, and we will post them to YouTube for Banned Books Week! More info…

The Underground Art Show: Works Inspired by Banned Books
September 29 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Rd
Suffolk, VA 23435 United States

On this date, we challenge all ages to create a piece of art based off of a banned book for an open reception where all the art will be displayed, judged, and winners will receive a prize. Passive art-making stations will also be set up. Art submissions will be accepted September 1st through the 28th at all three branches. You will be asked to fill out a submission form when dropping off your piece. More info…

Banned Books Trivia
September 29 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT
Katy Budget Books, 2450 Fry Road
Houston, TX 77084 United States

All week in store, you can come by and see our Banned Books display and learn about books banned throughout history. To wrap up Banned Books Week, we’re hosting a Banned Books Trivia Night. There will be a $5 entry fee, the proceeds of which will be donated to The American Booksellers for Free Expression, whose mission is to promote and protect the free exchange of ideas, particularly those contained in books. There will be prizes for the top three scores and a whole lot of fun! More info…

Banned Books Week Party at Brothers 2018!
September 29 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm CDT
brothers lounge, 3812 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68105 United States

Celebrate Banned Books Week with your friends from Solid Jackson Books, Dundee Book Company, and Brothers Lounge! We’ll have a trivia game and other activities. Plus beer, cocktails, and darts! Grab a pint or two, join the conversation about why it’s important to keep free speech free, and stick it to the book-burners by perusing important books that some want to label as obscene. And some that are obscene, but only in the best ways. A selection of banned and band books (both used and new) will be available for purchase. More info…

Banned Books Bingo
September 29 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT
Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway
New York, NY 10003 United States

To celebrate Banned Books Week this year, we’re doing banned book-themed bingo night! There will be 6 rounds, all different themes, and one winner per round. Winners will be awarded Strand goodies and prizes. The evening will be bookended (get it?!) by performances by our invited Queen of the Banned, SOL! More info…

5 Things You Can Do to Support the Right to Read

Banned Books Week is a celebration of the right to read, a right that needs to be protected year round. Whether you’re a librarian, teacher, bookseller, student, or writer, there are a number of things you can do to defend and support the right to read.

Know Your Rights

The First Amendment protects the freedom to read. Everyone is entitled to express their opinions about a book, but they don’t have the right to limit another person’s access to information. Censorship is most effective when people don’t know or defend their rights.

For educators and school librarians, public and private institutions have different First Amendment obligations. Government entities like public schools are bound by the First Amendment, but private schools can have a narrower set of guidelines. Be sure to understand your school’s policies.

For librarians, ALA’s Library Bill of Rights is a useful tool in understanding your rights and the rights of your community. You can view it at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill

Students don’t necessarily have the same First Amendment rights as adults. For safety reasons, schools can put limited restraints on free expression. The National Coalition Against Censorship and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund put together BE HEARD! Protecting Your Rights to help students understand their rights. You can read it at https://ncac.org/resource/be-heard

Be Prepared

One way to prevent challenges and bans is to prepare for them. If you’re an educator or librarian, ensure that you have clear and comprehensive collection development and materials review policies. Several members of the Banned Books Week Coalition have tools specifically for this purpose:

Policies are also important for booksellers. The First Amendment protects the right to sell all kinds of material, including material for adults and mature readers, but retailers should take steps to protect themselves and their staff:

  • Establish good policies and follow them. By having some specific guidelines in place and making sure every member of your staff is on the same page, you can help defuse a First Amendment emergency.
  • Thoughtfully display content. Every community is different, so be deliberate in how you display material. It may be helpful to segregate material for younger readers into its own section, rack mature titles on a high shelf, or even keep some more adult material in its own section.
  • Talk to your customers and be involved in your community. It sounds like common sense, but if you’re well-established as part of the community, people are more likely to try to work out a solution one-on-one than to take an adversarial approach.
  • If you need assistance, the American Booksellers Association has created a number of tools to help retailers (http://www.bookweb.org/abfe), and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund provides advice and aid to retailers (info@cbldf.org).

Stay Informed

Keep in touch with your local librarians and educators to find out about book challenges in your community. Subscribe to news publications dedicated to the First Amendment and free expression, such as email newsletters from the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition.

Report Censorship

Censorship thrives in ignorance. The best way to prevent it is to make sure that free expression advocates know it’s happening, even if an official challenge hasn’t been made yet. Several members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are prepared to take direct action to prevent and fight censorship. Use the following contact information to let them know when books, comics, and plays are under threat!

Speak Out

Attempts to ban books rarely succeed when people speak out against them. Here are a few ways you can speak out for banned and challenged books:

  • Attend school board, PTA, or library meetings or public hearings where book challenges are being discussed, and be prepared to speak up for the First Amendment and the right to read.
  • Write letters to your local administrators, politicians, and newspapers supporting the right to read. Remind your fellow citizens and officials that no one has the right to restrict access to books.
  • Be prepared to stand up for all books, even those you may not like. Any successful book ban opens the door to more censorship.

For more information about advocating for the right to read, challenges, programming, and more, check out the Celebrate Banned Books Week Handbook here.

Banned Spotlight: September 28

There’s only two days left in Banned Books Week! How are you celebrating the right to read? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Censorship with English PEN & Royal Court Theatre
September 28 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm BST
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Sloane Square, Chelsea
London, SW1W 8AS United Kingdom

In 1968, the Royal Court Theatre helped bring about the abolition of the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship powers. But even today, 50 years later, we continue to be challenged by the complexities of freedom of political expression and self-censorship.

This panel discussion explores how artists and programmers continue to reconcile truth-telling with genuine political jeopardy and contemporary cultural politics, both nationally and internationally.

Panellists will include Anthony Burton (chair, Royal Court Theatre), Anthony Neilson (playwright and director) and Anna Wakulik (playwright). The event will be chaired by Ritula Shah.

The event, co-hosted by The Royal Court Theatre, is part of this year’s Banned Books Week UK, a week long celebration of the freedom to read. More info…

Beyond Censorship: Power, Silencing and Resistance
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST
Lady Violet Room, National Liberal Club, 1 Whitehall Place, Westminster
London, SW1A 2HE United Kingdom

Please join the Authors’ Club, Media Diversified, the Jhalak Prize and Index on Censorship for a discussion of the ways in which dissenting voices are structurally silenced and the many ways of resistance. A distinguished panel of writers will share their own experiences and works on how institutions and structures operate in subtle legal ways to silence voices that are considered discomfiting, challenging and dangerous as well as ways in which contemporary writing and publishing continues to find ways of resisting such unofficial forms of censorship. More info…

A Talk With James Tager, HLS ’13
September 28 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT
Harvard Law School WCC 1010, 1585 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

James Tager, HLS ’13 and Deputy Director, Free Expression Research and Policy at PEN America, will speak about contemporary issues related to banning books. Lunch will be available first come, first served; no RSVP necessary.

Image Comics Livestream: Charles Soule
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Dallas, Texas
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). A provocative cabaret-style performance showcasing excerpts from Tony Award-winning plays and musicals such as Rent, Cabaret, Fun Home, and Angels in America, these productions are widely challenged by those who desire to censor the literary community due to the content and/or language of works. However, they will find their voices again on the Bishop Arts Theatre Center stage. Working with the TNT (Teenagers And Theatre) Apprenticeship program, Banned Together educates teen and adult audiences of how theatre and the arts can inspire conversations, activism, and challenge our mindsets. Directed by Korey Parker.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-dallas-tickets-48878347453

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Atlanta, Georgia
Out Front Theater Company, 8:00 -10:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.

Tickets: https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=b69f4f04b5cec4a060a9a4ffd2b9bf25&t=tix&vqitq=02bf18a3-b1b5-4f93-9f47-f1596721936e&vqitp=8349b7d9-9b91-48d9-b960-579fb194ea34&vqitts=1536412162&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=a9679f9cd65ff

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

Penguin Random House Instagram Sweepstakes Benefitting We Need Diverse Books (all week)

This year, Penguin Random House is highlighting quotes from books that have been challenged or banned in a social media sweepstakes competition, open to participants who repost these quotes or tag a friend and comment with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #Sweepstakes. For every entry, Penguin Random House will donate one book – up to 5,000 total – to We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

To participate in this campaign, follow @PenguinRandomHouse on Instagram.

More info…

Other Events

Banned Book Buttons
September 28 @ 10:00 am – 4:30 pm EDT
The Connection Branch Library, 2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202 United States

Make a button from a variety of designs or from your favorite banned book. Supplies will be provided, until we run out. Kids in grade 5 and younger must have adult supervision to use the button maker. More info…

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 28 @ 12:00 pm – October 3 @ 8:00 pm EDT
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 340 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46260 United States

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is celebrating the freedom to read and expression of ideas during Banned Books Week! This year, Ball State University English professor Rai Peterson will be living in the front window of KVML as our prisoner. For the entire week she will be imprisoned behind a wall of banned books, while joining the community in exploring censorship and challenged works. From September 24-29, we invite you to join our prisoner for readings and discussions with guests such as Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IUPUI professor Trevor Potts, Hunter S. Thompson’s son Juan Thompson, playwright Kenneth Jones, and more! More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s event:

Friday 9/28, 1:00PM – DePaul
2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL

More info…

Banned Books Battle
September 28 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Roger B. Francis Branch Library, 52655 N. Ironwood Rd.
South Bend, IN 46635 United States

Wrap up Banned Books Week by testing your knowledge of America’s most frequently challenged books at the Francis branch (52655 N. Ironwood Rd. South Bend, IN). Pizza provided! Teams of 4-7 recommended. Individuals are welcome and will be assigned to a group. Prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. More info…

Annual Banned Books Read Aloud
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Foggy Pine Books, 471 W. King St
Boone, NC 28607

Every year we gather together to discuss the past year’s most banned books and books that received backlash in our own community. We also invite community members to sign up to read a selection from a favorite banned book. Each reader discusses why their book was important to them and how they would’ve been affected if they’d never been allowed to read it. More info…

Saboteurs Café a Pub Trivia Night: Literary Rebels
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Brick and Mortar Brewing Company, 212 E Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

On this date, we bring you a Pub Trivia Night for adults focused on banned books and literary rebels. Teams will compete in this literary themed trivia, as well as have the opportunity to enter a costume contest for the best dressed banned book character or author. Prizes awarded for trivia winners and best dressed! Limit 6 players per team. More info…

Open Road Media Supports the Banned Books Week Coalition

Between Sunday, September 23, and Saturday, September 29, Open Road Media is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of 36 challenged and banned books to the Banned Books Week Coalition!

You can find the list of books that are part of the initiative at the Early Bird Books website here. It includes books that were burned, such as Albert Einstein’s Essays in Humanism; books that were banned, such as Pulitzer prize winner The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck; books that were censored, such as From Here to Eternity by James Jones; and books that were challenged, such as Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon and The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

With 36 titles to choose from, you’re certain to find a book to suit your tastes! Follow the links in the article to purchase the e-book from your preferred vendor, and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Banned Books Week Coalition to support our work defending — and celebrating — the freedom to read!

Check out the list here: https://earlybirdbooks.com/banned-challenged-and-censored-books

Events Spotlight: September 27

Just a few days left in Banned Books Week! How are you celebrating the right to read? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Image Comics Livestream: Grace Ellis
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

Penguin Random House Instagram Sweepstakes Benefitting We Need Diverse Books (all week)

This year, Penguin Random House is highlighting quotes from books that have been challenged or banned in a social media sweepstakes competition, open to participants who repost these quotes or tag a friend and comment with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #Sweepstakes. For every entry, Penguin Random House will donate one book – up to 5,000 total – to We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

To participate in this campaign, follow @PenguinRandomHouse on Instagram.

More info…

Other Events

Lifting the Curtain: Theatre and Censorship (British Library)
September 27 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST
Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB United Kingdom

With Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Richard Eyre, Gillian Slovo and Ella Hickson

50 years since the Lord Chamberlain was stripped of his power to censor plays, we examine playwriting in the UK and freedom of expression.

Join director Richard Eyre and playwrights Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Gillian Slovo and Ella Hickson, to explore the development of British playwriting since the end of censorship in 1968. They consider the circumstances which led to the end of theatre censorship, whether the change in legislation heralded a change in artistic expression at the end of the 1960s, and notable productions which have caused controversy since. Has censorship in this country continued despite the end of legislation? In what other ways do writers today find what they want to say shaped and manipulate by others? More info…

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 27 @ 12:00 pm – October 2 @ 8:00 pm EDT
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 340 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46260 United States

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is celebrating the freedom to read and expression of ideas during Banned Books Week! This year, Ball State University English professor Rai Peterson will be living in the front window of KVML as our prisoner. For the entire week she will be imprisoned behind a wall of banned books, while joining the community in exploring censorship and challenged works. More info…

Lunch+Learn with Laura Moriarty: Censorship
September 27 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore, 1122 Commercial Ave.
Emporia, KS 66801 United States

Banned Books Week is recognized Sept. 23-29, 2018. New York Times bestselling author Laura Moriarty will speak about censorship. More info…

Panel Discussion
September 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm PDT
Mt. San Antonio College Library, 1100 N. Grand Ave
Walnut, CA 91789 United States

In this panel discussion, two presenters will discuss unique aspects of silencing voices:

  • The Long Civil Rights/Chicanx Movement
  • Four Dangerous Works

There will be time for Q&A following the presentations. More info…

Celebrating All Stories
September 27 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT
Cambridge Public Library – O’Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140 United States

Come to a family read-out in celebration of Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read. Activities for a range of ages will relate to intellectual freedom and opposing censorship. More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 27 @ 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm CDT
Multiple, Chicago, IL United States

Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s events:

Thursday, 9/27, 4:00PM – Lincoln-Belmont Branch – Chicago Public Library
1659 W. Melrose St., Chicago, IL

Thursday 9/27, 7:00PM – Evanston Public Library
1709 Orrington Ave., Evanston, IL

Banned Books Out Loud at the Cranston Public Library
September 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
William Hall Library, 1825 Broad Street
Cranston, RI 02905 United States

The ACLU of RI and Cranston Public Library are honoring Banned Books Week (September 23-29) and the freedom to read with an event to educate people about books, the first amendment and censorship. The program will feature Rhode Island authors reading short passages from their favorite banned books. This program is free and open to the public.

Our confirmed participants include:

Adam Braver
Mary Cappello
Thalia Field
Rick Moody
Eleni Sikelianos
Mike Stanton
Glenn Stout
Jean Walton
Michael Willhoite

A brief Q&A will follow the readings. This program is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served. More info…

Exploring Freedom of Expression
September 27 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm EDT
Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States

Chapel Hill Public Library hosts a lively conversation about the importance of intellectual freedom, the negative effects of censorship, and the need for authentic voices and storytelling in all forms of writing. Featured speakers include Author Dr. Zelda Lockhart and Cartoonist/Rapper/Multimedia Artist Keith Knight. More info…

Banned Bookopoly
September 27 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Cuyahoga County Public Library Beachwood Branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd
Beachwood, OH 44122 United States

Celebrate Banned Books Week and test your knowledge of challenged books. Come prepared to participate in challenges, journey through a giant board game and maybe win a prize. Light snacks served.

Register here: http://cuyahoga.libnet.info/event/785322?registration=true

Banned Books Quiz V
September 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm AKDT
49th State Brewing Co., 717 W 3rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501 United States

It’s time for our Fifth Annual Banned Books Pub Quiz! Join Anchorage Public Library as we celebrate our freedom to discover! This year’s pub quiz promises to be better than ever. Questions will cover all areas of censorship throughout history, so be prepared for anything. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Not Last, and Best Team Name. Teams should have no more than eight people. In the spirit of Banned Books Week, this quiz will not be censored. Expect strong language and imagery. More info…

10 Reasons Books Are Challenged and Banned

Books and plays are challenged for any number of reasons. Let’s take a look at ten of those reasons and the books on ALA’s Top Ten Challenged Books list for 2017 and previous years that were attacked for these reasons…

LGBTQ Content

In 2017, several books were challenged because of LGBTQ content. Drama, a bestselling young adult graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier was challenged for the inclusion of LGBTQ characters. Alex Gino’s award-winning middle grades book George and Jazz Jenning’s autobiographical picture book I Am Jazz were both attacked because of their transgender main characters. And Tango Makes Three, a children’s picture book based on the real-life story of two male penguins that raise a chick together, was challenged for featuring a same-sex relationship.

Other books challenged for LGBTQ content:

Sexually Explicit

In 2017, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie was challenged for being sexually explicit.

The following books have also been challenged or banned for being sexually explicit:

  • This One Summer
  • Drama
  • Two Boys Kissing
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Big Hard Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  • Habibi by Craig Thompson
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
  • A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Profanity

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give were among the titles attacked for profanity in 2017.

In previous years, the books challenged for profanity include:

  • This One Summer
  • Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk

Racism

Racism is among the various reasons that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been challenged. The all-ages comic series Bone by Jeff Smith, a hero’s journey that centers on a trio of three Shmoo-like creatures, their human companions, a giant red dragon, and sundry fantasy characters, has also been challenged for racism.

Other titles accused of racism:

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Violence

Violence is a popular reason for challenging books. In 2017, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and To Kill a Mockingbird for challenged for violence.

Other titles attacked for violence:

  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
  • Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
  • The Bluest Eye
  • Bone
  • Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Hunger Gamestrilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Religious Viewpoint

Religious viewpoint has been used to attack everything from The Holy Bible to I Am Jazz.

Other books challenged for religious viewpoint:

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
  • And Tango Makes Three
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • The Hunger Games
  • Bless Me Ultima
  • The Kite Runner
  • Beloved

Sex Education

Sex education is a touchy subject for many. Many schools regulate materials used for sex education, which means would-be censors might use that designation to try to restrict access to books that teach kids about their bodies. In 2017, Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s award-winning Sex Is a Funny Word was challenged for the very thing that it is intended to do: educate young readers about sex and gender. I Am Jazz has previously been attacked as being a sex education book in an attempt to limit access to it.

Other books attacked for educational content about sex and gender:

  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
  • It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  • My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler
  • It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie Harris

Suicide

In 2017, a popular Netflix series triggered attacks on Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, a bestselling young adult book that explores teen suicide. The book was banned in multiple school districts around the country. The Perks of Being A Wallflower has also been challenged for the content related to suicide.

Drug and Alcohol Use

Another reason that The Hate U Give was attacked in 2017 was the depiction of drug use.

The depiction of drug and alcohol use was also cited in challenges to the following books:

  • This One Summer
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • A Stolen Life
  • A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl
  • Looking for Alaska
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar
  • Internet Girls series by Lauren Myracle

Nudity

Unfortunately, some people equate nudity in books with obscenity, leading to challenges to the material. Comics and illustrated books are especially vulnerable to these challenges because they contain static images. Books that have been challenged for nudity include:

  • Habibi
  • It’s Perfectly Normal
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl
  • The Color of Earth trilogy by Kim Dong Hwa
  • My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy
  • Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Brave New World
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  • Internet Girls
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

Art courtesy of the American Library Association. View ALA’s top ten challenged books lists here.

Events Spotlight: September 26

We’ve reached the midpoint of Banned Books Week. What are you doing to celebrate today? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Drag Queen Story Hour Reads Banned Books
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like–drag queens read children’s books and lead creative activities promoting imagination and freedom of self-expression. In honor of Banned Books Week, we’ll be reading books from the ALA’s Top Ten Banned Books of 2017 list. Half of the books on the list were challenged for LGBTQ themes, so this story hour could not be more needed to ensure that these important stories are not silenced. Co-hosted by Drag Queen Story Hour and the National Coalition Against Censorship. All families are welcome to join us at the Brooklyn Public Library! https://www.facebook.com/events/721323064882141/

Image Comics Livestream: Nick Dragotta
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Golden, Colorado
Miners Alley Playhouse, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. MT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. https://pen.org/event/banned-together-denver-co/

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Los Angeles, California
Skylight Theatre, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. PT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-a-censorship-cabaret-tickets-50217324369

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

Penguin Random House Instagram Sweepstakes Benefitting We Need Diverse Books (all week)

This year, Penguin Random House is highlighting quotes from books that have been challenged or banned in a social media sweepstakes competition, open to participants who repost these quotes or tag a friend and comment with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #Sweepstakes. For every entry, Penguin Random House will donate one book – up to 5,000 total – to We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

To participate in this campaign, follow @PenguinRandomHouse on Instagram.

More info…

Other Events

UK Drill & Grime–What’s the Problem?
September 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST
Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 3GA United Kingdom

How is music that reflects the lives of marginalised youths on inner-city estates treated in the UK?

Part of Free Word’s upcoming THIS IS PRIVATE Season, launching 5 September 2018.

“This is how it’s been from the beginning, it’s just that everyone is hearing about it now.”

South London rapper Giggs spoke out in 2010 about the forced cancellations of his shows by the Met Police using the risk assessment Form 696. 8 years later, Form 696 has been scrapped, yet UK drill groups are being banned from YouTube and in some cases prohibited from making music without police approval, in case of lyrics that “encourage violence”.

How is music that reflects the lives of marginalised youths on inner-city estates treated in the UK, and what does this say about the censoring of certain voices and communities? With Grime MC P Money, DJ A.G, Drill Producer Carns Hill and Journalist Ciaran Thapar. More info…

Banned Books Read-Out
September 26 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm CDT
Texas State University, 601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666 United States

Alkek Library will observe Banned Books Week 2018 by celebrating our freedom to read during the annual Read-Out. Alkek Library invites the Texas State community to read from their favorite Banned Book on September 26th, 2018. Readings will take place from 10am-2pm in the Alkek Library Open Theater on the main floor. We will have a selection of books available for you to choose or bring your own. Sign up for a 5 minute reading spot here: http://bit.ly/readout2018

Don’t feel like reading? That’s okay! Join the audience and listen. More info…

Banning Books Silences Stories Workshop & Freeze Mob
September 26 @ 11:15 am – 12:05 pm CDT
University of West Florida John C. Pace Library, 11000 University Parkway, Bldg. 32
Pensacola, FL 32514 United States

Banned Books Week gives students the opportunity to support free expression and intellectual freedom. Books tell stories and everyone’s stories should have the right to be heard! Don’t be silent, speak out against censorship by joining us Wednesday, September 26th, as we celebrate Banned Books Week and promote the freedom to read. Our “Banning Books Silences Stories” workshop will start at 11:15 in the Great Good Place of the University of West Florida John C. Pace Library followed by a fun 3-minute reading “freeze mob” on the UWF Cannon Green at noon. Everyone is welcome to participate in either or both events. More info…

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 26 @ 12:00 pm – October 1 @ 8:00 pm EDT
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 340 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46260 United States

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is celebrating the freedom to read and expression of ideas during Banned Books Week!

This year, Ball State University English professor Rai Peterson will be living in the front window of KVML as our prisoner. For the entire week she will be imprisoned behind a wall of banned books, while joining the community in exploring censorship and challenged works.

From September 24-29, we invite you to join our prisoner for readings and discussions with guests such as Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IUPUI professor Trevor Potts, Hunter S. Thompson’s son Juan Thompson, playwright Kenneth Jones, and more!

Not only are we supporting banned books, but also mental health awareness and our year of programming theme Lonesome No More. Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter Nanette will share her family’s story and struggle with mental health challenges. More info…

Afternoon Conversations Real Life Rebel: Telling Her Story
September 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

Margaret Tolbert will discuss her book, “Resilience in the Face of Adversity,” about growing up in Suffolk during the Civil Rights struggle and overcoming adversity during that time. More info…

UNLV Libraries Banned Books Buffet
September 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm PDT
UNLV Lied Library, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89145 United States

Explore a banned or challenged book at the UNLV University Libraries Banned Books Buffet on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 2-4 p.m. in the Amargosa Room at Lied Library in Las Vegas. Celebrate your freedom to read and right to choose during Banned Books Week!

Every year there are hundreds of attempts to remove banned books from schools and libraries. The Banned Books Buffet is an annual event celebrating your right to choose what to read. Explore books like Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, and Captain Underpants. Fight censorship, read a banned or challenged book, learn about intellectual freedom, have a snack, and more at this event. More info…

Banned Books Reading
September 26 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm EDT
Muskegon Community College, 221 S. Quarterline Rd
Muskegon, MI 49442 United States

In conjunction with Banned Books Week on Sept. 23-29, 2018, Muskegon Community College will host an event on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Blue and Gold Room. Excerpts will be read from books that have been challenged and banned in schools, libraries, and communities across the nation. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. More info…

Banned Books Week Discussion
September 26 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm EDT
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System, 823 Telfair St
Augusta, GA 30901 United States

Program For Teens ~ Grades 6-12
Discuss your favorite banned books, the reasons why they were banned, and ways we can celebrate these books and our freedom to read. We’ll also showcase the Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out videos you create! More info…

Escape Room – Banned Books Week
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Central Branch Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22201 United States

Celebrate your freedom to read with a Banned Books Week-inspired escape room challenge!

It seems some of our favorite novels have begun to mysteriously disappear from our stacks. We need your help solving a series of riddles, puzzles, and clues to figure out where they have gone. If you are up to the task, please inquire immediately!

It’s a great chance to bond with family & friends.

Think you can solve the mystery in time?

For ages 16 and up. Register your 4-6 person group for 1 session:

This is an Escape Room style, timed game. There will not be a room to escape – only puzzles to solve.

More info…

I Totes Read Banned Books Craft
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
The Connection Branch Library, 2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202 United States

Decorate a tote bag with your favorite quote from a banned book. Support freedom of expression and fashionably rock your reading uncensored! All supplies provided. More info…

Anarchy in the Stacks: DIY Book Making Workshop
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

On this date, we bring you a DIY Workshop open to adults and teens interested in the “forbidden” craft of bookmaking. All materials provided. Registration is required. More info…

Banned Book Celebration
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT
Book Cottage, 1901 Horton Rd
Jackson, MI 49203 United States

Join us in discussing your favorite banned book. We will talk about why they were banned and celebrate how many you have read! Food will be available at the Whimsical Cottage Cafe, this event is free! More info…

 

Person’s silhouette entering the backlit hall

Banned Books Week Lecture: Utopian Communities
September 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Shirlington Branch Library, 4200 Campbell Avenue
Arlington, VA 22206 United States

What is the history of utopianism and what kinds of experiments have there been in the U.S.? Why do a few succeed, but most fail? What social conditions make people want to escape into a utopia?

Celebrate Banned Books Week and get the answers to these questions in a talk with Mary McCutcheon, a former professor of anthropology at George Mason University from 1988 to 2004. Learn about controversial utopian thinkers and writers. More info…

Banned Books Week Talk
September 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
Logan Library, 255 N Main St
Logan, UT 84321 United States

Join us for “Intellectual Freedom: A Value for the Left and the Right,” a presentation by Wanda Huffaker, Chair of the Utah Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by the Logan Library and the Friends of the Logan Library. More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 26 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm CDT
Multiple, Chicago, IL United States

Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s event:
Wednesday 9/26, 7:30PM – Mt. Prospect Library
10 S. Emerson St., Mount Prospect, IL

Events Spotlight: September 25

What are you doing to celebrate the third day of Banned Books Week? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Speaking Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship
Webinar, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT

Join the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, SAGE Publishing, and Index on Censorship for “Speak Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship.” In this Banned Books Week webinar, authors will engage in conversation on writing, activism, and speaking out. How have they used their words to speak out about something that has been silenced? What is the difference between being a voice of and for a movement? And what will it take for America to be censorship free in both oral and written word?

Our featured speakers include:

  • Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of various fiction works including Little & Lion, a story that touches on the intersection of race, sexuality, and religion
  • Alex Gino, author of George, an award-winning and heartwarming middle grade book about a transgender girl
  • Marni Brown, acclaimed author of Gendered Lives, Sexual Beings, a textbook lauded for its intersectional framework, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia Gwinnett College

The webinar will be moderated by Jemimah Steinfield, Deputy Editor of the award-winning Index on Censorship magazine.

Register for the webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6749024865921094915

Image Comics Livestream: Pornsak Pichetshote
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Buffalo, New York
Nichols School, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. Buffalo, NY, based actor, director, and theatre educator Kristen Tripp Kelley will direct Nichols high school students and alumni in a collection of previously censored scenes and songs. The ensemble is proud to join with Banned Together artists and citizens around the country in the promotion of our freedom of expression.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-western-new-york-tickets-48878975331

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—St. Louis, Missouri
Tesseract Theatre, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-st-louis-tickets-49681392382

Censored: Inside the Lord Chamberlain’s Office (British Library)
September 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST
When: Tue 25 Sep 2018, 19:00 – 20:30
Where: Knowledge Centre The British Library 96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
Tickets: From £8 to £12 via British Library

50 years after the Lord Chamberlain’s Office stopped censoring British theatre,Kathryn Johnson, Steve Nicholson and Dan Rebellato shed light on the inner workings of the former ‘fun police’. They are joined by writer and director Vinay Patel, author of the smash-hit BBC drama Murdered by My Father, who writes a short scene especially for the occasion which is performed and censored on the night.

How did censorship used to work? How could playwrights play the system? And what was the cost of censorship for society? Drawing on a wealth of examples and anecdotes from the Lord Chamberlain’s archive, held by the British Library, our panel of experts discover what would have got you into trouble (and clever ways you might have got around it…)

Hosted by The British Library as part of Banned Books Week UK 2018. More info…

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

Other Events

Censura a impressos no Brasil: da colônia aos dias atuais – Censorship to printed in Brazil: from the colony to the present day
September 25 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm UTC-4
Biblioteca Central da Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Gleba A, UnB
Asa Norte, Brasília – DF, 70910-900 Brazil

This lecture will present the multiple facets of censorship of books and periodicals in Brazil, going through all historical periods since the colonization. There will also be some censored titles that we have in the Rare Books Sector, such as the periodicals Correio Braziliense periodicals (1808), Pasquim e Movimento, the book Mein Kampf of Hitler, among others. More info…

Banned Books Week at Marist College: Uncensored Readings & Banned Book Bingo
September 25 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Marist College, 3399 North Rd.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 United States

Join us for Banned Book Bingo and Uncensored Readings! Banned Book Bingo will take place on Monday, September 24th, 7 – 9:00 pm in the Cabaret and Uncensored Readings will be on Monday, September 24th and Tuesday, September 25th from 12 – 4:00 pm in the Library Lobby. If you would like to get involved as a reader, please email Emily.Doyle@marist.edu. Also, don’t forget to check out a book this month from our Banned Books display that will be on the main floor of the library during Banned Books Week! More info…

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 25 @ 12:00 pm – September 30 @ 8:00 pm EDT
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 340 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46260 United States

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is celebrating the freedom to read and expression of ideas during Banned Books Week!

This year, Ball State University English professor Rai Peterson will be living in the front window of KVML as our prisoner. For the entire week she will be imprisoned behind a wall of banned books, while joining the community in exploring censorship and challenged works.

From September 24-29, we invite you to join our prisoner for readings and discussions with guests such as Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IUPUI professor Trevor Potts, Hunter S. Thompson’s son Juan Thompson, playwright Kenneth Jones, and more!

Not only are we supporting banned books, but also mental health awareness and our year of programming theme Lonesome No More. Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter Nanette will share her family’s story and struggle with mental health challenges. More info…

Harvard Law School 3rd Annual Read-Out
September 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT
Harvard Law School Library: front steps, 1545 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

Bring your lunch and join us on the steps of the HLS Library as members of the Harvard community read excerpts from our favorite banned books. We’ll be reading from classic literature, children’s picture books, and everything in between! More info…

Film Viewing: Good Morning, Vietnam
September 25 @ 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm PDT
Mt. San Antonio College Library, 1100 N. Grand Ave
Walnut, CA 91789 United States

In honor of Banned Books Week, Mt. SAC students voted to watch the film, Good Morning, Vietnam.  Join us to watch the film and see how individuals deal with attempts to censor the news. More info…

Banned Books Out Loud
September 25 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm EDT
Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906 United States

Library Staff will be reading aloud from Banned Books in the Children’s Library at the Rochambeau Library. Kids five and up may stop in to enjoy excerpts from Banned Books and color along! More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 25 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm CDT

Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s event:
Tuesday 9/25, 4:30PM – Edgewater Branch
6000 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL

More info…

Intellectual Freedom Panel
September 25 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT
Kingsville Public Library, 6006 Academy Street
Kingsville, OH 44048 United States

Join us September 25th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM in the Simak Welcome Center to engage with our community panel members as we discuss the importance of your right to read! Esteemed panel members for the evening will be: KSUA Library Sciences Professor Amy Thomas, LEADERship Ashtabula County Director Laura Jones, State Representative and former Teacher Dr. John Patterson, KSUA Adjunct Professor of Justice Studies Dr. Richard Dana, and retired Geneva Area City Schools Superintendent,Mary Zappitelli. More info…

Banned Books Jeopardy
September 25 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT
Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, 1871 Old Main
Shippenburg, PA 17257 United States

We’ll take banned books for $1000, Alex. More info…

Banned Books Week Discussion: The Freedom to Read
September 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm PDT
Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034 United States

Our local school librarian will lead a discussion, co-facilitated with students from the two local high schools, of the freedom to read and ways it is threatened. The audience will discuss books that have been challenged or banned in recent years, with a focus on the ALA’s top 10 most challenged books of 2017. Why were these books challenged, and what are the best ways to respond to those challenges. Each of the high-school students will also talk about her or his favorite banned or challenged book. More info…

110+ Challenged and Banned Books and Plays to Read for Banned Books Week!

Banned books weekLooking for something to read during your Banned Books Week celebrations? Start here!

ALA OIF Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2017

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has published their annual list of the ten most frequently challenged and banned books, along with an analysis of the censorship threats facing U.S. schools and libraries.

In 2017, the following books were among the most frequently attacked:

  1. Banned Spotlight: Thirteen Reasons Why
  2. Banned Spotlight: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  3. Banned Spotlight: Drama
  4. Banned Spotlight: The Kite Runner
  5. Banned Spotlight: George
  6. Banned Spotlight: Sex Is a Funny Word
  7. Banned Spotlight: To Kill a Mockingbird
  8. Banned Spotlight: The Hate U Give
  9. Banned Spotlight: And Tango Makes Three
  10. Banned Spotlight: I Am Jazz

If you’re looking for EVEN MORE challenged and banned books to read, check out the top ten lists for previous years here!

The National Council for Teachers of English has also compiled a comprehensive list of books that have been challenged between 2002 and 2018. View the list here!

Banned Spotlight: Censored Comics

Comics are challenged for all of the same reasons that other books are challenged, but they are uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of their visual nature. Because comics thrive on the power of the static image, a single page or panel can be the impetus for a challenge in a way that’s different from a passage in a book. Some people still believe that comics are low value speech or are made exclusively for children, and object to comics in the library because of these misconceptions. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund specializes in the defense of comics and graphic novels and the First Amendment rights of the comics community. Find out more about these 30 comics, which CBLDF has helped defend!

Banned Spotlight: Plays and Musicals

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund works to protect the rights of playwrights and performers, including their First Amendment rights to stage a work. One of the tools DLDF provides is The Defender, a database of dramatic works that have been challenged or censored. At present, the list includes more than 70 works that have been targeted by censors. Find out more here…

Banned Books Week UK

Banned Books Week isn’t just observed here in the United States — it’s a world-wide celebration of the freedom to read! Banned Books Week UK has brought the party to the United Kingdom with a series of cool events.

Banned Books Week UK is coordinated by Banned Books Week Coalition member Index on Censorship, along with The British Library, English PEN, Free Word Centre, Islington Library and Heritage Services, Media Diversified, The Publishers Association, the Royal Society of Literature, Hachette UK and Libraries Connected in association with the ALA.

If you have the chance, check out the following Banned Books Week UK events during the annual celebration of the right to read! Learn more at https://www.bannedbooksweek.org.uk/

Censored: Inside the Lord Chamberlain’s Office (British Library)

When: Tuesday 25 September 2018, 19:00 – 20:30
Where: Knowledge Centre The British Library 96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
Tickets: From £8 to £12 via British Library
Additional information: Web |+44 (0)1937 546546 | boxoffice@bl.uk

50 years after the Lord Chamberlain’s Office stopped censoring British theatre, Kathryn Johnson, Steve Nicholson and Dan Rebellato shed light on the inner workings of the former ‘fun police’. They are joined by writer and director Vinay Patel, author of the smash-hit BBC drama Murdered by My Father, who writes a short scene especially for the occasion which is performed and censored on the night.

How did censorship used to work? How could playwrights play the system? And what was the cost of censorship for society? Drawing on a wealth of examples and anecdotes from the Lord Chamberlain’s archive, held by the British Library, our panel of experts discover what would have got you into trouble (and clever ways you might have got around it…)

Speaking Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship

When: Tuesday 25 September 7:30 p.m. BST/2:30 p.m. EDT/1:30 p.m. CDT/11:30 a.m. PDT
Where: Online Webinar, https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6749024865921094915
Tickets: Free

Whether focused on race, gender equality, sexual orientation or mental health, movements are growing at a rapid speed due to digital media, demonstrations and published works. Yet the growth and prevalence of advocacy can make it easy to forget that these voices rose above their silencers’ attempt at censorship.

Join the Index on Censorship, American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and SAGE Publishing for “Speak Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship.” In this Banned Books Weekwebinar, authors will engage in conversation on writing, activism and speaking out. How have they used their words to speak out about something that has been silenced? What is the difference between being a voice of and for a movement? And what will it take for the USA to be censorship free in both oral and written word?

Storytelling Session: Blickling Estate, National Trust

National Trust | Blickling Estate | Tuesday 25 September | 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Head over to Blickling Estate to explore why books are banned, censored, altered and redacted, with particular reference to books written by female authors including:

Children’s Books: Noddy, Harry Potter, Anne Frank’s Diary, Black Beauty, Blubber, Harriet the Spy and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Adult Books: The Handmaid’s Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Well of Loneliness, The Country Girls, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, The Color Purple, Frankenstein and Wild Swans.

Families are very welcome on both sessions.

Normal admission applies, but there is limited space in the room, so entry will be on a first-come, first serve basis.

More information here.

UK Drill & Grime – What’s the Problem?

Wednesday 26 September, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Free Word Centre.

How is music that reflects the lives of marginalised youths on inner-city estates treated in the UK?

Part of Free Word’s upcoming THIS IS PRIVATE Season, launching 5 September 2018.

“This is how it’s been from the beginning, it’s just that everyone is hearing about it now.”

South London rapper Giggs spoke out in 2010 about the forced cancellations of his shows by the Met Police using the risk assessment Form 696. 8 years later, Form 696 has been scrapped, yet UK drill groups are being banned from YouTube and in some cases prohibited from making music without police approval, in case of lyrics that “encourage violence”.

How is music that reflects the lives of marginalised youths on inner-city estates treated in the UK, and what does this say about the censoring of certain voices and communities? With Grime MC P Money, DJ A.G, Drill Producer Carns Hill and Journalist Ciaran Thapar.

This is a Free Word and TRENCH pre-season event for THIS IS PRIVATE, and part of Banned Books Week UK.

Book Tickets HERE.

Censorship and Its Relationship to Fake News: Hull Library

Wednesday 26 September 2018 | 19:30 – 21:00 BST

Join Hull Library for a lively panel debate with our guests from the political, arts & media sector to discuss free speech, fake news and censorship in the age of the internet and social media.

Our panel of guests include:

  • David Mark/ Chair, crime writer, ex-journalist
  • Jenny Howard –Coombs/ Executive Director, Joint CEO, Freedom Festival
  • Professor James Connelly/ Professor of Political Theory, University of Hull
  • Angus Young/ Local Government Reporter, Hull Daily Mail

Tickets cost £3 per person – book online now!

+ Keep an eye out for our SMUT MOBILE!

The ‘Smut Mobile’ was first created in 1961 by the Mothers United For Decency group in Oklahoma, and was a trailer displaying books that they considered immoral. They parked the ‘Smut Mobile’ outside courthouses and public buildings to protest against indecency and to demand the removal of any books or magazines containing ‘smut’.

Our ‘Smut Mobile’, along with some ‘indignant mothers’, will tour around a number of our branch libraries, to protest against the amount of smut in our libraries!

Thursday 27th September & Friday 28th September 2018

  • Thursday,10am to 12pm- Fred Moore Library, Wold Road, Hull, HU5 5UN
  • Thursday, 2pm to 4pm- Ings Library, Savoy Road, Hull, HU8 0TY
  • Friday,10am to 12pm- Freedom Centre Library, 95 Preston Rd, Hull, HU9 3QB
  • Friday, 2pm to 4pm- East Park Library, 453 Holderness Rd, Hull, HU8 8JU

Lifting the Curtain: Theatre and Censorship (British Library)

When: Thursday 27 September 2018, 19:00 – 20:30
Where: Knowledge Centre, The British Library 96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
Tickets: From £10 to £15 via British Library
Additional information: Web | +44 (0)1937 546546 | boxoffice@bl.uk

With Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Richard Eyre, Gillian Slovo and Ella Hickson

50 years since the Lord Chamberlain was stripped of his power to censor plays, we examine playwriting in the UK and freedom of expression.

Join director Richard Eyre and playwrights Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Gillian Slovo and Ella Hickson, to explore the development of British playwriting since the end of censorship in 1968. They consider the circumstances which led to the end of theatre censorship, whether the change in legislation heralded a change in artistic expression at the end of the 1960s, and notable productions which have caused controversy since. Has censorship in this country continued despite the end of legislation? In what other ways do writers today find what they want to say shaped and manipulate by others?

Beyond Censorship: Power, Silencing and Resistance

When: Friday 28 September, 7:00 -9:00 p.m.
Where: Lady Violet Room, National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place SW1A 2HE (Directions)
Tickets: Free. Registration required via Eventbrite

Please join the Authors’ Club, Media Diversified, the Jhalak Prize and Index on Censorship for a discussion of the ways in which dissenting voices are structurally silenced and the many ways of resistance.

A distinguished panel of writers will share their own experiences and works on how institutions and structures operate in subtle legal ways to silence voices that are considered discomfiting, challenging and dangerous as well as ways in which contemporary writing and publishing continues to find ways of resisting such unofficial forms of censorship.

Censorship with English PEN & Royal Court Theatre

Friday 28 September, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
BOOK TICKETS

In 1968, the Royal Court Theatre helped bring about the abolition of the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship powers. But even today, 50 years later, we continue to be challenged by the complexities of freedom of political expression and self-censorship.

This panel discussion explores how artists and programmers continue to reconcile truth-telling with genuine political jeopardy and contemporary cultural politics, both nationally and internationally.

Panellists will include Anthony Burton (chair, Royal Court Theatre), Anthony Neilson (playwright and director) and Anna Wakulik (playwright). The event will be chaired by Ritula Shah.

The event, co-hosted by The Royal Court Theatre, is part of this year’s Banned Books Week UK, a week long celebration of the freedom to read.

Storytelling Session: Blickling Estate, National Trust

National Trust | Blickling Estate | Saturday 29 September | 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

As well as touching on Winnie the Pooh (part of The Word Defiant installation), we’ll be focusing on children’s poetry book ‘A Light in the Attic’ by Shel Silverstein. This was the first children’s book to appear on the New York Times best sellers list, whilst at the same time topping the list of the most frequently challenged books – although the book itself was never actually banned, several of the poems constantly caused controversy.

Families are very welcome on both sessions.

Normal admission applies, but there is limited space in the room, so entry will be on a first-come, first serve basis.

More information here.

Events Spotlight: September 24

What are you doing to celebrate Banned Books Week today? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Banned Together
Joe’s Pub, New York, New York, 7:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from ChicagoSpring AwakeningCabaretRent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. https://www.dldf.org/bannedtogether/

Tickets: https://www.publictheater.org/Tickets/Calendar/PlayDetailsCollection/Joes-Pub/2018/B/Banned-Together/

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Public Library, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from ChicagoSpring AwakeningCabaretRent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with contextual commentary by DLDF president John Weidman. Award winning director Ilyse Robbins will be directing the evening alongside a terrific cast.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-boston-tickets-48878112751

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

Other Events

Banned Books Week at Marist College: Uncensored Readings & Banned Book Bingo
September 24 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Marist College, 3399 North Rd.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 United States

Join us for Banned Book Bingo and Uncensored Readings! Banned Book Bingo will take place on Monday, September 24th, 7 – 9:00 pm in the Cabaretand Uncensored Readings will be on Monday, September 24th and Tuesday, September 25th from 12 – 4:00 pm in the Library Lobby. If you would like to get involved as a reader, please email Emily.Doyle@marist.edu. Also, don’t forget to check out a book this month from our Banned Books display that will be on the main floor of the library during Banned Books Week! More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 24 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s event:

Monday 9/24, 6:30PM – Budlong Woods Library
5630 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL

More info…

Pushing Boundaries: Hidden History Walking Tour
September 24 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm EDT
Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street, 476 5th Avenue (Entrance on 42nd Street)
New York, NY 10018 United States

In honor of Banned Books Week, discover the sometimes scandalous history hidden in plain sight in midtown Manhattan. Librarians will lead a tour of landmarks in and around Bryant Park. Rain or Shine. Space is limited | Open to Adults 18 and over. Advanced registration is required: Pushing Boundaries: Hidden History Walking Tour

More info…

Banned Books Trivia
September 24 @ 5:15 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
MAP Brewing Co, 510 Manley Rd.
Bozeman, MT 59715 United States

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. As part of the week’s activities, ACLU Montana, Bozeman Public Library, Country Bookshelf and MSU Library have partnered to host Banned Books Trivia at MAP Brewing. The free event is part of Map’s Community Pint Night and 50 cents from each beer sold will be donated to the Freedom to Read Foundation. Kent Davis, writer, actor, and Montana State University Honors College faculty member, will MC the event and Jessica Hahl of Country Bookshelf will co-host. More info…

Edible Banned Books Festival
September 24 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm EDT
Handley Library, 100 West Piccadilly St.
Winchester, VA 22604 United States

Professional and amateur bakers unite against the attempts to ban books! Create a banned book cake masterpiece. Some materials provided. Local patrons and community partners will vote for noteworthy banned book delicacies and bid on their favorite cakes to then take home as we celebrate our freedom to read. All money raised will be donated to Literacy Volunteers of the Winchester Area. More info…

Banned Books Bingo
September 24 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT
Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, 1871 Old Main
Shippenburg, PA 17257 United States

Join us for bingo, banned books style! The first 10 attendees will receive a banned-books week button. More info…

Banned Books Picnic
September 24 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Central Branch Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22201 United States

Join us after work to hang out with your friends and listen to passages from challenged and banned books, read by some of your favorite librarians.

Bring your blanket and a picnic dinner! The Picnic will be held in Quincy Park, on the lawn between the Central Library Auditorium and the soccer field. In the event of rain, we will move to the Auditorium. Please note: This event is for adults and mature teens only. More info…

Penguin Random House Partners With “We Need Diverse Books” in Observance of Banned Books Week

With its ongoing mission to invest in voices that reflect wide-ranging opinions that impact our society in meaningful ways, Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade publisher, is supporting this year’s Banned Books Week with major books and financial contributions. From September 23-29, thousands of libraries, schools, bookstores, and community centers across the nation and the world unite to celebrate the freedom to read without interference or censorship.

This year, Penguin Random House is highlighting quotes from books that have been challenged or banned in a social media sweepstakes competition, open to participants who repost these quotes or tag a friend and comment with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #Sweepstakes. For every entry, Penguin Random House will donate one book – up to 5,000 total – to We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

To participate in this campaign, follow @PenguinRandomHouse on Instagram.*

Madeline McIntosh, Chief Executive Officer, Penguin Random House U.S., said, “Supporting free speech and diverse voices is at the core of what we do as Penguin Random House. We are committed to continuing our longstanding support of Banned Books Week and this year’s theme, ‘Banning Books Silences Stories,’ to raise awareness of the rising tide of censorship and the importance of ensuring all voices are not just heard and read, but also celebrated.”

In addition, Penguin Random House is providing financial support to organizations involved in supporting free expression. This includes contributions to the American Booksellers for Free Expression, which is part of the American Booksellers Association; the Banned Books Week Coalition; and the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Penguin Random House’s two children’s book divisions, Random House Children’s Books (RHCB) and Penguin Young Readers (PYR), have created materials for discussing banned and challenged books and the importance of free expression. RHCB is also holding a sweepstakes for PROPERTY OF THE REBEL LIBRARIAN by Allison Varnes (Random House Books for Young Readers, September 18) and offering a guide on “how to build your own rebel library.” In partnership with the Out of Print Banned Books Collection, RHCB will also hold a sweepstakes for parents to win a prize pack of middle grade titles, as well as for teen readers to win a prize pack of YA books through Underlined. Underlined will also feature a Banned Books Week quiz on the site. PYR will also feature a list of banned and challenged books in an online reading guide at Penguin Teen.

~~~

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively. With nearly 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9/23/18 and 9/29/18. Open to US residents, 18 and older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules for full details.

Happy Banned Books Week!

Banning Books Silences StoriesThe celebration of reading is here! Banning books silences stories, so speak out against censorship all week at evens around the world!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completeing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are kicking off Banned Books Week…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—San Francisco, California
Phoenix Theatre, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from ChicagoSpring AwakeningCabaretRent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. https://pen.org/event/banned-together-san-francisco/

Rebellion Fun — Banned Books Week 
Hillsboro Brookwood Library Community Room, Hillsboro, Oregon, 3:00 – 4:00 pm. PT 

It’s the start of Banned Books Week, so come in for some rebellion fun. Take pictures with banned and challenged books. Find out about defending comic books and the First Amendment with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Enjoy food, games, and prizes! https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/departments/library

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Baltimore, Maryland
Zion Church of the City of Baltimore, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. ET

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, presents Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret. Join WYPR’s Tom Hall and talented local singers in a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. The performances will feature selections from ChicagoFun HomeSpring Awakening, and The Laramie Project,among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF President John Weidman. Light refreshments will be provided. https://pen.org/event/banned-together-baltimore-md/

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-baltimore-tickets-48845131102

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

September 23 Events Spotlight

Books on the Chopping Block
September 23 @ 2:00 pm CDT
Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom. The program lasts approximately 60 minutes and is taking place all week at locations round the Chicago area.

Today:
Sunday 9/23, 2:00PM – Sulzer Library
4455 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL

More info…

Kimberly Butler’s “CENSORED” Photo Exhibition Kicks Off “Banned Books Week”
September 23 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT
SPACE38, 28 West 38th St., Storefront
New York, 10018 United States

“CENSORED” features 21 provocative photos from Kimberly Butler’s forthcoming book of the same name. The photos she chose for this unique exhibition illustrate that “banning books silences stories” – the theme of this year’s “Banned Books Week” event – and that everyone needs to speak out against censorship.  Butler’s “CENSORED” photos are “a personification of books that have all been banned at one time or another,” she explains, “with quotes from the books emblazoned across each person’s body.” More info…

To Kill a Mockingbird: Live Performance Featuring Mary Badham
September 23 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm EDT
The Lynn Theater at John Tyler Community College, 800 Charter Colony Parkway
Midlothian, VA 23114 United States

The Phantom Players and Director Tracey Frame are excited to bring Oscar-nominated actress Mary Badham to Richmond for an unprecedented theatrical performance of Harper Lee’s classic American novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, as adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel. This limited time engagement will run for three shows only, September 21-23, at the Lynn Theater on the Midlothian Campus of John Tyler Community College.

The 1962 movie starred Gregory Peck, who won the Oscar for Best Actor, and introduced audiences to a young actress named Mary Badham, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress; at the time, she was the youngest performer to be so honored. In a rare moment of life imitating art, Mary Badham will not be reprising her role as Scout, but evolving into Jean Louise Finch–the adult version of the same character she played as a child–who serves as the show’s narrator. This once-in-a-lifetime event will not be performed anywhere else and is likely to sell out quickly. More info…

Jeopardy and Q&A with Kathy Barco and Val Nye for Banned Books Week

September 23 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107

Kick off Banned Books Week with a Jeopardy style game about banned books and a Q&A with the authors of True Stories of Censorship Battles in America’s Libraries; Kathy Barco and Valerie Nye. More info…

Talks on Tap: What Happens When you Read Banned Books
September 23 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT
Brick and Mortar Brewing Company, 212 E Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

Raise a pint and your intellect! Kick off Banned Books Week with Alicia DeFonzo, nonfiction writer and Lecturer of English at Old Dominion University, while exploring the topic of censorship in literature and the inevitable effects intellectual freedom has on children.

Brick & Mortar Brewing Company and Suffolk Public Library presents Talks on Tap, a guest lecture series with an informal flair. Sit back, relax, enjoy a beverage and learn something new to impress your friends with later. More info…

Uncensored: Banned Books Week Quiz–Hosted by Saqi Books
September 23 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm BST
The Book Club, 100 – 106, Leonard Street
London, EC2A 4RH United Kingdom

Join independent Publisher Saqi Books and Bidisha at The Book Club, Hoxton, to kick off Banned Books Week. Bring along a pen and your bookish friends and prepare to be shocked by the real and dangerous – and often ludicrous– state of book censorship past and present around the world.

There will be PRIZES (read ‘prizes’ as ‘books’) and approximately ten rounds of questions. Audience engagement actively encouraged. Heckles only accepted in the form of haiku. More info…

What Are You Doing for Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week kicks off on Sunday, but events celebrating the right to read are already underway! Are you still looking for something to do to honor challenged and banned books? We have a few ideas to get you started…

First, be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completeing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Banned Books Week Coalition Events Calendar

The members of the Banned Books Week Coalition have a number of events planned for the annual celebration of the right read! Show your support for their efforts defending the right to read by attending any of these great events, including the Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign, Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret, the Speaking Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship webinar, and much more! View Coalition events here: https://bannedbooksweek.org/banned-books-week-coalition-events-calendar/

We will keep this calendar updated as more events are confirmed, so please check back!

September 21-22 Events Spotlight

Let’s take a look at some of the events warming things up for Banned Books Week 2018…

4th Annual WCC Banned Books Week Virtual Readout

September 21 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm HST • Kaneohe, HI 

Help us celebrate Banned Books Week by bringing a banned book to read! More info…

To Kill a Mockingbird: Live Performance Featuring Mary Badham

September 21 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm EDT

The Phantom Players and Director Tracey Frame are excited to bring Oscar-nominated actress Mary Badham to Richmond for an unprecedented theatrical performance of Harper Lee’s classic American novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, as adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel. This limited time engagement will run for three shows only, September 21-23, at the Lynn Theater on the Midlothian Campus of John Tyler Community College.

The 1962 movie starred Gregory Peck, who won the Oscar for Best Actor, and introduced audiences to a young actress named Mary Badham, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress; at the time, she was the youngest performer to be so honored. In a rare moment of life imitating art, Mary Badham will not be reprising her role as Scout, but evolving into Jean Louise Finch–the adult version of the same character she played as a child–who serves as the show’s narrator. This once-in-a-lifetime event will not be performed anywhere else and is likely to sell out quickly. More info…

Banned Books Trading Cards Exhibit Opening

September 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT

Chapel Hill Public Library’s popular Banned Books Trading Cards are back for the sixth year. You’re invited to get a sneak peek at the winning submissions, meet the artists, and celebrate the opening of the exhibit in the library’s lobby. Original works from local artists will be on display. All pieces were inspired by books and authors that have been banned or challenged. There will be refreshments, a silent auction of the seven winning pieces of original artwork, and complete sets of this year’s cards. This year’s winning entries will also be prominently featured and larger than life on a Chapel Hill Transit bus. Come see it for yourself the night of the party and keep an eye out for it around town all year. More info…

Amaze Your Friends! Horrify Your Parents!! READ A BANNED GRAPHIC NOVEL!!!

September 22 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am CDT

Comic books and censorship have a shared history most famously dating back to the 1950s, but there is still cause for concern today. As comics and graphic novels increasingly appear on the shelves of local libraries and schools (and increasingly appeal to a more sophisticated audience), they are increasingly vulnerable to having their content challenged. Then as now, the issue is whether the viewpoints of the few should dictate what the many may read and enjoy.

As a precursor to “Banned Books Week” (beginning Sunday 9/23 through Saturday 9/29), join the True Believers Graphic Novel Book Club on Saturday, September 22, as we celebrate the freedom to read by discussing a selection of “banned” graphic novels that have been challenged for content in recent years. Our “Banned Books” panel discussion will take place with a live audience at the Galaxy Comic and Fantasy Art Expo in Joliet, Illinois! More info…

Kimberly Butler’s “CENSORED” Photo Exhibition Kicks off “Banned Books Week”

September 22 @ 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm EDT • New York City, NY

“CENSORED” features 21 provocative photos from Kimberly Butler’s forthcoming book of the same name. The photos she chose for this unique exhibition illustrate that “banning books silences stories” — the theme of this year’s “Banned Books Week” event — and that everyone needs to speak out against censorship.  Butler’s “CENSORED” photos are “a personification of books that have all been banned at one time or another,” she explains, “with quotes from the books emblazoned across each person’s body.” More info…

Harry Potter Themed Banned Book Party

September 22 @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm CDT • Williston, ND

Come enjoy a day at Hogwarts to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter, while kicking off National Banned Books Week! We will have information on all your favorite Banned Books, as well as some real Hogwarts classes for kids and kids at heart. More info…

Banned Spotlight: Plays and Musicals

Books aren’t the only focus of Banned Books Week. Plays, musicals, and other theatrical productions are frequent targets of censors, from the bright lights of Broadway to the smallest grade school.

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund works to protect the rights of playwrights and performers, including their First Amendment rights to stage a work. One of the tools DLDF provides is The Defender, a database of dramatic works that have been challenged or censored in the United States. The database provides a way to track challenges to staged works, examples of ways in which challenges were overcome, and an idea of who is challenging plays and musicals and why.

At present, the list includes more than 70 works that have been targeted by censors. The attacks range from censorship of the source material, to calls for boycotts, to cancellations of productions, to termination of staff who supported the staging of the work.

A few highlights from the list:

  • A production of American Idiot, the stage version of Green Day’s hit album, was cancelled at Enfield High School in Connecticut after a handful of parents complained about mature content in the musical and threatened to keep their children from participating. Several members of the Banned Books Week Coalition signed a letter in support of the play.
  • Avenue Q, a hit musical comedy starring puppets that satirizes the anxieties of adulthood, saw the removal of ads in Colorado Springs because of visible puppet cleavage.
  • Members of a church in Fulton, Missouri, objected to the depiction of smoking, drinking, and kissing in Grease.
  • The Loveland High School in Ohio fired the director of the school’s production of Legally Blonde over “bootie-bounce dance moves” and the use of the word “skank”
  • The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in Greenwich Village cancelled Playwrights for a Cause, a benefit supporting the National Coalition Against Censorship, because of Neil LaBute’s anti-censorship monologue Mohammed Gets a Boner.
  • A Pennsylvania high school cancelled a production of Spamalot over homosexual themes and subsequently fired the drama teacher for speaking about the cancellation.

You can view the entirety of DLDF’s database here.

Previous Banned Spotlights:

Banned Books Week Is Here — Celebrate With New Handbook!

Banned Books Week kicks off on Sunday, and the Banned Books Week Coalition is celebrating with the CELEBRATE BANNED BOOKS WEEK HANDBOOK, a new publication! Visit https://bannedbooksweek.org/resources/handbook/ to view the handbook or read it below, and find a Banned Books Week event near you at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/

CELEBRATE BANNED BOOKS WEEK HANDBOOK is a free publication that can be used to guide your celebration of the right to read during Banned Books Week or any time of year! It includes programming ideas, best practices for events, resources, and tips for handling censorship. This invaluable handbook will continue in coming years with annual updates.

The 2018 theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against the tide of censorship. Please join us during Banned Books Week, September 23 – 29, 2018! Tell us about your display or event by completing the form at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/community/add/, and we’ll include it on our events calendar!

Learn more about the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017 at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/NLW-Top10 and the challenges facing America’s libraries at http://www.ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2018

ABOUT THE BANNED BOOKS WEEK COALITION
The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Dramatists Legal Defense Fund; Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People for the American Way; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Celebrate Banned Books Week in Humble Bundle Style With the Forbidden Books Bundle

Celebrate Banned Books Week in Humble Bundle style with the new Forbidden Books Bundle, a collection of banned and challenged books by some of the world’s most influential authors!

From The Color Purple to Saga, Lauren Myracle to Neil Gaiman, even kids classics from And Tango Makes Three to Bone, some of the most popular books in the world are targets for censorship. Humble’s Forbidden Books Bundle fights censorship and helps you celebrate the freedom to read by providing an incredible library of banned and challenged books to benefit the Banned Books Week efforts of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF).

The Humble Book Bundle: Forbidden Books supporting Banned Books Week 2018 will run from September 19 through September 24 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Customers can pay just $1 or more for:

  • Kramer Vs Kramer by Avery Corman
  • Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Zone of the Interior by Clancy Sigal
  • Essays in Humanism by Albert Einstein
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • BONUS Read Banned Books: A Guide to Banned, Challenged, and Controversial Comics and Graphic Novels
  • BONUS Censorship Toolkit

Customers who pay $8 or more will also get:

  • Free Speeches by Neil Gaiman
  • Barefoot Gen Vol. 1 by Keiji Nakazawa
  • Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaugh, Fiona Staples
  • Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
  • The Bastard by John Jakes
  • Intensely Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • ttyl: 10th Anniversary Edition by Lauren Myracle

Those who pay $15 or more will receive all of that plus:

  • Bone Vol. 1 by Jeff Smith
  • A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
  • Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  • Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez
  • Heartbreak Soup by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
  • Gods & Tulips by Neil Gaiman

Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC) and Executive Director of CBLDF says, “Sharing the stories others want to repress is one of the best ways to fight censorship. We’re grateful to Humble Bundle and all the authors and publishers who participated in the Forbidden Books Bundle for helping all of us share these powerful stories and to empower readers everywhere to add their own voice to the celebration of the freedom to read!”

Abena Hutchful, coordinator of NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program and Kids’ Right to Read Project says, “Banned Books Week gives everyone a chance to celebrate their story and to see the world through the eyes of other people. We encourage everyone to use this bundle as a starting point in their Banned Books Week celebration, and to get get more involved by participating in community Banned Books events, posting online about the freedom to read, and talking about the banned books they read!”

Kelley L. Allen, Director of Books at Humble Bundle says, “We hope that our customers enjoy this curated selection of superb books that were either banned, challenged, sued, censored, or even burned. I have been working with our dedicated and hardworking friends over at NCAC and CBLDF on this promotion for the better part of a year, along with some of my personal favorite book and comic publishers including Simon & Schuster, Abrams, Cartoon Books, Open Road Media, Fantagraphics, Last Gasp, and Image Comics.”

Proceeds from this bundle benefit the work of the National Coalition Against Censorship and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, partners in the Banned Books Week Coalition and Kids’ Right to Read Project. Together, the NCAC and CBLDF help respond to bans and challenges of books with expert advice, letters of support, and legal expertise. They also collaborate to produce valuable resources to protect Free Expression, such as Be Heard!, a free comic book to protect student rights released earlier this year.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)
NCAC’s mission is to promote freedom of thought, inquiry and expression and oppose censorship in all its forms. The Coalition formed in response to the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Miller v. California, which narrowed First Amendment protections for sexual expression and opened the door to obscenity prosecutions.

Over 40 years, as an alliance of more than 50 national non-profits, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups, we have engaged in direct advocacy and education to support First Amendment principles. NCAC is unique in that we are national in scope, but often local in our approach. We work with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation. For more info, check out ncac.org.

About the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting the freedom to read comics! Our work protects readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers, and educators who face the threat of censorship. We monitor legislation and challenge laws that would limit the First Amendment. We create resources that promote understanding of comics and the rights our community is guaranteed. Every day we publish news and information about censorship events as they happen. We are partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project and Banned Books Week. Our expert legal team is available to respond to First Amendment emergencies at a moment’s notice. CBLDF is a lean organization that works hard to protect the rights on which our community depends. For more information, visit www.cbldf.org.

About Humble Bundle
Humble Bundle sells games, ebooks, software, and other digital content through pay-what-you-want bundle promotions, the Humble Store, and the Humble Monthly curated subscription service. When buying a bundle, customers not only choose how much to pay, but also how their payment is divided between the content creators, charity, and Humble Bundle. Purchases from the Humble Store and subscriptions to Humble Monthly also help support charity. In 2017, Humble Bundle announced the launch of a multi-platform funding and creative initiative to publish games “Presented by Humble Bundle.” Since the company’s launch in 2010, Humble Bundle and its community have raised more than $132 million for a wide range of charities across the world. To see more, visit https://www.humblebundle.com.

Banned Spotlight: Censored Comics

Comics are challenged for all of the same reasons that other books are challenged, but they are uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of their visual nature. Because comics thrive on the power of the static image, a single page or panel can be the impetus for a challenge in a way that’s different from a passage in a book. Some people still believe that comics are low value speech or are made exclusively for children, and object to comics in the library because of these misconceptions.

Here’s a sampling of the most common reasons comics are challenged:

  • Profanity/offensive language
  • Sex or nudity
  • Violence and horror
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Politically/socially/racially offensive
  • Offensive to religious beliefs

Banned Books Week Coalition member Comic Book Legal Defense Fund specializes in the defense of comics and graphic novels and the First Amendment rights of the comics community. A few of the comics they have defended over the years follow.

CBLDF is partnering with Image Comics and the ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table on a series of livestreams with comics creators during Banned Books Week. Find out more…

Amazing Spider-Man: Revelations by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita, Jr., and Scott Hanna

  • Location of key challenge: A middle-school library in Millard, Nebraska
  • Reason challenged: Sexual overtones

The parent of a 6-year-old who checked out the book filed a complaint and took the story to the media; the parent also withheld the book for the duration of the review process rather than returning it per library policy. More…

Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa 

  • Location of key challenge: Japan
  • Reason challenged: Violence, discrimination

Keiji Nakazawa’s internationally renowned manga Barefoot Gen, which depicts wartime atrocities from the perspective of the seven-year-old protagonist, has fallen victim to several challenges in its home country of Japan. More…

Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

  • Location of key challenge: Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio
  • Reason challenged: Sexism, offensive language, and unsuited to age group

Despite the challenge, the library retained the book and now holds two copies, which are shelved in the Teen section. More…

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Boland

  • Location of key challenge: Columbus, Nebraska, Public Library
  • Reason challenged: Advocates rape and violence

In May 2013, a patron of the public library in Columbus, Nebraska requested that the book be removed from the collection, claiming that it “advocates rape and violence.” More…

Blankets by Craig Thompson

  • Location of key challenge: The public library in Marshall, Missouri
  • Reason challenged: Obscene images

CBLDF wrote a letter to the Marshall library on behalf of Blankets and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, playing a key role in keeping both books on shelves. More…

Bone by Jeff Smith

  • Location of key challenge: Independent School District 196 in Rosemount, Minnesota
  • Reason challenged: Promotion of smoking and drinking

A letter from Jeff Smith decrying the attempted ban of his book was read aloud at the library review committee’s hearing, and the challenge was ultimately rejected by a 10-1 vote, to the praise of Smith and the CBLDFMore…

The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner

  • Location of key challenge: Undisclosed
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Artist and comics creator Phoebe Gloeckner has never been afraid to show the raw and gritty bits of reality in her work. For that reason, Gloekner’s work is a frequent target of censors. In 2015, CBLDF was involved in a confidential challenge against the graphic novel over its sexual content, and our efforts kept the book on shelves. More…

Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

  • Location of key challenge: All public school libraries in Wicomico County, Maryland
  • Reason challenged: Violence and nudity

The library review committee recommended that the books in the Dragon Ball series, which were recommended by the publisher for ages 13+, be removed from the entire public school library system, including at the high school level. More…

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

  • Location of key challenge: Chapel Hill Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Texas
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Although most readers of all ages found Drama to be just as endearing and authentic as Telgemeier’s other books Smile and Sisters, a small but vocal minority have objected to the inclusion of two gay characters. More…

The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Nudity, sexual content, and unsuited to age group

When the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom released their list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011, the second-most challenged book on that list was The Color of Earth, the first book of a critically-acclaimed Korean manwha, or comic book, series. More…

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel 

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Obscene images

CBLDF wrote a letter to the Marshall library on behalf of Fun Home and Craig Thompson’s Blankets, playing a key role in keeping both books on shelves. In 2014, the book faced a greater challenge in South Carolina, where the state legislature debated punitive budget cuts against the College of Charleston because it incorporated Fun Home into a voluntary summer reading program for incoming freshman. More…

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell

  • Location of key challenge: Undisclosed
  • Reason challenged: Violent imagery

In February 2015, CBLDF was confidentially involved the defense of the graphic novel edition of The Graveyard Book, which was challenged in an undisclosed middle school library for violent imagery. More…

Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

  • Location of key challenge: A high school in Guilford, Connecticut
  • Reason challenged: Profanity, course language, and brief non-sexual nudity

A high school teacher was forced to resign from his job after a parent filed both a complaint with the school and a police complaint against the teacher for lending a high school freshman a copy of Eightball #22, which was later published as the graphic novel Ice HavenMore…

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Nudity

In the Night Kitchen was not often removed from shelves; instead, librarians censored it by painting underwear or diapers over the genitals of the main character, a precocious child named Mickey. More…

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill

  • Location of key challenge: Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky
  • Reason challenged: Sex scenes

Two employees of the Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky were fired after they took it upon themselves to withhold the library’s copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier from circulation because they felt it was pornographic. More…

Maus by Art Spiegelman

  • Location of key challenge: Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, California
  • Reason challenged: Anti-ethnic and unsuited for age group

Nick Smith of the Pasadena Public Library describes the challenge as being “made by a Polish-American who is very proud of his heritage, and who had made other suggestions about adding books on Polish history… The thing is, Maus made him uncomfortable, so he didn’t want other people to read it. That is censorship, as opposed to parental guidance.” More…

Neonomicon by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows

  • Location of key challenge: Greenville, South Carolina, public library
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Despite giving her 14-year-old daughter permission to check out the book, which was appropriately shelved in the adult section of the library, a mother filed a complaint, claiming the book was “pornographic.” CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book, but it remains out of circulation pending review. More…

Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez

  • Location of key challenge: Rio Rancho, New Mexico
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content, child pornography

In early 2015, the critically acclaimed comic collection Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez was called “child porn” by the mother of a high school student in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. More…

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Profanity, violent content

Furor erupted in 2013 when Chicago Public Schools sent an email to local principals, directing them to remove all copies of Marjane Satrapi’s award-winning graphic novel Persepolis. CPS backpedaled on the initial email, but the book was removed from Grade 7 classrooms and use in Grade 8 -10 classrooms now requires additional teacher training. Possibly as a result of publicity from the 2013 CPS ban, Persepolis faced three more school challenges in 2014, landing it the #2 spot on the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for that year. More…

Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Despite receiving high praise from the ALA and Booklist and featuring a cast consisting of animals, the book has been challenged at libraries for sexual content. More…

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

  • Location of Challenge: Apple iOS (2013), Oregon (2014)
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content, anti-family, nudity, offensive language, and unsuited for age group.

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples sci-fi epic adventure, Saga, has not only become one of the bestselling and most critically acclaimed comic series since its debut in March 2012, but it has also become one of the most controversial comics. More…

Sandman by Neil Gaiman and various artists

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Anti-family themes, offensive language, and unsuited for age group

When asked about how he felt when Sandman was labelled unsuitable for teens, Gaiman responded, “I suspect that having a reputation as adult material that’s unsuitable for teens will probably do more to get teens to read Sandmanthan having the books ready and waiting on the YA shelves would ever do.” More…

SideScrollers by Matthew Loux

  • Location of key challenge: Enfield, Connecticut, public school district
  • Reason challenged: Profanity and sexual references

The school district removed the book from non-compulsory summer reading lists, possibly violating its own review policy, which states in part that “no parent nor group of parents has the right to negate the use of educational resources for students other than his/her own child.” CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book and is still awaiting a response from the school board. More…

Stuck in the Middle, edited by Ariel Schrag

  • Location of key challenge: Dixfield, Maine, public school system
  • Reason challenged: Language, sexual content, and drug references

CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book, and the school board voted to leave the book on library shelves with the caveat the students must have parental permission to check out the book. “While we’re pleased to see the book retained in the library’s collection, we’re very disappointed that it is retained with restrictions,” said Executive Director Charles Brownstein. More…

Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse

  • Location of key challenge: Montgomery County Memorial Library System, Texas
  • Reason challenged: Depiction of homosexuality

The book was challenged alongside 15 other young adult books with gay positive themes. The book was ultimately retained in the Montgomery County system, but was reclassified from Young Adult to Adult. More…

Tank Girl by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett

  • Location of key challenge: Hammond Public Library in Hammond, Indiana
  • Reason challenged: Nudity and violence

The Tank Girl books are meant to entertain an adult audience, frequently depicting violence, flatulence, vomiting, sex, and drug use. After the 2009 challenge, the Hammond Public Library chose to retain the book, and it remains on shelves today. More…

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content, unsuited to age group

Graphic novel This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki broke boundaries by becoming the first graphic novel to make the short list for the Caldecott Medal. Unfortunately, the Caldecott honor yielded an unforeseen negative outcome: Since the announcement of the Caldecott honor, CBLDF has been confidentially involved in monitoring challenges to This One Summer in various communities. More…

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Unsuited to age group

Watchmen received a Hugo Award in 1988 and was instrumental in garnering more respect and shelf space for comics and graphic novels in libraries and mainstream bookstores. The inclusion of Watchmen in school library collections has been challenged by parents at least twice, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual FreedomMore…

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra

  • Location of key challenge: Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

In June 2015, Y: The Last Man was one of four graphic novels that a 20-year-old college student and her parents said should be “eradicated from the system” at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California. After completing an English course on graphic novels, Tara Shultz publicly raised objections to PersepolisFun HomeY: The Last Man Vol. 1, and The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll’s House as “pornography” and “garbage.” More…

Originally posted by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Local Pastors Attempt to Ban Books from Banned Books Display at Maine Public Library

Banned books display at Rumford Public Library (via Twitter user Katje Fae @katjefae)

A group of pastors in Rumford, Maine are attempting to have LGBTQ books banned from the Rumford Public Library’s display of banned books. The library is holding a board meeting today, where the controversy will be discussed. The National Coalition Against Censorship and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund support Rumford Public Library’s display and freedom to choose how best to serve their community. NCAC and CBLDF oppose efforts to limit a whole community’s access to books based on the personal viewpoints or religious beliefs of some groups or individuals in that community. As public institutions, libraries are obligated not to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint or sexual orientation.

The display coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, highlighting books that often draw challenges in schools and libraries. Half of the books on this year’s American Library Association Top 10 Banned Books list tell stories of LGBTQ characters. Books representing a wide variety of experiences and voices allow readers, particularly children, to find connection, safely explore unfamiliar ideas, and broaden their understanding of the world.

This article was originally posted by the National Coalition Against Censorship. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has posted additional information and a statement from Executive Director Charles Brownstein here.

Banned Spotlight: Thirteen Reasons Why

The most challenged book of 2017 was Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, a novel that has been a valuable tool in igniting conversations about suicide, bullying, and consent. The depiction of suicide was the primary reason for 2017 challenges. The book was also on the top ten list in 2012 for drug and alcohol use, sexual content, suicide, and being unsuited for age group.

Thirteen Reasons Why was released in 2007. The novel is a first person narrative told from the perspective of Clay, a high school boy who receives 13 tapes that fellow student Hannah Baker leaves behind after her suicide. Each tape is about a person who had some role in her suicide. The young adult novel was a New York Times bestseller for a combined 228 weeks, and it won a California Book Award Silver Medal (2008) and the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award (2010). YALSA named it a Best Book for Young Adults.

On March 31, 2017, Netflix released a 13-episode series based on the novel. Notably, the series deviated from the source material in several significant ways. The depiction of Hannah’s suicide was changed and much more graphic, as was the depiction of drug and alcohol use.

Many of the 2017 challenges to Thirteen Reasons Why were tied to the popularity of the Netflix series. The show debuted in late March, and shortly thereafter, several school districts around the country tried to ban the book. After a series of suicides on Colorado, the curriculum director of the Mesa Country School District pulled the book from circulation without following due process. It was returned after a review committee of librarians and counselors determined that the book wasn’t as graphic as the Netflix series. An elementary school in Florida banned the book from campus, even for personal reading, arguing that students weren’t mature enough to handle the depiction of suicide, profanity, sexual content, and drug use. The book was also pulled from middle school classrooms in Anderson County, Kentucky. Several school districts also cautioned parents against letting their children view the Netflix series.

Earlier this year, allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against Asher. The allegations were not a factor in challenges in 2017 and previous years. Jamie LaRue, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, addresses the controversy with Publishers Weekly.

Banned Books Week Coalition Events Calendar

The members of the Banned Books Week Coalition have a number of events planned for the annual celebration of the right read! Show your support for their efforts defending the right to read by attending any of these great events!

We will keep this calendar updated as more events are confirmed, so please check back!

More about the coalition: https://bannedbooksweek.org/coalition/

Weeklong Events (September 23-29)

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Project Censored

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

September 16

#NCTEchat
Twitter, 8:00 p.m. ET

Hosts Teri Lesesne (@ProfessorNana) and Gretchen Oltman (@Dr_Oltman) tackle the topic of Banning Books Silences Stories in this Twitter-based conversation.

September 23

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—San Francisco, California
Phoenix Theatre, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. https://pen.org/event/banned-together-san-francisco/

Rebellion Fun — Banned Books Week 
Hillsboro Brookwood Library Community Room, Hillsboro, Oregon, 3:00 – 4:00 pm. PT 

It’s the start of Banned Books Week, so come in for some rebellion fun. Take pictures with banned and challenged books. Find out about defending comic books and the First Amendment with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Enjoy food, games, and prizes! https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/departments/library

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Baltimore, Maryland
Zion Church of the City of Baltimore, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. ET

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, presents Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret. Join WYPR’s Tom Hall and talented local singers in a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Fun Home, Spring Awakening, and The Laramie Project, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF President John Weidman. Light refreshments will be provided. https://pen.org/event/banned-together-baltimore-md/

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-baltimore-tickets-48845131102

September 24

Banned Together
Joe’s Pub, New York, New York, 7:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. https://www.dldf.org/bannedtogether/

Tickets: https://www.publictheater.org/Tickets/Calendar/PlayDetailsCollection/Joes-Pub/2018/B/Banned-Together/

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Public Library, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with contextual commentary by DLDF president John Weidman. Award winning director Ilyse Robbins will be directing the evening alongside a terrific cast.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-boston-tickets-48878112751

September 25

Speaking Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship
Webinar, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT

Join the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, SAGE Publishing, and Index on Censorship for “Speak Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship.” In this Banned Books Week webinar, authors will engage in conversation on writing, activism, and speaking out. How have they used their words to speak out about something that has been silenced? What is the difference between being a voice of and for a movement? And what will it take for America to be censorship free in both oral and written word?

Our featured speakers include:

  • Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of various fiction works including Little & Lion, a story that touches on the intersection of race, sexuality, and religion
  • Alex Gino, author of George, an award-winning and heartwarming middle grade book about a transgender girl
  • Marni Brown, acclaimed author of Gendered Lives, Sexual Beings, a textbook lauded for its intersectional framework, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia Gwinnett College

The webinar will be moderated by Jemimah Steinfield, Deputy Editor of the award-winning Index on Censorship magazine.

Register for the webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6749024865921094915

Image Comics Livestream: Pornsak Pichetshote
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Buffalo, New York
Nichols School, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. Buffalo, NY, based actor, director, and theatre educator Kristen Tripp Kelley will direct Nichols high school students and alumni in a collection of previously censored scenes and songs. The ensemble is proud to join with Banned Together artists and citizens around the country in the promotion of our freedom of expression.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-western-new-york-tickets-48878975331

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—St. Louis, Missouri
Tesseract Theatre, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-st-louis-tickets-49681392382

September 26

Drag Queen Story Hour Reads Banned Books
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like–drag queens read children’s books and lead creative activities promoting imagination and freedom of self-expression. In honor of Banned Books Week, we’ll be reading books from the ALA’s Top Ten Banned Books of 2017 list. Half of the books on the list were challenged for LGBTQ themes, so this story hour could not be more needed to ensure that these important stories are not silenced. Co-hosted by Drag Queen Story Hour and the National Coalition Against Censorship. All families are welcome to join us at the Brooklyn Public Library! https://www.facebook.com/events/721323064882141/

Image Comics Livestream: Nick Dragotta
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Golden, Colorado
Miners Alley Playhouse, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. MT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. https://pen.org/event/banned-together-denver-co/

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Los Angeles, California
Skylight Theatre, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. PT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-a-censorship-cabaret-tickets-50217324369

September 27

Image Comics Livestream: Grace Ellis
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

September 28

Image Comics Livestream: Charles Soule
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Dallas, Texas
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). A provocative cabaret-style performance showcasing excerpts from Tony Award-winning plays and musicals such as Rent, Cabaret, Fun Home, and Angels in America, these productions are widely challenged by those who desire to censor the literary community due to the content and/or language of works. However, they will find their voices again on the Bishop Arts Theatre Center stage. Working with the TNT (Teenagers And Theatre) Apprenticeship program, Banned Together educates teen and adult audiences of how theatre and the arts can inspire conversations, activism, and challenge our mindsets. Directed by Korey Parker.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-dallas-tickets-48878347453

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Atlanta, Georgia
Out Front Theater Company, 8:00 -10:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.

Tickets: https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=b69f4f04b5cec4a060a9a4ffd2b9bf25&t=tix&vqitq=02bf18a3-b1b5-4f93-9f47-f1596721936e&vqitp=8349b7d9-9b91-48d9-b960-579fb194ea34&vqitts=1536412162&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=a9679f9cd65ff

September 29

Image Comics Livestream: Skottie Young
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Riverhead Pop-Up Reading Room: Banned Books Week
Brooklyn, New York, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

 

You’re invited to the latest installment of Riverhead’s open-air, thematically curated pop-up reading rooms! September’s pop-up is in honor of Banned Books Week; join us in celebrating the freedom to read as we feature books and authors from the Riverhead collection that have been challenged in schools and libraries around the country, or address themes or topics that inspire passionate discussion, from startling subversions of religion in Khaled Hosseini’s acclaimed novel The Kite Runner to profoundly honest explorations of sexuality and oppression in Garrard Conley’s memoir Boy Erased. Throughout the day, peruse books that start essential conversations: our shelves will be stocked with Mohsin Hamid’s heartrending and inventive Exit West, R.O. Kwon’s explosive The Incendiaries, and Patricia Lockwood’s equal parts saucy and sublime Priestdaddy. Younger readers are encouraged to attend and get lost in wonderfully original and illuminating titles like John Green’s Looking for Alaska, David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, and many more titles courtesy of our friends at Random House Children’s Books and Penguin Young Readers.

Stop by the pop-up to read, to engage with fellow readers about the vital need for books that generate debate and deeper reflection, and take part in Banned Books Week activities that amplify the stories and voices of those that need to be heard today. The pop-up will ask visitors to consider the question: What would it be like to live in a world without open access to ideas and literature? There will be sponsored snacks and beverages available on-site, and a chance to win Riverhead totes filled with signed copies of the hottest new books by Riverhead authors Khaled Hosseini (including his latest illustrated novel Sea Prayer), Meg Wolitzer, and Lauren Groff, as well as a custom Penguin Random House Banned Books Box.

More info: https://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/riverhead-pop-up-reading-room-banned-books-week

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Houston, Texas
Queensbury Theatre, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Fun Home, Spring Awakening, and The Laramie Project, among other notable works. Join Producing Executive Director, Marley Singletary, who will direct Equity actors and Tribble School for the Performing Arts students, in this celebration of songs and scenes. The pieces will be linked with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman.

September 30

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Nashville, Tennessee
Actors Bridge Studio at Darkhorse Chapel, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. PT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works. Artistic director, Vali Forrister, with Actor’s Bridge Ensemble will host the Nashville, Tennessee regional production. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 pm. The piece will be performed by approximately 14 local actors and directed by Kim Bretton.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-a-censorship-cabaret-tickets-49956424009

October 1

BANNED: Artists & Censorship
Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, Maryland, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Join us for a question and answer panel featuring author Kathy MacMillan, illustrator Sara Lautman, and Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The panel will discuss the First Amendment, the arts, intellectual freedom, and advice for artists who find their work challenged. A question and answer session will follow the discussion.

The event will be held in room 107 of the CALT building on AACC’s west campus off West Campus Drive when accessed from Governor Ritchie Highway. Room 107 is on the lowest level of the CALT building.
https://www.facebook.com/events/496264937448874/

October 2

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Chicago, Illinois
Victory Gardens, 7:30 – 9:30 CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by John Weidman (Assassins, Pacific Overtures), and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts). Ray Frewen will direct the program, with musical direction by Diana Lawrence. https://www.dldf.org/bannedtogether/

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-chicago-tickets-48878217063

 

Banned Spotlight: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has appeared on ALA’s top ten challenged books list six times since its 2007 publication. In 2017, it held the #2 slot on the list due to challenges based on profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.

The protagonist and first-person narrator of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is 14-year-old Arnold Spirit Jr, or Junior. The budding cartoonist lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation, and he leaves the rez to attend an all-white high school. Alexie drew from his own experiences for the novel, which addresses themes of racial identity, coming of age, bullying, violence, poverty, and more with Alexie’s characteristic humor. Artist Ellen Forney provided illustrations for the novel. In addition to winning the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, True Diary also win the Horn Book Award and the California Young Reader Medal. School Library Journal named it a best book of 2007 and the Young Adult Library Services Association included it among their Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults.

In 2017, a school board in Nome, Alaska, eliminated True Diary from an alternative reading list for high school students. It was removed along with Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and was the only novel of the four restored after a contentious school board meeting. The removals happened as a result of a single parent’s complaint about content in the books.

In 2017, it was also challenged in Alton, Illinois; Thousand Oaks, California; Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin; and the New London-Spicer Schools in Minnesota. Reasons for the challenges varied from “shocking words of profanity, sexual innuendo and violence” to “gratuitous and unnecessary” profanity and reference to sexual acts. The challenges were eventually defeated in these four cases.

Earlier this year, allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against Alexie. The allegations were not a factor in challenges in 2017 and previous years. Jamie LaRue, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, addresses the controversy with Publishers Weekly.

Banned Spotlight: Drama

One would think there wouldn’t be much controversy around a bestselling graphic novel about a middle school play — a graphic novel that includes no profanity, drug or alcohol use, or sexual content. But Raina Telgemeier’s acclaimed and immensely popular Drama has been on the hit lists of a number of would-be censors, who claim the book is offensive because it includes LGBTQ characters. Drama held the #3 spot on ALA’s top ten challenged books list in 2017, and it also had the dubious honor of appearing on the 2016 list for offensive political viewpoint and the 2014 list for being sexually explicit.

Callie, the protagonist of Drama, loves the theater, but she’s no singer, so she’s the set designer for her school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi. But she doesn’t know much about carpentry, and there’s no way she can afford Broadway production on a middle-school budget. Callie befriends two cute twin brothers: Justin, who is openly gay, and Jesse, who is still struggling with his sexual identity. In the course of the story, Jesse ends up assuming a female role in the play because the original actress cannot perform, and he shares a chaste kiss on stage with another male character.

Drama, which was published in 2012, won the Stonewall Honor and was nominated for a Harvey Award. It was listed as a Best Book of 2012 by School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and The Washington Post. The New Times and Booklist included it on their Editor’s Choice lists, and NPR named it a great summer read for teens.

Drama has been banned on multiple occasions in Texas. The state ACLU releases an annual banned books report, usually in conjunction with Banned Books Week. In the 2016-17 school year, Drama was the only banned book in the Texas ACLU’s findings. It was removed from the Franklin Independent School District. It was also banned from Chapel Hill Elementary in Mount Pleasant in 2014-15, as well as Kirbyville Middle School in 2015-16.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has also helped defuse a number of potential challenges to the book and provides resources in support of it:

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

 

 

 

Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign

Are you looking for a low-cost and engaging Banned Books Week event for your library, school, or bookstore? The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has launched the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign, an opportunity to both engage your community and speak out against censorship.

During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write their favorite challenged and banned authors, sharing what their stories mean to them. The campaign raises awareness of banned books, and it encourages discussions about the power of words and the right to read. For authors, it gives them a sense of support for their work, and the letters can be useful tools in fighting challenges — some authors have shared their fan mail to help defend their work from bans.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign here. You’ll find tips for running a program, downloadable postcards, and more to help you engage your community and celebrate Banned Books Week!

Celebrate Banned Books Week At Your Library with Image Comics’ Library Livestreams

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST). Libraries around the country are invited to welcome their patrons for these exciting creator conversations during Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, which runs from September 23rd-29th. Each Image Comics Library Livestream will be a freewheeling discussion on creativity, freedom of expression, and the power of storytelling that library patrons around the world will be able to enjoy.

“Freedom of Expression is a core value at Image Comics,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “Banned Books Week is an important opportunity to reflect on why free speech matters, and why this year’s Banned Books Week theme, ‘Banning Books Silences Stories’ is such a resonant one. Not too long ago, comics of all kinds were silenced, and today we see comics by marginalized voices as the most frequently challenged. We’re proud of our creators who are participating in these Library Livestreams, and thrilled to be a partner with CBLDF and the ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table to advance the discussion about the power of free expression. In our challenging times, this conversation is one of the most important ones of all.”

IMAGE COMICS LIVESTREAM SCHEDULE:

Presented by Image Comics with The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association, the Image Comics Library Livestreams feature:

  • Pornsak Pichetshote – Tuesday, Sept. 25th
  • Nick Dragotta – Wednesday, Sept. 26th
  • Grace Ellis – Thursday, Sept. 27th
  • Charles Soule – Friday, Sept. 28th
  • Skottie Young – Saturday, Sept. 29th

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

ABOUT THE COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND (CBLDF)
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting the freedom to read comics! Our work protects readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers, and educators who face the threat of censorship. We monitor legislation and challenge laws that would limit the First Amendment. We create resources that promote understanding of comics and the rights our community is guaranteed. Every day we publish news and information about censorship events as they happen. We are partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project and Banned Books Week. Our expert legal team is available to respond to First Amendment emergencies at a moment’s notice. CBLDF is a lean organization that works hard to protect the rights on which our community depends. For more information, visit www.cbldf.org

ABOUT THE GRAPHIC NOVELS AND COMICS ROUND TABLE OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association is dedicated to supporting library staff in all aspects of engaging with graphic novels and comics, including collection development, programming, and advocacy. For more information connect with GNCRT on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and GNCRT ALA Connect page.

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com

Banned Spotlight: The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini’s acclaimed debut novel The Kite Runner has sold millions of copies and inspired a popular film, but the book has been met with several challenges since its 2003 release. In 2017, it was the fourth most challenged book according to the American Library Association. It was challenged for sexual violence, and Islamophobia fueled some challenges, with would-be censors arguing that the novel would inspire terrorism and promoted Islam. The book also appeared on the top ten lists for 2014 (offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence), 2012 (homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit), and 2008 (offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group).

The protagonist of The Kite Runner is Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman, who befriends Hassan, the son of one of his father’s servants, in 1970s Afghanistan. The story transitions in time between pre-revolution Afghanistan and the 1990s, when Amir, now a successful novelist in the United States, learns that Hassan and his wife have been killed by the Taliban. As Amir sets out to Kabul to rescue Hassan’s son Sohrab, he contends with the repercussions of his childhood betrayal of Hassan. Since publication, the book has been embraced in educational settings as a way to address the abuse of power, themes of redemption, the immigrant experience, and Afghani history.

In 2017, The Kite Runner was notably challenged in two locales. The book was suddenly pulled from the curriculum district-wide in Gilbert, Arizona, when the Hugley Unified School District informed teachers that the book would not longer be used in classrooms or for independent reading shortly before Grade 10 honors English students were set to begin studying it. A reason wasn’t given, and the school claimed that it was because the book hadn’t been properly vetted, but student journalists determined otherwise, learning that the book had been approved and in use for five years already. The book did not undergo district review processes.

Later in the year, a school board member in Fishers, Indiana, vocally protested the inclusion of The Kite Runner in AP Literature and Composition courses after her daughter had been assigned the novel. Unlike Gilbert, the district undertook the appropriate challenge and review policies. The Kite Runner has also been challenged in North Carolina and Wisconsin, and it was recently red-flagged in California in violation of state law.

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

Banned Spotlight: George

Alex Gino’s George is an inspiring middle grades read that calls on its young readers to be who you are, but some have found the content of the book offensive because the book’s young protagonist is transgender. The book appeared in the number five slot on ALA’s top ten challenged books for 2017, and it was also included on the 2016 list.

When people look at fourth grader George, they see a boy, but George knows she’s a girl named Melissa. She has resigned herself to living with the secret until her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web gives her the chance to reveal who she really is. George, which was released in late 2015, has been widely lauded for its moving portrayal of a transgender child. Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal gave the book starred reviews, and it won the Lambda Literary Award, Stonewall Award, Children’s Choice Debut Author Award, and the Gold Medal for juvenile fiction in the California Book Awards. George was also on best of the year lists from Kirkus, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal.

In 2017, the Wichita, Kansas, school system decided against including George in district libraries, citing language and references that are inappropriate for young children in their reasoning. Administrators prevented district librarians from using system funds to purchase the book, and Gino took to Twitter to raise enough money to purchase copies of the book for the district’s 57 elementary and K-8 school libraries. It took less than an hour to do so.

In 2016, author Phil Binder was disinvited from presenting at Round Rock, Texas, schools after reading excerpts from George, and it looks like the book may also earn a spot on the top ten challenged titles of 2018 list. Early this year, One Million Moms, an offshoot of the hate group American Family Association, called on its followers to contact Scholastic to demand that the publisher discontinue printing the book. In May, two Oregon school districts decided not to participate in the state’s Battle of the Books elective independent reading program because George was among the titles on the list of books.

Gino has been very active in defending George. During Banned Books Week, Gino will be participating in “Speak Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Cenorship,” a webinar from ALA’s Office for Inteelectual Freedom, SAGE Publishing, and Index on Censorship. Find out more here.

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

Speaking Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship

Whether focused on race, gender equality, sexual orientation, or mental health, movements are growing at a rapid speed due to digital media, demonstrations, and published works. Yet the growth and prevalence of advocacy can make it easy to forget that these voices rose above their silencers’ attempt at censorship.

Join the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, SAGE Publishing, and Index on Censorship for “Speak Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship.” In this Banned Books Week webinar, authors will engage in conversation on writing, activism, and speaking out. How have they used their words to speak out about something that has been silenced? What is the difference between being a voice of and for a movement? And what will it take for America to be censorship free in both oral and written word?

Our featured speakers include:

  • Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of various fiction works including Little & Lion, a story that touches on the intersection of race, sexuality, and religion
  • Alex Gino, author of George, an award-winning and heartwarming middle grade book about a transgender girl
  • Marni Brown, acclaimed author of Gendered Lives, Sexual Beings, a textbook lauded for its intersectional framework, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia Gwinnett College

The webinar will be moderated by Jemimah Steinfield, Deputy Editor of the award-winning Index on Censorship magazine.

Register for the webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6749024865921094915

Banned Spotlight: Sex Is a Funny Word

In a country where sex education remains an eternally contentious subject, it’s no surprise to see Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s award-winning Sex Is a Funny Word on ALA’s top ten challenged books list. It landed in the number six spot after would-be censors trotted out the specter of sex education fueling interest in the act by claiming that the book would make children “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”

Silverberg is a sex educator and author who develops and presents workshops addressing gender expression and identity, sexuality, and related topics. He wrote Sex Is a Funny Word, which includes lively comics by Smyth, as a resource addressing gender and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10. The book has been widely praised for showcasing diverse bodies, abilities, and gender identities and for honestly addressing sex and sexuality as it pertains to youth. Since its publication in 2015, Sex Is a Funny Word has received a Stonewall Book Award honor, been included among the top ten choices on the Rainbow Project Book List, and named an ALA Notable Children’s Book.

Details on specific challenges are scarce or have been kept confidential, but Claudette Riley, a journalist in Springfield, Missouri, did discover that Sex Is a Funny Word was included among 36 censorship incidents in the state since 2014. It was challenged for sex education.

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

Get Ready for Banned Books Week with Coalition Resources!

The members of the Banned Books Week Coalition have resources to support Banned Books Week programming, promotion of the annual celebration of the right to read, and banned books themselves. Many of these resources can be used throughout the year, so you can celebrate the right to read every day!

Check out the following resources from the coalition. Several can be used by multiple audiences, from educators, to librarians, to retailers, and beyond! Most of these resources are free unless otherwise indicated.

If you’re hosting an event or display, don’t forget to let us know about it, and we’ll share it here for the world to find!

Copyright notice: Unless otherwise indicated, the resources offered here are copyright and/or property of their respective creators. Resources can be used to support and promote Banned Books Week events, but none of the resources can be sold or used for fundraising purposes. Copyright should be attributed to the respective creator. For inquiries or clarification, please contact coordinator@bannedbooksweek.org

Banned Spotlight: To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has a long history with censorship. It holds the seventh slot in the American Library Association’s top ten most challenged and banned books list for 2017, and it also appeared on the 2009 and 2011 lists. It has been challenged for the depiction of violence, offensive language, and racism.

To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published in 1960, is told from the perspective of 6-year-old Jean Louise Finch, whose father Atticus defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, in court during the Great Depression. Despite proving that Tom is innocent, the jury convicts him of the crime. The book explores themes of racial injustice, gender roles, and the loss of innocence. It has been a perennial bestseller since its release and won the Pulitzer Prize. It was also adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962.

In 2017, To Kill a Mockingbird was removed mid-lesson from 8th grade classrooms in Biloxi, Mississippi, over complaints about language in the book, in particular the use of the N-word. The parent who filed the complaint was concerned about her daughter, who is black, and her classmates’ response to the book, which reportedly included laughter over the use of the slur. The complainant did not ask for the removal of the book, and the actions of school officials appeared to be in violation of the district’s materials reconsideration policy. The district maintained the act wasn’t censorship because the novel remained available in school libraries. After protest from free speech advocates, the book was restored to optional reading lists, but parental permission is required to read it.

In early 2018, To Kill a Mockingbird and Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were removed from required reading in the Duluth, Minnesota, school district over the use of racial slurs. The removal wasn’t triggered by a specific challenge in this case, instead resulting from the accumulation of complaints over the course of several years. District teachers were not consulted in the decision. Free expression advocates protested the unilateral removal, calling on the district to include those best positioned to make decisions about educational content in future curricula review.

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages. Designed to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater, previous performances have featured selections from CabaretChicagoAlmost, MaineRent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with contextual commentary by Dramatists Legal Defense Fund president John Weidman.

Presented by the DLDF in partnership with PEN America, the 2018 edition of Banned Together will be performed during Banned Books Week in cities across the United States. Be sure to check the DLDF website for the latest information, updates, and ticket information!

New York
Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette St
Monday, September 24, 7:00 p.m.
Buy Tickets

Atlanta
Out Front Theatre
999 Brady Ave NW
Friday, September 28

Baltimore
Zion Church of the City of Baltimore
400 E Lexington St
Sunday, September 23, 7:30 p.m.
Reserve Tickets

Boston
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
Monday, September 24, 7:00 p.m.
Reserve Tickets

Chicago
Victory Gardens
2433 N Lincoln Ave
Tuesday, October 2

Colorado
Miners Alley
1224 Washington Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
Date to come…

Dallas
Bishop Arts Theatre Center
215 S Tyler St
Friday, September 28, 7:30 p.m.
Reserve Tickets

Houston
Queensbury Theatre
12777 Queensbury Ln
Saturday, September 29, 7:30 p.m.

Kansas City / St. Louis
Tesseract Theatre
3224 Locust St, St. Louis, MO
Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 p.m.
Reserve Tickets

Los Angeles
Skylight Theatre
1816 1/2 Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Wednesday, September 26, 8:00 p.m.

Nashville
Actors Bridge Studio at Darkhorse Chapel
4610 Charlotte Avenue (entrance on 47th)
Sunday, September 30, 6:00 p.m. 

San Francisco
Phoenix Theatre
414 Mason St, Suite 601
Sunday, September 23

Western New York
St. Nichols School Reading Room
1250 Amherst St, Buffalo, NY
Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 p.m.

Banned Spotlight: The Hate U Give

The buzz for Angie Thomas’s debut novel The Hate U Give came well in advance of its publication. The young adult novel debuted to rave reviews, won several awards, and sat atop The New York Times bestseller list for 50 weeks. But the story about black teen Starr Williams, who witnesses the police shooting of a childhood friend, has drawn the attention of would-be censors, who have attacked it for being “pervasively vulgar” and for the depiction of drug use, profanity, and offensive language. Released in early 2017, the book landed in the eighth spot on the American Library Association’s top ten challenged and banned books list.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give addresses issues of racism and police violence as witnessed by Starr, a 16-year-old girl who navigates between her poverty-stricken neighborhood and the wealthy suburban prep school she attends. She is the sole witness to the police shooting of her best friend Kahlil, who is unarmed but may or may not have been a drug dealer. In addition to starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Horn Book Magazine, and more, The Hate You Give won the Coretta Scott King Honor, Michael L. Printz Honor, William C. Morris Award, and more. It was also longlisted for the National Book Award, and a cinematic adaptation of the book is scheduled for release in late 2018.

In late 2017, The Hate U Give was banned by school officials in Katy, Texas, where it was challenged for “inappropriate language.” District Superintendent Lance Hindt pulled the book from shelves during the review process in violation of the district’s own review policies, claiming he did so based on its “pervasive vulgarity and racially-insensitive language…not its substantive content or the viewpoint expressed.” The move drew widespread condemnation from free expression advocates, but the actions of a teen in the district helped save the day. Ny’Shira Lundy collected 4,000 signatures on a petition calling for the restoration of the book. The district relented and put it back on shelves, but it wasn’t a total victory. Students are required to get parental permission to check it out.

The Hate U Give appears to be on track for a spot on next year’s top ten challenged and banned books list. This summer, the book was challenged, alongside Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s acclaimed All American Boys, by the Fraternal Order of Police in Charleston, South Carolina, where the books are part of the Wando High School summer reading list. President of the Fraternal Order John Blackmon, says that the books are “almost an indoctrination of distrust of police and we’ve got to put a stop to that.” Once again, several members of the Banned Books Week Coalition have stepped up to defend the book, which is going through the district’s formal review process.

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

Read Banned Comics!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund wants you to Read Banned Comics during Banned Books Week! From Watchmen to Bone, Spider-Man to This One Summer, comics are still being attacked, and CBLDF’s new publication, Read Banned Comics, showcases the banned comics your customers and patrons should read to celebrate the right to read! Discover the comics frequently facing censorship. Hear from creators, including Neil Gaiman, Raina Telgemeier, G. Willow Wilson, and more, as they share their thoughts on free expression.

Check out Read Banned Comics below or at cbldf.org! It’s also available in low-cost bundles to pass out at your Banned Books Week celebration and beyond! Get yours here.

If you are hosting an event or Banned Books Week display, let us know about it! Register your event at http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/events!

Banned Spotlight: And Tango Makes Three

The ninth entry in the American Library Association’s 2017 top ten challenged and banned books list is old hat at censorship. And Tango Makes Three has appeared on the list a whopping eight times — in 2017, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 — for challenges that mostly distill down to the book’s depiction of a same-sex relationship between penguins (“unsuited to age group,” “anti-family,” and the head-scratching accusation of being “anti-ethnic” have also popped up in challenges).

Written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson with art by Henry Cole, And Tango Makes Three is an illustrated children’s book that tells the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo that built a nest together, took turns brooding an egg, and raised Tango, the female chick that hatched. The book, which was published in 2005, subsequently garnered critical acclaim, including starred reviews from School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, and several awards, such as recognition as an ALA Notable Children’s Book, a Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Book of the Year, and being listed as a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

Staff at libraries and schools found themselves facing a conundrum when the debate over the content of the book resulted in challenges. Some tried to address it by moving it from the picture book section to the less popular nonfiction section. Others moved it to areas of the library restricted to adults. It was pulled from several elementary schools, but many challenges have been defeated, ensuring the book remains in circulation.

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

Banned Spotlight: I Am Jazz

Each year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most challenged and banned books. In 2017, the tenth book on that list was Jazz Jennings’ autobiographical picture book I Am Jazz, which was co-written by Jessica Herthel and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. The teenaged television personality and LGBTQ activist wanted to share her real-life story as a transgender child, but some have challenged the work because it addresses gender identity.

I Am Jazz explores Jennings’ struggle with having “a girl brain but a boy body,” and her family’s confusion over and acceptance of her gender identity. The book was published in 2014, and it also appeared on the 2015 top ten list after a challenge in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, caused a nation-wide furor.

In 2017, I Am Jazz was challenged at Rocklin Academy Gateway in California after the book was read aloud in a kindergarten class. The school has a policy in which students can bring in books from home to be read aloud. A student in the class was undergoing gender transition, and she brought in the copy of I Am Jazz that was read to the class. Several parents subsequently removed their children from the school and called for a policy that allowed them to keep their children from sharing a classroom with a transgender student.

The school stood behind their book policy, affirming the inclusion of LGBTQ literature in classrooms, and administrators rightly decided not to add the requested “opt out” policy, which would have been tantamount to illegal discrimination. Unfortunately, the administration chose to add a red flagging policy that would forewarn parents about potentially “controversial” material, which could invite future complaints and disrupt the educational process.

Find more of ALA OIF’s top ten challenged and banned lists here.

Get Ready for Banned Books Week

Get ready for Banned Books Week 2018 with tools from the Banned Books Week Coalition! Banning books silences stories, so speak up for the stories that matter to you by participating in this powerful event!

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Names Ten Most Challenged Books of 2017

In recognition of National Library Week, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has published their annual list of the ten most frequently challenged and banned books, along with an analysis of the censorship threats facing U.S. schools and libraries.

In 2017, the following books were among the most frequently attacked:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (Reason: Suicide)
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Reasons: Profanity, Sexually Explicit)
  3. Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (Reason: LGBT Content)
  4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Reasons: Sexual Violence, Religious Themes, “May Lead to Terrorism”)
  5. George, by Alex Gino (Reason: LGBT Content)
  6. Sex is a Funny Word, written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth (Reason: Sex Education)
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (Reasons: Violence, Racial Slurs)
  8. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (Reasons: Drug Use, Profanity, “Pervasively Vulgar”)
  9. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole (Reason: LGBT Content)
  10. I Am Jazz, written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas (Reason: Gender Identity)

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Names Ten Most Challenged Books of 2017ALA OIF also noted the following trends in challenges over the last year:

  • The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services (including books, DVDs, magazines, programs, databases, games, exhibits, displays) in 2017:
    • In those 354 challenges, 416 books were targeted.
    • In total, 491 library materials were challenged.
  • Books on the Top 10 list have a child, teen or young adult audience.
  • OIF is seeing an increase in “blanket bans”: removing collections of books that share commonalities. For example, removing all LGBT books, books by a certain author, or all R-rated DVDs.
  • OIF is noticing more censorship incidents where administrators remove books without following policy because they are trying to (unsuccessfully) avoid controversy.
  • Ten years after its publication, Thirteen Reasons Why resurged to the top of the list, largely because of the popularity (and criticism) of the Netflix series.

To find out more, visit http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/NLW-Top10 and read the State of America’s Libraries Report 2018 here.

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association, ala.org/bbooks/NLW-Top10