Banned Books Week Thursday: Student Advocates Show Us How It’s Done

It’s Thursday, and Banned Books Week is running strong with student advocates! Hot off his livestream with Honorary Chair LeVar Burton, Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels will take the spotlight today with a program featuring student leaders from around the country!

Also in the mix today: The Banned Wagon hits the Big Easy, the online debut of Ibram X. Kendi’s moving Rally for the Right to Read speech, Carmen Maria Machado on banned books, Reading with Love, children’s book authors on fighting censorship, and more!

Are you ready to take action to fight book bans?! Saturday is Let Freedom Read Day, and we’re asking everyone everyone to do at least one thing to help fight book bans! Get ideas and resources here. (Protip: Bookmark the page so you can take action any day of the year!)

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week events calendar for a full list of what’s happening today and throughout the week!

Youth Honorary Chair Spotlight

A Seat at the Table: Youth Advocates on Fighting Book Bans

Virtual Event • 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. CDT

Some of the strongest voices in the fight against book bans are the students that censors claim they are protecting. Join Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels for an inspiring roundtable discussion about youth advocacy in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and how that work can inform opposition to censorship around the country. Join us on Facebook (@BannedBooksWeek) or register here.

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

The Banned Wagon Tour: New Orleans

Baldwin & Co 1030 Elysian Fields Avenue, New Orleans, LA • 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. CDT

Book bans are on the rise in America, driven by new laws and regulations limiting the kinds of books that kids can access.

This month, we’re hitting the road with the Freedom to Read Foundation, PEN America, and Little Free Library to hand out copies of banned books in some of the most affected communities.

Explore this this site to see whether the Banned Wagon is coming to a city near you, learn about the books we’ll be handing out, and explore more resources to fight book bans!

Rally for the Right to Read: A Banned Books Week Event

Virtual Event • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CDT

Join Penguin Random House, Booklist, and Unite Against Book Bans for a special Banned Books Week event as we premiere the video of Ibram X. Kendi’s motivating and moving speech from Rally for the Right to Read at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference. Introduced by Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library Association, in conversation with Chris Jackson, EVP, Publisher, & Editor-in-Chief of One World—this hour-long webinar will celebrate the right to read and librarians’ role in providing access for all. Representatives from Unite Against Book Bans will also join the webinar to share resources and offer a myriad of ways that viewers can join in the fight for the freedom to read.

Ten lucky LIVE webinar attendees will win a full set of Ibram X. Kendi’s books for their library. Register now!

Carmen Maria Machado on Banned Books

Utah Museum of Fine Arts 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, UT • 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. MDT

Join PEN Utah on October 5th as Carmen Maria Machado joins the Tanner Humanities Center for a Banned Books Week conversation about her work and being an LGBTQIA+ author. She will be joined by Jeremy Rosen, Associate Director for Faculty at the Tanner Humanities Center and Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Utah.

Book signing to follow. Books will be available to purchase from Under the Umbrella Bookstore.

Reading with Love: A Virtual Drag Read Aloud of Children’s Banned Books

Virtual Event • 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EDT

As anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeps the nation, our schools, libraries, and other story-telling spaces are being attacked on the basis of “protecting the children.” Countless books have been banned as a result, attempting to block—and thereby, extinguish—any mention of LGBTQ+ experiences and identities.

But these books go beyond LGBTQ+ narratives—they’re glowing messages of love and role models for living life as your best, most authentic self.

In what world should these messages be censored?

On October 5, from 6-7 pm ET, we’re sharing these messages of love through the voices of our most vivacious, glamorous, and fearless community members: drag artists. Bringing these stories to life are local drag talent Coco Sho-Nell, Emi Grate, Mister Max, and Nancy Nogood, whose authenticity in themselves mirrors the authenticity in these stories.

The Reading with Love Live broadcast is a family-friendly read aloud geared towards children ages 5-8, with topics including the gender binary, trans children, parents of the same gender, and the history of the Gay Pride flag.

Let’s come together and help our kids see a bright and loving future.

Free People Read Freely: How Children’s Book Creatives Can Fight Book Banning

Virtual Event • 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. CDT

The American Library Association (ALA) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) have joined forces to inform and educate the public about the challenges with book banning in the United States. The special edition SCBWI digital workshop, entitled “Free People Read Freely: How Children’s Book Creatives Can Fight Book Banning” will take place on Thursday, October 5, at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET on Zoom. Click here to register. This digital workshop is free and open to the public.

SCBWI will host speaker Joyce McIntosh, Assistant Program Director for the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), an organization dedicated to First Amendment education, litigation, and advocacy. McIntosh will discuss ways creators of books for children, teens, and young adults can address the current surge in challenges to books for young people.

Share a Banned Book in a Little Free Library!

Our mission at Little Free Library is to expand access to books – including banned books – and we invite you to join us! Sharing banned and challenged books in your local Little Free Libraries is a meaningful way to get books into readers’ hands, show your support for reading freedom, and do something positive in your community. Here’s how:

1) Share a banned book in a Little Free Library. Find Little Free Libraries near you using our free mobile app (

2) Snap a photo and post it on social media with #bannedbooksweek. Don’t forget to tag Little Free Library so we’re sure to see your photos!

3) Bonus: Little Free Library stewards can enter to win our Banned Books Week giveaway with HarperCollins Children’s Books, which will be open for entry during the month of October (

People For’s Banned Books Reading Challenge

In this challenge, every book you read (to a grandchild or on your own) gives you one “point,” and points can be traded in for free Grandparents For Truth swag! Supplies are limited so make sure to read early and often!

How You Can Join the Challenge

  1. Sign up for the challenge here.
  2. Pick a banned book off of our banned book reading list
  3. Submit a photo or video of you (or you and a grandkid!) reading the banned book. If you post it to social, make sure you tag us (we’re @peoplefor on Twitter/X and Facebook and @peoplefor_ on Instagram)and use the hashtag #bannedbooks2023
  4. Each photo or video you submit or tag us in is worth one point! Rack up points to get free Grandparents for Truth swag like tshirts, book marks, water bottles, and more!
  5. Keep an eye on your inbox! At the end of October, we’ll reach out to you to see what swag you’d like.

Supplies are limited – so read early and often!