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#BannedBooksChat on Twitter with Laurie Halse Anderson

September 29, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT


Join Laurie Halse Anderson, the author of the frequently challenged titles Speak and Shout, for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter! Speak, a National Book Award finalist, appeared on ALA’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books list for 2020. The sequel, Shout, was one of more than a dozen titles removed from book club reading lists this summer in Leander, Texas. We’ll discuss the censorship of Anderson’s work, the impact of censorship on young people, and the ways books unite us during this Twitter chat.

Join us on Twitter for this live event! During the Twitter chat, Anderson and participants will share their thoughts on the following questions:

WARM-UP: Please introduce yourself. Tell us your name and location, and tell us about – or show us! – your favorite #BannedBook! #BannedBooksChat [7:04 p.m. EDT]

Q1: Your groundbreaking novel SPEAK was the 4th most challenged book in 2020, and it sits in the 25th spot on the 100 most challenged books of 2010-2019 (https://bit.ly/2ZAA1Yz). Why do you think it is such a frequent target of censors? #BannedBooksChat [7:10 p.m. EDT]

Q2: In what ways does the censorship of SPEAK, its sequel SHOUT, and other books that address sexual violence harm young people? #BannedBooksChat [7:18 p.m. EDT]

Q3: What would you say to someone who is trying to censor SPEAK or other books that address similar topics? How can we change their minds? #BannedBooksChat [7:26 p.m. EDT]

Q4: You’ve defended intellectual freedom and offer anti-censorship resources on your website at https://bit.ly/3zGWlfj. Why are intellectual freedom and the right to read important? #BannedBooksChat [7:34 p.m. EDT]

Q5: What advice do you have for people who are trying to stop censorship in their communities? #BannedBooksChat [7:42 p.m. EDT]

Q6: The theme of this year’s #BannedBooksWeek is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” What are some examples of books that bring us together? #BooksUniteUs #BannedBooksChat [7:50 p.m. EDT]

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Her new book, SHOUT, a memoir-in-verse about surviving sexual assault at the age of thirteen and a manifesta for the #MeToo era, has received widespread critical acclaim and was Laurie’s eighth New York Times bestselling book.

Two of her novels, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal in the United Kingdom. Laurie has been nominated for Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award three times. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English.

In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing and is a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes. Find out more about Laurie by following her on Twitter at @halseanderson, Instagram at halseanderson, and Facebook at lauriehalseanderson, or by visiting her website, madwomanintheforest.com.

How Twitter Chats Work

The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords in a Tweet, which makes it easy to see the full conversation on a particular topic. For our Twitter chat, we will use the hashtag #BannedBooksChat

At the time of the chat, type #BannedBooksChat into the search box at the top of your Twitter homepage to see the conversation. Listen in, watch the comments from other attendees, and speak up when you are ready!

When discussion questions are posed, they will be labeled with a Q and a number representing the order. If you are responding to a question, use an A and the number of the prompt. To ensure your comment is automatically pulled into the chat feed for others to see, be sure to include #BannedBooksChat in your Tweet.


Q1. What does advocacy look like for students in your classroom/community? What are some ways or tools that students use to amplify their voices? #BannedBooksChat

When you respond, you would tweet:

A1. [your answer] #BannedBooksChat

A huge part of Twitter chats is responding to other participants’ answers and keeping the conversation going. Because you have the questions in advance of the chat, you can have your answers ready to go if you want! Many people use a tool like TweetDeck or Hootsuite to make following Twitter chats easier.

Twitter chats move quickly! If you can’t catch everything as it’s happening, don’t worry! You can search for #BannedBooksChat to find the conversation.


September 29, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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