Tag: alex gino

ICYMI: Gene Luen Yang, Portugal The Man, and Alex Gino Talk Censorship

We were delighted to host three amazing virtual events this week, with free expression superstars Gene Luen Yang, Cody Miller, Jung Kim, Portugal The Man, Alex Gino, and Peter Coyl! In case you missed it, we have the details and videos below.

Banned Books Week, the National Council for Teachers of English, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund spoke with Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, Dragon Hoops, Superman Smashes the Klan) and educators Cody Miller and Jung Kim about censorship, the importance of diverse literature, and the use of comics in classrooms.

Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Zach Carothers and Eric Howk of Portugal The Man joined Banned Books Week and the National Coalition Against Censorship to discuss the protest when the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board, which oversees schools in the band’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, voted to remove five classic novels from the 11th grade reading list. Through their charitable non-profit, PTM Foundation, Portugal The Man helped provide thousands of copies of the banned books to students in the district.

Acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino joined Banned Books Week, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Peter Coyl (Director, Montclair Public Library) for a discussion about the censorship of Gino’s award-winning middle grade novel George, which led ALA OIF’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books lists for 2019 and 2018. We also discussed the importance of access to information for young readers and representation on the shelf.

Alex Gino, Live with Banned Books Week and ALA OIF!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom at 1:00 p.m. CDT, September 30, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the Banned Books Week Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek/).

Gino’s award-winning middle grade novel George led ALA OIF’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books lists for 2019 and 2018, and it also appeared on the lists for 2017 and 2016. The book has been challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy, for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character, for sexual references, and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint.

Over the course of the hour, we’ll converse about the censorship of Gino’s work and LGBTQIA+ materials and events, examine the importance of identity and representation in literature, and give you a chance to ask your questions during a short Q&A. The event will be moderated by Peter Coyl (he / him; Director, Montclair Public Library) and Betsy Gomez (she / her; Coordinator, Banned Books Week Coalition).

RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/663860084262826

About Alex Gino (they / them)

Alex Gino is author of middle grade novels Rick, You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! and the Stonewall Award-winning George. They love glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the diversity and complexity of being alive. Born and raised on Staten Island, NY, they now enjoy living in Oakland, CA.

About ALA OIF

Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

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 AssociationAmerican Library AssociationAmerican Society of Journalists and AuthorsAssociation of University PressesAuthors GuildComic Book Legal Defense FundFoundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)Freedom to Read FoundationIndex on CensorshipNational Coalition Against CensorshipNational Council of Teachers of EnglishPEN AmericaPeople For the American Way Foundation; 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.

BBW Events Spotlight: September 30

We’ve hit the midway point of Banned Books Week, and we’re hitting a high point today with our Alex Gino (George) Facebook Live event! Today is packed, with an ALA / Image Comics panel on the Black people in comics, City Lit Theater’s Books on the Chopping Block, events with BBW Coalition members Index on Censorship and PEN America, and so much more! Read on for details…

Alex Gino, Live with Banned Books Week and ALA OIF!

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom at 1:00 p.m. CDT, September 30, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the Banned Books Week Facebook page … Read More

Black People in Comics

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Valentine De Landro (Bitch Planet, X-Factor), Johnnie Christmas (Tartatus, Sheltered) and Chuck Brown (Bitter Root) in a conversation on how Black people have been historically portrayed in comics, from the obstacles of integrating Black characters into mainstream and superhero comics to present day works, issues Black creators face working in the comics industry, and the … Read More

City Lit Theater Company Presents: Books on the Chopping Block (DePaul University)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books … Read More

Resisting Self-Censorship

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST
Virtual Event

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the resultant global Black Lives Matter protests, it has been clearer than ever before that the voices of some are prioritised to the exclusion of others. As part of Banned Books Week 2020 – an annual celebration of the freedom to read – Index is partnering with … Read More

Calling In, Calling Out and What Difference Does it Make?: Whose Speech is Free?

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT
Virtual Event

This event is part of “Free Expression and the Humanities,” a series jointly sponsored by PEN America and the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures at the University of Virginia. Participants: Marlene L. Daut, Professor & Associate Director, Carter G. Woodson Institute, UVA Meredith D. Clark, Assistant Professor, Media Studies, UVA Tamika Carey, Associate … Read More

Banned Book Club: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

8:00 am – 5:30 pm EDT
244 Frazer Fir Rd., South Windsor, CT

Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading and discussing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time! We’ll also talk about why this is a “banned book.” Meet facilitator Cynde Acanto at The Pond at Barber Hill, 244 Frazer Fir Rd., South Windsor. Bring your mask & chair. Please practice social distancing. This event will … Read More

Hong Kong Against the Odds

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm PDT
Virtual Event

The Los Angeles Review of Books invites you to join us for an urgent conversation about the ongoing protest movement in Hong Kong, its place on the international stage, and where Hong Kong might go from here. Over the last 18 months, protesters have gathered in world-historic numbers to demonstrate against state violence and what they … Read More

Banned Books Trivia

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
Virtual Event

ACLU Montana, Belgrade Community Library, Bozeman Public Library, Country Bookshelf, Friends of MSU Library, and MSU Library partner to host a virtual Banned Book Trivia event.

Celebrate on Social Media All Week Long!

Customizable Downloads

Make your own Banned Books Week assets for social media! We have several different formats of our main banner that you can add your own information to, or you can share your favorite banned books and trivia with our customizable digital shelftalkers! Check out the entire set or downloadables hereMore…

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

ALA Announces Top 100 Banned & Challenged Books of Last Decade

To kick off the 2020 edition of Banned Books week, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has unveiled the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books for the past decade. The list features many of the most popular and acclaimed titles and writers in publishing, from Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants to Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.

For anyone who has seen OIF’s top 10 challenged books lists over the last few years, many of the titles at the top of the list will be familiar. ALA’s new list is topped by the following 20 titles:

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  2. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  5. George by Alex Gino
  6. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  7. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  8. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  9. Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle
  10. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  12. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  13. I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
  14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  16. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
  17. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  18. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  19. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  20. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg

Many of the books on OIF’s top 100 list were targeted for LGBTQIA+ content. Alex Gino’s George, award-winning middle grade novel centered on a transgender girl, has appeared on the OIF top 10 list for four years running, topping the 2019 and 2018 lists. Gino will be joining the Banned Books Week Coalition and OIF for a special Facebook Live event on Wednesday, September 30 to talk about censorship and representation in literature. Get the details here.

Read the full list of 100 titles here. Read OIF’s press release about the top 100 list here or below.

Today, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) released the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books from the past decade. The list’s release launches Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, a vibrant week of programming to rally readers to the cause of First Amendment protections and remind them to remain vigilant about continual threats to our freedom to read. 

Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” tops the list as the most banned and challenged book from 2010-2019. Alexie joins Toni Morrison, Alex Gino, John Green, and E. L. James as some of the most censored authors. Many of the titles on the list have also been adapted for the screen, including “Captain Underpants,” “The Hunger Games,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Hate U Give,” “The Glass Castle” and “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”

The list includes books challenged for a variety of reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sexual references, religious viewpoints, content that addresses racism and police brutality, and profanity. Although the reasons differ, the censorship of literature in libraries share a common result: the violation of our First Amendment rights.  

OIF has been documenting attempts to ban books in libraries and schools since 1990. OIF compiled this list of the most banned and challenged books from 2010-2019 by reviewing both the public and confidential censorship reports it received.

This list draws attention to literary censorship but only provides a snapshot of book challenges. About 82-97% of challenges remain unreported, estimates OIF, which compared results from several independent studies of third-party FOIA requests documenting school and library book censorship with the information in its database.

This year’s Banned Books Week theme is Censorship is a Dead End. Find Your Freedom to Read. Banned Books Week is largely going virtual, as libraries, bookstores, universities, and organizations are hosting more online programs. The general public is also welcome to participate in a series of virtual activities.

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that draws attention to censorship. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media, with the focus on the following daily topics: Read a banned book (Sunday); Speak out about censorship (Monday); Create something unrestricted (Tuesday); Express the freedom to read in style (Wednesday); Write about your rights (Thursday); Watch, listen and learn from others (Friday); Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year (Saturday).

Readers are encouraged to write, tweet, or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week for the Dear Banned Author letter writing campaign.

The Banned Books Week Facebook page will offer a series of events including: 

Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. CT
Video premiere of City Lit Theater reading excerpts of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019

Sept. 30, at 1 p.m. CT 
Live Q&A about censorship and the importance of representation in literature with Alex Gino, award-winning author of the banned book “George”

Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. CT
Discussion during the watch party of “Scary Stories,” a documentary about the banned and challenged series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz, followed by a live Q&A with director Cody Meirick on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel

To arrange for interviews with library leaders and experts from OIF, contact Macey Morales, deputy director, American Library Association (ALA) Communications and Marketing Office (CMO), at (312) 280-4393 or mmorales@ala.org, or Steve Zalusky, communications specialist, ALA CMO, at (312) 280-1546 or szalusky@ala.org. Banned Books Week artwork is available at ala.org/bbooks/freedownloads

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org. 

Happy Banned Books Week! Here Are Some Ways to Join the Fun…

Banned Books Week is finally here! We have a rundown of virtual events and the many, many ways you can participate in the celebration on social media! Censorship is a dead end — find your freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 27 – October 3!

BBW Coalition Events

Join Creator Gene Luen Yang, Live with Banned Books Week and NCTE!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Council of Teachers of English at 5:00 p.m. CDT on September 28 for a special Banned Books Week Facebook Live event with author Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, Dragon Hoops)! The event will broadcast live with  NCTE on Facebook. More…

PORTUGAL. THE MAN, Live with Banned Books Week & NCAC!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Coalition Against Censorship at 6:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Portugal. The Man! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the NCAC Facebook pageMore…

Don’t Miss Alex Gino, Live with Banned Books Week and ALA OIF!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom at 1:00 p.m. CDT, September 30, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the Banned Books Week Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek/). More…

Coalition Member Events

September 27

City Lit Theater Company Presents: Books on the Chopping Block (ALA Facebook Live)

Books on the Chopping Block is our annual 60-minute performance of dramatic readings of short excerpts taken from these books. City Lit has teamed up with the ALA in celebration of Banned Books Week since 2006, performing at special events, libraries and bookstores in and around Chicago…and virtually this year. More…

September 28

Censorship: The Comics Code Authority & Rating Systems

Alex Cox (Image Comics) in conversation with a member of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table on the history of the Comics Code Authority and its impact on comics censorship. This discussion will also touch on how current ratings systems and library classifications can impact readership. Register here. More…

September 29

COVID-19 and Academic Censorship

On Sept. 29, SAGE Publishing and OIF will host the free webinar “COVID-19 and Academic Censorship,” which will address e-books, internet control, and open data. The free webinar is limited to the first 1,000 guests. Register here. More…

Banned through Comics Metadata!?

Librarians Allison Bailund (San Diego State University), Hallie Clawson (University of Washington Information School), and Rotem Anna Diamant (Canada Comics Open Library) in conversation with Brittany Netherton (Darien Public Library) on how the metadata of comics can limit and grant access to comics. From proper crediting of creators to the details of a catalog record – comics metadata creates access. Moderated by Brittany Netherton, Head of Knowledge and Learning Services, Darien Library. Register here. More…

September 30

Black People in Comics

Valentine De Landro (Bitch Planet, X-Factor), Johnnie Christmas (Tartatus, Sheltered) and Chuck Brown (Bitter Root) in a conversation on how Black people have been historically portrayed in comics, from the obstacles of integrating Black characters into mainstream and superhero comics to present day works, issues Black creators face working in the comics industry, and the importance of non-white characters existing on the comics page. Moderated by Tamela Chambers, Librarian and Public Library Chair the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). Register here. More…

City Lit Theater Company Presents: Books on the Chopping Block (DePaul University)

Books on the Chopping Block is our annual 60-minute performance of dramatic readings of short excerpts taken from these books. City Lit has teamed up with the ALA in celebration of Banned Books Week since 2006, performing at special events, libraries and bookstores in and around Chicago…and virtually this year. More…

October 1

(Un)Welcome to the Comics Industry

It’s not just libraries that have banned comics – sometimes it’s the comics industry itself. Chloe Ramos (Image Comics) and other panelists in conversation with Dan Wood (Escondido Public Library) will discuss how harassment serves as a form of censorship within the industry by creating unsafe and unwelcoming environments, and how awareness of these issues is important for librarians to understand. Register here. More…

City Lit Theater Company Presents: Books on the Chopping Block (Mount Prospect Library)

Celebrate your freedom to read by joining us for a virtual presentation of dramatic readings by City Lit Theater Company featuring the American Library Association’s list of top 10 most challenged books of 2019. City Lit has performed this annual event since 2006 and is excited to showcase these books and to engage with you about censorship and the freedom to read during a Q&A session following the readings. More…

October 2

Watch Party: “Scary Stories” Documentary

On Oct. 2, OIF will host a national watch party of “Scary Stories,” a documentary about the banned and challenged series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz, followed by a Q&A with director Cody Meirick on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel. Libraries and readers are invited to stream the documentary on Tubi or Amazon Prime at 6 p.m. CST and join the conversation on Twitter using #CensorshipisScary or on the Facebook event page. Libraries are invited to host their own watch parties as a Banned Books Week program; more details are available at ala.org/bbooks/scarystories.

Comics: “Are These Real Books?”

Charles Soule (Undiscovered Country, Daredevil) in conversation with Matthew Noe (GNCRT President-Elect) on why comics so often wind up on annual most challenged books lists, what comics are most often challenged, and what you can do to overcome negative opinions of comics. Register here. More…

Celebrate on Social Media

Customizable Downloads

Make your own Banned Books Week assets for social media! We have several different formats of our main banner that you can add your own information to, or you can share your favorite banned books and trivia with our customizable digital shelftalkers! Check out the entire set or downloadables here. More…

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

Don’t Miss Alex Gino, Live with Banned Books Week and ALA OIF!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom at 1:00 p.m. CDT, September 30, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the Banned Books Week Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek/). 

Gino’s award-winning middle grade novel George led ALA OIF’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books lists for 2019 and 2018, and it also appeared on the lists for 2017 and 2016. The book has been challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy, for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character, for sexual references, and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint.

Over the course of the hour, we’ll converse about the censorship of Gino’s work and LGBTQIA+ materials and events, examine the importance of identity and representation in literature, and give you a chance to ask your questions during a short Q&A. The event will be moderated by Peter Coyl (he / him; Director, Montclair Public Library) and Betsy Gomez (she / her; Coordinator, Banned Books Week Coalition).

RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/663860084262826

About Alex Gino (they / them)

Alex Gino is author of middle grade novels Rick, You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! and the Stonewall Award-winning George. They love glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the diversity and complexity of being alive. Born and raised on Staten Island, NY, they now enjoy living in Oakland, CA. 

George (Scholastic, 2015)

  • 4 starred reviews: Booklist, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal
  • Winner of: Lambda Literary Award, Stonewall Award (American Library Association), Children’s Choice Book Awards Debut Author, Juvenile California Book Award

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they see a boy. But George knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part … because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. GEORGE is a candid, genuine, and heartwarming middle grade about a transgender girl who is, to use Charlotte’s word, R-A-D-I-A-N-T!

Rick (Scholastic, 2020)

  • 4 starred reviews: Booklist, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal

The story of a kid named Rick who needs to explore his own identity apart from his jerk of a best friend.

Rick’s never questioned much. He’s gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeff’s acted like a bully and a jerk. He’s let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might want to date even though that kind of talk always makes him uncomfortable. And he hasn’t given his own identity much thought, because everyone else around him seemed to have figured it out.

But now Rick’s gotten to middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school’s Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that … understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones.

As they did in their groundbreaking novel George, in Rick, award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world … and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be.

About ALA OIF

Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. 

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; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; 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.

11 Challenged and Banned Books

The American Library Associations Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles an annual list of the most challenged and banned books. Normally, that list is only ten titles long, but this year’s list includes eleven titles, some of which were even burned by censors! Let’s take a look…

George by Alex Gino

Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller

Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints

Captain Underpants series, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey

Reasons: series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reasons: banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop,” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references

Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Reasons: banned, challenged, and restricted for addressing teen suicide

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations

Skippyjon Jones series, written and illustrated by Judy Schachner

Reason: challenged for depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: banned and challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

ALA OIF tracked tracked 347 challenges to library, school, and university materials in 2018, targeting 483 books, programming, displays, and more. In 2018, many of the attacks against reading were aimed at LGBQIA+ content, political viewpoint, and sexual content.

For the current most challenged list and previous year’s lists, visit the ALA website here. ALA has also provided infographics, shelftalkers, and more about this year’s list here. Find out about the challenges faced by America’s libraries with the State of America’s Libraries Report 2019 here. Find images, infographics, and more on OIF’s free downloads webpage!

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…

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