Tag: banned books week

Banned Books Week Goes to Sweden!

Banned Books Week has found a new home: Sweden! The Swedish celebration of the right to read takes place on October 9–15, 2023. Banned Books Week Sweden will highlight literature that is or has been banned in different parts the world.

The week is coordinated by Swedish PEN in partnership with the Dawit Isaak-library in Malmö and is done in proud collaboration with libraries, bookshops, schools, and organizations from all over the country. Banned Books Week Sweden has the commitment of more than 200 participating organizations, with additional requests to join coming in every hour.

Even if the situation in Sweden differs from the surge in book bans that has occurred in the United States, Sweden is experiencing an escalating level of hate speech and threats directed at those who write, and the public discourse is becoming more polarized. This week, DIK — the union for people who work within culture, communications, and the creative sector — released a report stating that 28% of librarians have experienced pressure during the last two years from members of the public or politicians to influence what books are available in the library or what activities are carried out[1] .

But the raison d’être for Banned Books Week Sweden is also found in international connectedness. If books are being banned in other parts of the world, it affects us all. When information is restricted, people are left with a more dangerous and polarized world where antidemocratic forces can gain ground.

And as the charter of PEN states: “Literature knows no frontiers.” International solidarity and collaboration have been a core value of PEN’s work for more than 100 years. With Banned Books Week Sweden, we are proud to find new methods to celebrate this legacy in a way that encourages more people to get involved in discussing and working against the threats against freedom of expression. For the Dawit Isaak Library – which collect and make available banned and censured books to the public all year round – this campaign raises awareness of banned books and the library’s mission.

Please check out the hashtag #bannedbooksweeksverige to find out more about what is happening in classrooms, book shops and libraries this week.

Hanna Nordell, Managing Director PEN Sweden

Emelie Ive, Manager of the Dawit Isaak Library


[1] https://assets.ctfassets.net/vkygthqfrquy/4XAqPMx12j0lM2k3p6JEa/9e216bbbdd03f57b0db7c4e84a6b2787/Biblioteksrapport_2023.pdf

Saturday Is Let Freedom Read Day!

With book bans on the rise, it is absolutely essential that people do something — anything — to defend books from censorship in their communities. This final day of Banned Books Week is Let Freedom Read Day — do at least one thing today to fight censorship! Keep reading for day of action ideas and more Banned Books Week programs!

Spotlight: Let Freedom Read Day

The freedom to read is under attack — let’s do something about it! Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour or more, there’s plenty you can do to fight. Visit the Let Freedom Read Day page for ideas, a downloadable one-sheet, and social media assets that you can use to let the world know you took action today!

Show us how you’re taking action on social media by using the hashtags #LetFreedomReadDay and #BannedBooksWeek!

And don’t forget: Censorship won’t stop just because Banned Books Week does — you can take action any day of the year!

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

The New Republic: THE BANNED BOOKS TOUR 2023

John H. Dickerson Community Center, 308 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm EDT

The New Republic is launching a bold new initiative to combat censorship and celebrate the First Amendment to coincide with Banned Books Week October 1–7, 2023. This fall, we are taking it on the road, sending a bookmobile to distribute books in states that have witnessed the highest incidents of banned books, including Texas, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

We will launch our journey at the Brooklyn Book Festival on October 1 where we will accept book (and financial) donations with special help from our partners at House of SpeakEasy via the SpeakEasy Bookmobile.

Our “festival on wheels” will connect with communities, authors, bookstores, libraries, and local leaders to celebrate the freedom to read.

Banned Camp Presents: The Magic Power of Reading

BookPeople 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX, United States • 10:30 am – 2:00 pm CDT

In partnership with Book People, The Child Defense Fund of Texas, and the Austin Public Library, PEN America Austin will celebrate Banned Book Month 2023 on October 7 at Book People by demonstrating the magical power of reading. With legislature like Texas House Bill 900 threatening students’ access to books, PEN Austin is inviting local writers, readers, and free expression advocates to honor the magic of their unique stories.

This day of celebration for the magical power of reading will have two sections that will allow Austin residents to reflect on how integral books are to our identity and our ability to express ourselves. Staff from the CDF and APL will be on hand to supply writers, readers, and free expression advocates of all ages with the materials and knowledge to produce their own zine and bookmarks via a production workshop. Magician Nicole Cardoza will demonstrate the transformative power of words with a magic show. Lastly, the PEN America Freedom to Read team will present research findings about the book ban crisis and its effects on Texas students, schools, libraries, and booksellers. PEN America will be joined by local coalition leaders who are pushing back against book bans in defense of the freedom to read. Leaders like Carolyn Foote of FReadom Fighters will talk about ways to get involved locally in your own schools and communities.

The Banned Wagon Tour: Houston

Kindred Stories 2304 Stuart Street, Houston, TX • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm 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!

18th Annual BOOKS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

River Forest Public Library, 735 Lathrop Ave., River Forest, IL • 2:00 p.m. CDT

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 across the United States.

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.

Ongoing Events

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 (littlefreelibrary.org/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 (littlefreelibrary.org/books/).

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!

Friday Events for Banned Books Week

It may be the penultimate day of Banned Books Week, but there’s still plenty to do! Today’s edition of City Lit Theater’s Books on the Chopping Block is also available virtually! If you’re in New York City, brush up on your banned books trivia. Keep reading for more info.

Are you ready to take action to fight book bans?! Tomorrow is Let Freedom Read Day! 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!

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

18th Annual BOOKS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

In-Person & Virtual • DePaul University Library, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

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 across the United States.

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.​

City Lit Artistic Director Terry McCabe believes that concert readings of excerpts from challenged books actively celebrate the books most at risk, calling attention to the would-be censor’s threat to an educated democracy. “Our focus is literate theatre, so we are naturally concerned by attempts to keep books away from people,” McCabe says. “We are privileged to continue our alliance with the ALA in this important work.”

Friday, October 6, 2023 at 1:00PM – DePaul University Library, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL
*This performance is also available to view remotely.  Register free here.

Banned Books Week Panel & Trivia Sponsored by the NYC Book Hoes & Woodhull Freedom Foundation

66 Greenpoint Bar 66 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY, United States • 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm EDT

Join your fellow book hoes for a night in celebration of Banned Books during Banned Book Week. The Woodhull Foundation in collaboration with NYC Book Club for Book Hoes will be hosting a panel discussion on banned books followed by a banned books trivia.

All attendees will receive a free copy of a banned book provided by Penguin Random House.

The night will begin with our panel of three speakers moderated by Mandy Salley, the Chief Operating Officer at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. Trivia will be run by Zoë Mahler, creator of NYC Book Club for Book Hoes. 

Ongoing Events

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 (littlefreelibrary.org/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 (littlefreelibrary.org/books/).

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!

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 (littlefreelibrary.org/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 (littlefreelibrary.org/books/).

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!

Books Unite Us Censorship Divides Us @ Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries

All 37 Buffalo & Erie County (NY) Public Libraries are participating in a community awareness and informational campaign beginning with Banned Books Week.
To help spread the word about the increasing number of book challenges, Libraries are offering special edition freedom to read library cards for those who live, work or attend school in Erie County. Related programs, speakers and
displays are planned to inform the community about the harms of censorship in public libraries and schools.

Libraries are also giving away limited edition “freedom to read” tote bags, bracelets, stickers and buttons.

Students Protecting Education

Come join Jillian Yarnes & Luke Lippitt, co-founders of the local Students Protecting Education chapter, as they discuss how they formed the group at Orchard Park High School, ways to empower students, and the danger of book bans.

Gay & Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York will also be on hand to discuss the need for positive representation for LGBTQ+ youth, and how books are crucial to providing that information.

Banned Books Week Wednesday is LeVar Burton Day!

Today is the day! Our Honorary Chair LeVar Burton will join us live on Facebook for a conversation with our Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels. Don’t miss this knowledge! You can also catch programs with John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Mike Curato (Flamer), Brad Meltzer (I Am Rosa Parks), and more. Keep reading for details…

TOMORROW: Don’t miss our A Seat at the Table, a conversation with youth advocates lead by Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels! The event starts at 8:00 p.m. EDT. You can register here.

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

Honorary Chair Event

LeVar Burton LIVE on Facebook in Conversation with Da’Taeveyon Daniels

Facebook Live Event • 8:00 p.m. EDT

Actor, director, literacy advocate—and Banned Books Week 2023 Honorary Chair—LeVar Burton will discuss his anti-censorship work with Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels during this rare live event, which will stream on Facebook.

Follow @BannedBooksWeek, and join us October 4, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. EDT / 7:00 p.m. CDT / 6:00 p.m. MDT / 5:00 p.m. PDT.

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Rescuing Our World From the Harms of Censorship: Providing Access to Information in Unprecedented Times

Virtual Event • 8:30 am – 10:00 am CDT

This year IFLA’s Management of Library Associations (MLAS), in collaboration with the Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Advisory Committee (FAIFE), will be organizing a webinar to discuss access to information under siege across the world, as well as best practices and strategies from library associations and librarians.  

As in previous years, this October 1-7 of 2023, we commemorate “Banned Books Week,” an initiative from the American Library Association that seeks to bring together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.

Librarians across the world are facing unprecedented situations related to the defense of access to information and intellectual freedom. Library leaders from different regions will be taking a look at the current global situation, discussing how to manage crises, and how to build support networks for libraries and librarians. As part of the event, resources developed by library associations will be shared on the event’s page.

Authors and Advocates on Fighting Book Bans

Virtual Event • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

The last few years have seen an unparalleled attack on the right to read and organized campaigns against certain types of literature and programming in public and school libraries. No one person or organization can face this fight alone, and we all need to take direct action to combat censorship. Join author John Green (Looking for AlaskaThe Fault in Our Stars), writer and illustrator Mike Curato (Flamer), librarian and Texas FReadom Fighters co-founder Becky Calzada, and Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels for a conversation about the impact of book bans and the ways in which they have taken action to fight censorship. The program will close with a short Q&A. Sign up here.

NYC Day Of Action: Protect The Freedom To Read!

Virtual Event • 10:00 a.m. EDT

2023 has seen a steep rise in book bans and censorship in classrooms and school libraries across the United States.

Queens Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the New York Public Library are dedicated to free and open access to information and knowledge—a mission that is directly opposed to censorship.

On Wednesday, October 4, during Banned Books Week, New York City’s libraries invite you to join us on social media in support of the freedom to read!

Books can build bridges, introduce us to new perspectives, and show us we are not alone.

Join us on October 4 to celebrate the power of books, reading, and public libraries—and stand for the #FreedomToRead!

More info on ways to participate

The New Republic: THE BANNED BOOKS TOUR 2023

MLK Library, 901 G St NW, Washington DC • 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT

The New Republic is launching a bold new initiative to combat censorship and celebrate the First Amendment to coincide with Banned Books Week October 1–7, 2023. This fall, we are taking it on the road, sending a bookmobile to distribute books in states that have witnessed the highest incidents of banned books, including Texas, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

We will launch our journey at the Brooklyn Book Festival on October 1 where we will accept book (and financial) donations with special help from our partners at House of SpeakEasy via the SpeakEasy Bookmobile.

Our “festival on wheels” will connect with communities, authors, bookstores, libraries, and local leaders to celebrate the freedom to read.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @newrepublic #TNRBookmobile #TNRStandsWithTheBanned and Eventbrite.

Oct 4—Washington, D.C.

11 a.m.–3 p.m. // MLK Library, 901 G St NW

Woman Life Freedom – with Malu Halasa & guests

London – Hatchards – Piccadilly 187 Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom • 8:00 p.m. BST

Join Malu Halasa and Ramita Navai here at Hatchards this evening for an event chaired by Index on Censorship editor-in-chief Jemimah Steinfeld to celebrate the launch of the book “Woman Life Freedom”.

The murder of Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022 by Iran’s morality police sent shockwaves throughout the country. Protests led by women spread to ninety cities in all of Iran’s provinces. Videos on social media showed women in the streets with their hair uncovered, burning headscarves and even cutting their own long hair. Men soon joined the protests. Schoolgirls defaced portraits of religious leaders. Cries of Zan Zendegi Azadi in Farsi – Woman Life Freedom – echoed in mass demonstrations, which continue today. Woman Life Freedom captures this historic moment in artwork and first-person accounts by courageous women, including those too scared to reveal their true identities because of a repressive and vindictive regime. Featuring art, music and photography from the protests, this moving and inspiring anthology exposes hardship, hope and empowerment in modern-day Iran.

As part of the launch of Woman Life Freedom, marking Banned Books Week, this event will discuss the Iran protests over the last year and will ask what has happened. With reports of the morality police back on the streets and protesters locked away, some even executed, what positive change has occurred, if any? The event will also launch Index’s Autumn Magazine, which covers the rise of the religious right, religious blasphemy and its impact on freedom of expression, with a focus on Iran amongst other countries.

Resisting Censorship: The Children’s & Young Adult Book Banning Crisis

Books & Books 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL, United States • 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm EDT

LGBTQ-themed books are under profound attack in the United States. They are challenged in droves and are decreed off-limits by school boards, legislators, and prison authorities. In PEN’s report “Banned in the USA: The Mounting Pressure to Censor,” during the 2022–23 school year, PEN America recorded 3,362 instances of books banned, an increase of 33 percent from the 2021–22 school year, with over 40 percent of all book bans occurring in school districts in Florida. 78% of the books banned are listed as young adult, middle grade, and picture books.

Join PEN Miami/South Florida and Books & Books for a vital conversation with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer, whose books I am Rosa Parks and I am Martin Luther King Jr. have been challenged in schools across the country, and author Camryn Garrett, whose books feature celebrations of blackness and queerness. They will discuss the movement to ban books by and about LGBTQ people, particularly books aimed at younger audiences, and how to resist the censorship taking over our schools and libraries.

Ongoing Events

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 (littlefreelibrary.org/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 (littlefreelibrary.org/books/).

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!

Woman Life Freedom – with Malu Halasa & guests

Join Malu Halasa and Ramita Navai here at Hatchards this evening for an event chaired by Index on Censorship editor-in-chief Jemimah Steinfeld to celebrate the launch of the book “Woman Life Freedom”.

The murder of Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022 by Iran’s morality police sent shockwaves throughout the country. Protests led by women spread to ninety cities in all of Iran’s provinces. Videos on social media showed women in the streets with their hair uncovered, burning headscarves and even cutting their own long hair. Men soon joined the protests. Schoolgirls defaced portraits of religious leaders. Cries of Zan Zendegi Azadi in Farsi – Woman Life Freedom – echoed in mass demonstrations, which continue today. Woman Life Freedom captures this historic moment in artwork and first-person accounts by courageous women, including those too scared to reveal their true identities because of a repressive and vindictive regime. Featuring art, music and photography from the protests, this moving and inspiring anthology exposes hardship, hope and empowerment in modern-day Iran.

As part of the launch of Woman Life Freedom, marking Banned Books Week, this event will discuss the Iran protests over the last year and will ask what has happened. With reports of the morality police back on the streets and protesters locked away, some even executed, what positive change has occurred, if any? The event will also launch Index’s Autumn Magazine, which covers the rise of the religious right, religious blasphemy and its impact on freedom of expression, with a focus on Iran amongst other countries.

Banned Books Week Tuesday: Bookmobiles, HOWL, and more!

Banned Books Week day three: not one, but two, bookmobiles get the day started, and you can wrap up the day with an amazing virtual program hosted by City Lights Bookstore! Keep reading for a look at today’s events.

TOMORROW: Don’t miss Banned Books Week Honorary Chair LeVar Burton, live on Instagram at 8:00 p.m. EDT! And our Yourh Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels will lead a conversation with other youth advocates on Thursday, October 5, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

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

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

The New Republic: THE BANNED BOOKS TOUR 2023

2:00 – 5:00 p.m. EDT • King PreK – 8, 50 Montgomery Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

The New Republic is launching a bold new initiative to combat censorship and celebrate the First Amendment to coincide with Banned Books Week October 1–7, 2023. This fall, we are taking it on the road, sending a bookmobile to distribute books in states that have witnessed the highest incidents of banned books, including Texas, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

We will launch our journey at the Brooklyn Book Festival on October 1 where we will accept book (and financial) donations with special help from our partners at House of SpeakEasy via the SpeakEasy Bookmobile.

Our “festival on wheels” will connect with communities, authors, bookstores, libraries, and local leaders to celebrate the freedom to read.

Oct 3—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

2 p.m.– 5 p.m. // King PreK – 8, 50 Montgomery Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

The Banned Wagon Tour: Nashville

3:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT • The Bookshop 1043 W Eastland Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee

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!

18th Annual BOOKS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

4:00 p.m. CDT • Edgewater Branch, Chicago Public Library, 6000 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 

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 across the United States.

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.​

City Lit Artistic Director Terry McCabe believes that concert readings of excerpts from challenged books actively celebrate the books most at risk, calling attention to the would-be censor’s threat to an educated democracy. “Our focus is literate theatre, so we are naturally concerned by attempts to keep books away from people,” McCabe says. “We are privileged to continue our alliance with the ALA in this important work.”

FROM HOWL TO NOW: BOOK BANS IN THE U.S.

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PDT • Virtual Event

During Banned Books Week, City Lights and PEN America bring together authors, librarians, and student activists to discuss the alarming rise in book bans across the country. They share insights, observations, and methods to counter the suppression of books that address issues pertaining to race, gender, and sexuality. Ever timely, their conversation is a powerful call to action to stand up for the freedom to read.

Panelists:

  • Ipek S. Burnett, PhD
  • Becky Calzada 
  • Leela Hensler 
  • Summer Lopez
  • Nic Stone

Register: https://citylights.com/events/from-howl-to-now-book-bans-in-the-u-s-2/

Ongoing Events

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 (littlefreelibrary.org/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 (littlefreelibrary.org/books/).

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!

Banned Books Week at KD’s

We will be sharing resources to educate the public about the dangers of censorship, as well as how to fight book challenges, both online and in store this week. Come in anytime to check out our Banned Books displays, and be sure to join us for the BBW National Day of Action on Saturday, Oct. 7th. We’ll be hosting a Banned Books Storytime beginning at 10:30 to share our favorite commonly challenged children’s books!

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

LOS ANGELES, CA September 27, 2023 – 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.

Sarah Baker, executive director of SCBWI, commented, “Book banning is nothing new. But all of us at SCBWI are increasingly disturbed by the ferocity and sophistication of this current wave of book banning and censorship. I’m pleased to welcome Joyce McIntosh to the event ‘Free People Read Freely: How Children’s Book Creatives Can Fight Book Banning,’ where our 21,000-plus members and the wider children’s book community can learn about the current state of book banning and acquire the tools they need to fight back. Young readers deserve nothing less.”

National Banned Books Week is October 1-7, 2023.

Banned Books Read-a-Thon

Read a short passage from your favorite banned or challenged book to celebrate the freedom to read! Don’t want to read? Join the audience!

Let Freedom Read Trivia Night

This year, libraries across the country will be sharing displays and information about the perils of censorship and limiting access to books in a democracy. Join Petoskey District Library in standing up for everyone’s right to read freely!

Bring your knowledge and curiosity to Let Freedom Read Trivia Night! Learn some and win some… library swag, that is! Be a lone wolf, or come with your pack, as long as you have fun!

Banned Books Week – BTU

Business and Technology University (BTU) is hosting Banned Books Week in Tbilisi, Georgia.

During the meeting, invited guests will overview native Georgian books and authors and discuss their insights in the book.

The meeting will be held in an interactive format, which means that the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions to the guests and receive relevant answers regarding the book.

Invited speakers:

October 2, 17:00 – Levan Gigineishvili

October 3 at 15:00 – Dato Turashvili

Address: Business and Technology University.

Banned Books Week – BTU

Business and Technology University (BTU) is hosting Banned Books Week in Tbilisi, Georgia.

During the meeting, invited guests will overview native Georgian books and authors and discuss their insights in the book.

The meeting will be held in an interactive format, which means that the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions to the guests and receive relevant answers regarding the book.

Invited speakers:

October 2, 17:00 – Levan Gigineishvili

October 3 at 15:00 – Dato Turashvili

Address: Business and Technology University.

AFT New Mexico Celebrates Banned Books Week!

AFT New Mexico is spending this week celebrating banned books and our fervent support of ensuring all students and Americans have the freedom to read what they choose!

As educators, we know protecting our students’ right to read is a value we all share.

To support our week of celebrations, we are doing the following:

1: We will kick off each day with an e-mail full of information about banned books, resources for educators, history around efforts to ban books, and many resources you may use in your own teaching.

2: We are also launching a contest for AFT NM members to share their displays, bulletin boards, lesson plans, or any other educational tool you are utilizing to share the love of reading with your students. (More info below on the contest!)

3: We are collecting photos of members and elected leaders in New Mexico to highlight individuals’ favorite Banned Books. We will share those stories throughout the week on AFT NM social media sites.

4: We are providing social media graphics that can be downloaded and shared on your own personal social media pages – one for educators specifically and another for community members to show their support for reading Banned Books.

Our week of celebrating Banned Books will be capped by the announcement of winners of our 1st Banned Books Week contest.

We hope you will consider how you can participate in this week dedicated to the freedom and joy of reading, and check your e-mails throughout the week for graphics, resources, and educational materials that celebrate reading!

In Solidarity,

Whitney Holland
President, AFT New Mexico

Contest Details:

We encourage you to enter our Banned Books Week contest! The contest will be launched on October 1 (today) to coincide with the beginning of Banned Books Week and will be open to any AFT NM member to submit their entry.

Be creative and think outside the box! Entries could be a lesson plan, library display, or other educational activity that ties into the week and its mission. The best submissions will receive gift cards that can be used to purchase books, resources, and materials on First Book Marketplace.

The first-place winner will receive a $1,500 gift certificate to First Book Marketplace.
The second-place winner will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to First Book Marketplace.
The third-place winner will receive a $500 gift certificate to First Book Marketplace.

Winners will be announced at the conclusion of Banned Books Week.

To enter the AFT New Mexico Banned Books Week contest, please fill out this form to submit your entry.

Banned Books Brunch

The BRCSJ Defenders of the Right to Read invite you to our BANNED BOOKS BRUNCH to honor Harmonica Sunbeam & Senator Andrew Zwicker!

More than Empty Shelves: How Book Bans Undermine Identities and Restrict Information

Restricting access to under-represented voices is intended to invalidate marginalized identities and has no place in a healthy democracy. The opportunity to learn about experiences different than our own is a fundamental part of what allows our state, and our country, to achieve inclusive progress. As the right to access information is under attack around the country, New Jersey has an obligation to fight back, and to lead by example in defending it.

This event will be moderated by ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero. Panelists include:

  • Martha Hickson, New Jersey Library Association 2023 Librarian of the Year
  • Kasey Meehan, Freedom to Read Program Director at PEN America
  • Brielle Winslow-Majette, Deputy Director of Garden State Equality

This event will also be livestreamed on the ACLU of New Jersey’s Facebook page.

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

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.

Banned Books Week TRIVIA

We are celebrating our freedom to read with Banned Books Trivia in the store on Friday, October 6!

Grab a group of free-minded souls to test your knowledge of history, culture, and censorship as it pertains to banned and challenged books. Teams will spread out throughout the store and take part in 5 rounds of cut-throat (not really) trivia. Even if you think you know nothing about banned books, you will surprise yourself — and you just may win a prize!

“Every burned book enlightens the world!”

Instead of an entry fee, we are asking teams to bring a challenged or banned book (gently used or purchased brand new from our store) to donate to our Hygge House Book Nooks in the city of Worcester.

Banned Books Bash

We’re kicking off Banned Books Week with a bash for all ages from 12:00 -3:00 p.m. Drop in any time, or stay for the day.

  • 12 PM — Banned Book Tasting
    • Browse our “buffet” of banned books. Take the time and care to evaluate them for yourself
  • 1 PM — Banned Book “READ OUT”
    • Participate by reading aloud or listening as others read passages from select banned books
  • 2 PM — Banned Book BINGO
    • Play along and you may just win a prize!

All day long, we’ll have a banned book challenge, and the banned book tasting will continue — plus 10% off all banned books and banned book apparel, freebies, and BLIND DATES WITH BANNED BOOKS.

Banned Books Readathon

Commemorate Banned Books Week (October 1–7) with Prince Memorial Library’s first Banned Books Readathon! Throughout the day, community members will be reading from a selection of banned or frequently challenged picture books and middle-grade books chosen by PML librarians. Drop in to listen. Leave when you need to. It’s a casual, and, we hope, entertaining good time. We’ll even have the popcorn machine and slushy machine in full swing.

The Banned Wagon Tour: Atlanta/Decatur

Book bans in America are more widespread than ever. They must be stopped.

The Banned Wagon: A Vehicle for Change is road-tripping through the South on a mission to get books to the people who need and want them most. Our first stop: Georgia!

Stop by Charis Books & More to get a free banned book (options available for kids, teens, and adults) and merch from Out of Print, learn more about the issue, and join the movement!

And as a bonus, our Atlanta event will feature a Q&A and book signing with Atlantan Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin.

We’ll see you there!

“Why your voice matters, even as censorship increases”

As censorship continues to grow and evolve across the United States, what should we, the people, know? What can we do to ensure that our public resources, including libraries, remain places of intellectual freedom?

We’ll talk about perceptions of the public library, book bans, and the movement to push back. Join noted experts Kelly Jensen from Book Riot and John Chrastka from EveryLibrary to hear stories from across the country of libraries defending the First Amendment and the rights of everyone to have their voices heard.

Drag Bingo @ Stolen Sun Brewery

Kick-off BANNED BOOK WEEK with the Friends of the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library with Drag Queen Bingo featuring the beautiful and talented Lucy Moth!

Join us Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at Stolen Sun Brewery, 342 N. Pottstown Pike Suite B, Exton, PA.

Must be 18 years or older to play. Complete info and tix sales here: https://hankinlibraryfriends.org/bingo/

Celebrate the Freedom to Read: A Banned Book Masquerade

The Downers Grove Public Library Foundation (DGPLF) will host a Celebrate the Freedom to Read: A Banned Books Masquerade fundraiser event on Tuesday, October 3, from 7:00 -10:00 p.m. at Skeleton Key Brewery (8102 Lemont Rd.), celebrating Banned Books Week (October 1 – 7) as well as the passing of anti-book ban legislation in Illinois. Guests will experience food and drink, a DJ and live band, photo booth, raffle and silent auction, guest speakers and more! All funds raised from the event support the Downers Grove Public Library.

Banned Books Panel Discussion at River Bookshop

In recognition of Banned Books Week, River Bookshop is hosting a Banned Books panel discussion on Thursday, October 5th, at 6:30PM, in the Hole in the Wall event space above River Bookshop, 67 Richmond St, Amherstburg, ON.

Featuring:

  • Adam Craig, Chief Librarian, Essex County Library
  • Vicki Houston, Director, Greater Essex County District School Board
  • Dr Selinda Berg, Librarian, University of Windsor
  • Video contribution from Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library

Come and join us for a lively discussion about the increasingly prevalent practice of banning books, why it matters, and what can be done about it.

This event is completely free to attend, but requires registration on Eventbrite. To register to watch on Zoom, please email info@riverbookshop.com instead, to be added to our virtual list.

Lunch & Learn: Banned Books

Join us for our Banned Books Lunch and Learn on October 6th at 12 p.m. We will be discussing the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Banned Books 🧐
This event is available in person and on Zoom. To register for Zoom go to bit.ly/vplbanned

Loutit District Library Banned Books Display

The Loutit District is celebrating Banned Books “Week” for the entire month of October! We have a wonderful interactive educational display for patrons to learn more about book challenges and bans. In addition to our display, book recommendations, and Banned Book programming, we are also hosting a Beanstack reading challenge to get patrons involved! There will be two randomly drawn winners of a Banned Books prize pack from those who complete the challenge.

Silent Book Club – Banned Books

Silent Book Club is a unique and relaxing social gathering that combines the joy of reading with the pleasure of shared company. Participants come together to read silently, followed by lively discussions (if they choose) about the books they’ve read. It’s the perfect blend of solitude and social interaction for book enthusiasts of all kinds.

This October, we are celebrating Banned Books and the right to read. We encourage Silent Book Club participants to bring a book that has been challenged or banned to read and discuss. Not sure what to read? Here are some great recommendations from your favorite librarians!
Banned Books Week 2023: The Classics
Banned Books Week 2023: Infamous
Banned Books Week 2023: Adult Nonfiction
Banned Books Week 2023: Adult Fiction

Family Fun Day: Banned Books Week

Join us for an event honoring Banned Books Week 2023! This year, we are celebrating books, reading, and freedom of speech with the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and volunteers from their Student Advocates for Speech program. Explore a full day’s worth of activities across the Museum for families to celebrate books and learn a little more about the history of censorship in the United States.

Sunday Story Time: Malala’s Magic Pencil
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library, Lower Level

Malala Yousafzai has spent her whole life using her voice to make change, even when people have tried to silence her—like banning this book! In Malala’s Magic Pencil, with illustrations by Kerascoët, learn about Malala’s life. When she was a little girl growing up in Pakistan, Malala dreamed of having a magic pencil that could draw away any problem. As she grew older, Malala realized that she could make the world a better place using the power of her own voice! After the book, make your own magic pencil and think of ways that you could change the world!

Family Q&A with Special Guest Authors Wade Hudson and Eliot Schrefer
1–2:30 pm
Patricia D. Klingenstein Library Reading Room, 2nd Floor
Join us for a very special Q&A with guest authors Wade Hudson (author, publisher, and president and CEO of Just Us Books Inc.) and Eliot Schrefer (a New York Times-bestselling author) along with members of the NCAC.

Wade Hudson is an author, a publisher, and the president and CEO of Just Us Books Inc., an independent publisher of books for children and young adults. Wade has received a New Jersey Stephen Crane Literary Award, the Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award, and the Madame C. J. Walker Legacy Award.

Eliot Schrefer is a New York Times-bestselling author. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, received the Stonewall Honor for best LGBTQIA+ teen book, and received the Printz Honor for best young adult book from the ALA.

Family Craft: Collage Bookmark
12:30–2:30pm
Patricia D. Klingenstein Library Reading Room, 2nd Floor
Get crafty and use your imagination at our supplies table to make your own unique bookmark to take home. It’ll be a useful accessory for all your Banned Book Week reading!

Family Guide: BANNED
All Day
Explore the New-York Historical Society with this paper-based family guide to learn more about the history of censorship in the United States, from the time of the founding fathers up to the present day. Pick up a copy throughout the Museum, including downstairs in the Children’s Museum.

Boozy Banned Books Fair

Main Point Books and partner Teresa’s Cafe present our 2nd Boozy Banned Books Fair! All the magic of childhood along with the magic of happy hour, at Teresa’s Cafe.

LET FREEDOM READ During Banned Books Week 2023!

The American Library Association has announced the theme for Banned Books Week 2023: “Let Freedom Read!” Banned Books Week will take place October 1 – 7, 2023.

“As we’ve seen throughout National Library Week, as long as there are libraries, Americans’ right to read will not be overcome by censorship,” says Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. “Our 2023 Banned Books Week theme – ‘Let Freedom Read’ – captures what’s at stake for our democracy: that the safety of our right to speak and think freely is directly in proportion to our right to read. ALA encourages libraries in every context to mark Banned Books Week by inviting other groups within their communities to celebrate and take action to protect our freedom to read all year long.”

ALA offers a variety of “Let Freedom Read” downloads and materials, including posters, bookmarks, stickers, and buttons, as well as print-on-demand items such as apparel and drinkware. Evergreen assets without Banned Books Week dates and branding are available to encourage use and community engagement throughout the year.

Grants are available for libraries, schools and nonprofit groups planning Banned Books Week events in their communities. The Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund Programming Grant from the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) awards $1,000 to support Banned Books Week programs. The application deadline is May 19, 2023. Information about the grant, including past recipients and their projects, is available on the FTRF website.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas. ALA is one of the founders of Banned Books Week and a member of the Banned Books Week Coalition, an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to raise awareness about intellectual freedom issues and to celebrating and defending the right to read during Banned Books Week and beyond.

About the American Library Association
The 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, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.

ALA Releases Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022 List

Today, the American Library Association (ALA) kicked off National Library Week with the release of its highly anticipated list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022 and the State of America’s Libraries Report, which tells the story of how libraries are innovating and adapting to improve the well-being of their communities in the midst of censorship challenges. This year, however, there were multiple books that received the same number of challenges – resulting in the expansion of the list to 13 titles.

Libraries in every state faced another year of unprecedented attempts to ban books. In 2022, ALA tracked the highest number of censorship reports since the association began compiling data about library censorship more than 20 years ago. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted in 2021. Most of the targeted books were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.

“By releasing the list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books each year, ALA recognizes all of the brave authors whose work challenges readers with stories that disrupt the status quo and offer fresh perspectives on tough issues,” said ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. “The list also illustrates how frequently stories by or about LGBTQ+ persons, people of color, and lived experiences are being targeted by censors. Closing our eyes to the reality portrayed in these stories will not make life’s challenges disappear. Books give us courage and help us understand each other.

It’s time to take action on behalf of authors, library staff, and the communities they serve. ALA calls on readers everywhere to show your commitment to the freedom to read by doing something to protect it.”

Below are the most Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022:

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: depiction of sexual abuse, claimed to be sexually explicit, EDI content
  1. Flamer by Mike Curato
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. (TIE) Looking for Alaska by John Green
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content
  1. (TIE) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content, depiction of sexual abuse, drugs, profanity
  1. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity
  1. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. (TIE) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. (TIE) Crank by Ellen Hopkins
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs
  1. (TIE) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity
  1. (TIE) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit

Top 10 artwork is available for download at: https://bit.ly/ALA-Top10

In response to the uptick in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, ALA has designated every Monday of National Library Week moving forward as Right to Read Day, a day of action that encourages communities to fight back against censorship and to protect and celebrate the right to read freely. This year’s National Library Week also marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Unite Against Book Bans, a nationwide initiative that empowers readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. More information is available at uniteagainstbookbans.org.

About the American Library Association
The 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, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.

Strong Finish for Banned Books Week with Friday and Saturday Events

Banned Books Week is drawing to close, but there are still plenty of ways to engage! Don’t miss events bestselling authors Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places, Breathless), George M. Johnson (All Boys Aren’t Blue), Kyle Lukoff (When Aidan Became a Brother, Too Bright to See), and more! Keep reading…

For a complete event listing, please visit our events calendar here.

Friday Featured Events

A Conversation with Author Jennifer Niven

Virtual Event • 12:00 p.m. CDT
Organized by ALA OIF

Join New York Times-bestselling author Jennifer Niven for a conversation about censorship and the implications for teens and the communities where book bans happen. Niven is the award-winning author of eleven books, including YA novels All the Bright Places, Holding up the Universe, Breathless, and Take Me With You When You Go (with David Levithan). … Read More

Banned Books Bingo

Virtual Event • 3:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by American Booksellers Association

On September 12, at 3 p.m. ET, you are invited to join host Drag Queen Nebuer Styles for Banned Books Bingo. The Banned Books Bingo game card is available in ABA’s Banned Books Week digital assets. This virtual bingo game will not only be a lot of fun but it will also provide a blueprint … Read More

Author Talk: George M. Johnson All Boys Aren’t Blue

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 901 G St NW, Washington, DC • 7:00 p.m EDT
Organized by DC Public Library

In recognition of Banned Books Week, DC Public Library welcomes George M. Johnson, award-winning author of “All Boys Aren’t Blue” and “We Are Not Broken.” The DC Public Library is thrilled to host author and activist George M. Johnson, honorary chair of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week initiative. Johnson’s memoir “All Boys Aren’t Blue” has become … Read More

Saturday Featured Events

Let’s Get Organized: Fighting Book Bans Together

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 901 G St NW, Washington, DC • 1:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by PEN America

For Banned Books Week, National Book Award–honored author Kyle Lukoff (Too Bright to See, 2021 Young People’s Literature Finalist), DC Public Library Teen Services Coordinator Joanna Harris, and Managing Director of PEN America Washington and Free Expression Programs Nadine Farid Johnson sit down to discuss the value of writing, publishing, and access to diverse books, and how we can come together and unite … Read More

The Battle for the Right to Read What You Want

Brooklyn Public Library 10 Grand Army Plz, Brooklyn, NY • 4:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by Brooklyn Public Library

Last month Summer Boismier, a high school English teacher in Norman, Oklahoma, lost her job when she provided students with the QR Code to Brooklyn Public Library’s “Books Unbanned” initiative, which gives out-of-state teens access to the Library’s eBook collection, including books that might be banned where they live. Boismier’s story went viral and became … Read More

Celebrating Black Gay Literature Amidst a Wave of Book Bans

Source Booksellers 4240 Cass Avenue, Unit 105, Detroit, MI • 6:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by PEN Ameerica

Join PEN America Detroit for a Banned Book Week in-person discussion on the anti-Blackness and homophobia inherent in the slate of book bans around the country. This conversation will offer strategies on how to push back against the recent book bans, while also offering a space to celebrate black gay literature in all of its permutations. Moderated … Read More

It’s Your Right to Read!

Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom. The Banned Books Week Coalition partnered with HarperCollins Childrens BooksLittle Free Library, and Bookshop.org on resources to help people know their rightsreport censorship, and get involved. Check them out the resources here.

Download a full PDF of the new resource here.

Full Steam Ahead for Thursday Banned Books Week Programming!

Banned Books Week may be drawing to a close in a couple days, but we’re not slowing down! Thursday is packed with amazing programming, from our Facebook Live with censored comics creators Maia Kobabe and Mike Curato to a slew of virtual and in-person events that focus on strategies for fighting censorship. Keep reading!

For a complete event listing, please visit our events calendar here.

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

The Censorship of LGBTQ+ Comic Books with Maia Kobabe and Mike Curato

Virtual Event • 5:00 p.m. EDT

Comic books have been targeted by censors for decades, from 1954 Senate subcommittee hearings about their alleged link to juvenile delinquency, to the implementation of a content code that nearly destroyed the industry, to today’s widespread attacks on comics, especially those that share the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals. Join the creators of two of today’s … Read More

Featured Events

Practical Strategies for Defending Books in Your Library

Virtual Event • 12:00 p.m. CDT
Organized by ALA OIF

How would you handle an attempt to censor books in your library? In this program, we’ll use ripped-from-the-headlines scenarios as discussion prompts to provide practical strategies and resources that librarians can use to inform their defense of challenged materials. The conversation will be lead by librarians from a variety of backgrounds: Moni Barrette (President, Graphic … Read More

Books on the Chopping Block

DePaul University Library 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL • 2:00 p.m. CDT
Organized by City Lit Theater

FREE readings around Chicago and Chicago suburbs.  Various venues.  See website for full list of events. 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 … Read More

Free Banned Books Week Event With Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Rep. Cori Bush

Busboys and Poets (Anacostia) 2004 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue Southeast, Washington DC • 6:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by The Emancipator

The Emancipator and Busboys and Poets invite you to an in-person conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Rep. Cori Bush to commemorate Banned Books Week. Come out for a lively discussion on the implications of book bans, as well as the growing embrace of censorship of all kinds in political rhetoric on Capitol Hill, … Read More

Free Speech & Banned Books: A Conversation with Azar Nafisi

Utah Museum of Fine Arts 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, UT • 4:00 p.m. MDT
Organized by PEN America

PEN America Utah, the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, and author Azar Nafisi are partnering for an in-person conversation at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday, September 22 that will explore the role Humanities and Liberal Arts play in the preservation of democracy. This unscripted discussion will draw upon Nafisi’s own … Read More

This Story Matters: An Intellectual Freedom Discussion with NCTE Affiliates

Virtual Event • 7:00 P.M. EDT
Organized by NCTE

As the school year begins, teachers and students are facing challenges to their intellectual freedom like never before. From state legislation to executive orders to school district policies to administrator actions, book bans are at an all-time high, and teacher shortages are affecting every corner of the nation. But as an ELA educator, you do … Read More

FREEDOM TO READ: Fighting Book Banning and Censorship in Our Libraries with Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Bridget Quinn

Virtual Event • 8:00 p.m. EDT

In observance of Banned Book Week, MTH&M and Hartford Public Library present a virtual conversation between Deborah Caldwell-Stone, executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, and Hartford Public Library CEO Bridget Quinn. Presented in partnership with the Unite Against Book Bans campaign.  Upon its publication in 1885, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was immediately banned … Read More

Intellectual Freedom & You: A Banned Books Week Webinar

Virtual Event • 7:00 p.m. CDT

Book bans are on the rise across the country as states seemingly compete to see who can place the most restrictions on free speech. As this latest wave of censorship activity continues to build, what is your role as a library user? In this interactive webinar during Banned Books Week, you’ll learn about why intellectual freedom … Read More

From Howl to Now: Book Bans in the US

Virtual Event • 6:00 p.m. PDT
Organized by PEN America

City Lights in conjunction with PEN America present FROM HOWL TO NOW: BOOK BANS IN THE U.S. Moderated by Ipek Burnett with appearances by Marcus Ewert, Justin Hall, Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes and Dashka Slater During Banned Books Week, PEN America and Bay Area authors come together to discuss the alarming rise in book bans … Read More

It’s Your Right to Read!

Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom. The Banned Books Week Coalition partnered with HarperCollins Childrens BooksLittle Free Library, and Bookshop.org on resources to help people know their rightsreport censorship, and get involved. Check them out the resources here.

Download a full PDF of the new resource here.

George M. Johnson Headlines Action Packed Tuesday for Banned Books Week!

It’s two for Tuesday — we don’t just have one event with New York Times bestselling author and Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson, but two! But that’s not all that’s happening today! Keep reading to find out more…

For a complete event listing, please visit our events calendar here.

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Spotlight on George M. Johnson

Virtual Event • 1:00 p.m. EDT

Join Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson for an intimate conversation about censorship and how it impacts readers, especially young adults. Johnson will discuss the censorship of their critically acclaimed bestselling novel All Boys Aren’t Blue, which was the third title on the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021, … Read More

Featured Events

Banned Books Week: This Story Matters

Housing Works Bookstore 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY • 5:30 p.m. EDT
Organized by NCTE

Censorship continues a record-breaking sweep across our nation in the form of book bans, removal of literacy materials from school libraries, and the limitation on educators’ speech in the classroom. Teachers, parents, and citizens often feel hopeless when seeking ways to combat censorship, but there are some novel approaches recently taken by libraries, associations, and … Read More

Banned Book Week Social Hour in Durham, North Carolina

Queeny’s 321 East Chapel Hill Street, #Suite 100, Durham, NC • 6:30 p.m. EDT
Organized by PEN America

For Banned Book Week 2022, PEN Piedmont North Carolina, in partnership with the North Carolina Writers Network, will be hosting a free speech “social cocktail hour” with drinks and appetizers. This event will provide an opportunity for free speech advocates, librarians, authors, and the general public to share their thoughts and possible advocacy tools regarding the recent … Read More

The Book Ban Wave: Educational Censorship in SoCal

Virtual Event • 9:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by PEN America

The U.S. has seen a dramatic rise in school book bans and educational censorship, in the guise of prohibitions on teachers, libraries, and curricula. Nationwide, students, teachers, and parents are facing a wave of these measures, which disproportionately target books about people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, or books engaging themes of sexuality and gender. Books … Read More

It’s Your Right to Read!

Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom. The Banned Books Week Coalition partnered with HarperCollins Childrens Books, Little Free Library, and Bookshop.org on resources to help people know their rights, report censorship, and get involved. Check them out the resources here.

Download a full PDF of the new resource here.

Don’t Miss These Banned Books Week Coalition Facebook Live Events!

Banned Books is almost here! Banned Books Week officially kicks off on Sunday, and we’re excited to have an amazing lineup of Facebook livestreams to mark the week! Check them out!

All events are free — simply join the Banned Books Week Facebook page at the appointed hour! These are a great opportunity to engage your students or patrons in Banned Books Week programming, and each event will feature a short Q&A.

Youth Honorary Chair Cameron Samuels Leads a Conversation on Youth Activism

Monday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. EDT

What is it like to be the only teen protesting censorship at school board meetings? How do you go from being the only voice of opposition to leading the fight against censorship in your community – and inspiring others to do the same? In this program, Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Cameron Samuels (they/them) will lead a conversation with youth activists from around the United States. These inspiring young leaders will talk about their experiences and share their ideas for how others can get involved! More info…

Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson’s Moment in the Spotlight

Tuesday, September 20, 1:00 p.m. EDT

Join Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson for an intimate conversation about censorship and how it impacts readers, especially young adults. Johnson will discuss the censorship of their critically acclaimed bestselling novel All Boys Aren’t Blue, which was the third title on the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021, and the ongoing attacks on books and information related to LGBTQ+ identity. This one-on-one conversation will be led by Freedom to Read Foundation President and librarian Peter Coyl and include a short Q&A. More info…

Angie Thomas and Jerry Craft Get Real About Censorship

Wednesday, September 21, 6:00 p.m. EDT

Join New York Times bestselling authors Angie Thomas (The Hate U GiveOn the Come UpConcrete Rose) and Jerry Craft (New KidClass Act) for a conversation about the censorship of books dealing with racial identity and racism. The authors will discuss the censorship of their work and the implications for readers, authors, and the community. They will be joined by Jeremy C. Young, Senior Manager of Free Expression and Education at PEN America, who will offer perspective on how legislation is impacting and even fueling censorship. The program will be moderated by Amber Payne Co-Editor in Chief for The Emancipator, a digital commentary platform born from a collaboration between The Boston Globe and Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research.

Event made possible with the support of HarperCollins Publishers. More info…

Maia Kobabe and Mike Curato Explain Why LGBTQ+ Comics Belong in Schools and Libraries

Thursday, September 22, 5:00 p.m. EDT

Comic books have been targeted by censors for decades, from 1954 Senate subcommittee hearings about their alleged link to juvenile delinquency, to the implementation of a content code that nearly destroyed the industry, to today’s widespread attacks on comics, especially those that share the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals. Join the creators of two of today’s most acclaimed and frequently censored graphic novels — Maia Kobabe (Gender Queer) and Mike Curato (Flamer) — for a conversation about the attempts to censor their work and LGBTQ+ stories. Greg Rokisky, Senior Manager of Digital Strategy at PFLAG National, and Jordan Smith, Digital Editor at Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, will lead the conversation. More info…

Can’t make it live? We have you covered! All events will be recorded and released on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel after Banned Books Week.

The individual members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are also hosting events throughout the week! We’ll have a rundown for you before it kicks off, and you can find them in the Banned Books Week events calendar here. (Hint: Look for the Featured events!)


Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The event is sponsored by a coalition of organizations dedicated to free expression, including American Booksellers for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Amnesty International USA, Association of University Presses, Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Freedom to Read Foundation, GLAAD, Index on Censorship, National Book Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN America, People For the American Way Foundation, PFLAG, 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 HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House.

George M. Johnson Named Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week

George M. Johnson

The Banned Books Week Coalition is proud to announce that George M. Johnson has been named Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week 2022. The critically acclaimed—and frequently banned—author will lead the weeklong event, which brings awareness to the harms of censorship September 18–24, 2022.

George M. Johnson (they/them) is an award-winning Black nonbinary activist and author of The New York Times–bestselling young adult memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020) and We Are Not Broken (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2021). All Boys Aren’t Blue was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library and the Chicago Public Library, and it has been optioned for television by Gabrielle Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions. Johnson has written for several major outlets, including Teen Vogue, VICE, Entertainment Tonight, NBC, The Root, Buzzfeed, Essence, and TheGrio. 

All Boys Aren’t Blue was the third title on the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021, an annual list released during National Library Week. Like most of the books on the list, All Boys Aren’t Blue was challenged for LGBTQ+ content, which is disproportionately targeted for censorship alongside works dealing with racism and racial identity. Several state legislatures have passed or are considering laws that would limit instruction related to LGBTQ+ identity and race. Johnson and many other authors addressing these issues are impacted, and students are harmed by the resulting censorship.

“Being the honorary chair for Banned Books Week is important to me because I know what it is like to grow up and not have stories about my own lived experience, nor the truth outside of an ahistorical context,” says Johnson. “This is a fight for the truth that has always existed even if it rarely gets told. When the youth are empowered with stories about the experiences of others, they become adults who understand the necessity for equity and equality and have the tools to build a world the likes of which we have never seen.”

Since it was founded in 1982, Banned Books Week has drawn attention to the attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores. Banned Books Week 2022 has the theme “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” All readers deserve to see themselves reflected in the books available to them, and people better understand themselves and each other when given the opportunity to choose what they want to read without restriction. This is particularly true for young people, who are most impacted by censorship. The theme image of caged birds reminds us that censorship isolates us from information and from each other.

Join Honorary Chair George M. Johnson and the Banned Books Week Coalition in recognizing the ways in which books unite us during Banned Books Week, September 18–24, 2022! 

Visit bannedbooksweek.org for information about Johnson’s events, programming ideas, and promotional materials; check out the latest edition of the Celebrate Banned Books Week Handbook; and follow @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter for the latest Banned Books Week and censorship news.

Learn more about the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021 at ala.org/bbooks/top and the issues facing America’s libraries at www.ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2022

ABOUT GEORGE M. JOHNSON

George M. Johnson is a writer and activist based in New York. They have written on race, gender, sex, and culture for Essence, the Advocate, BuzzFeed News, Teen Vogue, and more than 40 other national publications. George has appeared on BuzzFeed’s AM2DM as well as on MSNBC. All Boys Aren’t Blue is their debut and was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, an Indie Bestseller, a People Magazine Best Book of the Year, and optioned for television by Gabrielle Union. The New York Times called it “an exuberant, unapologetic memoir infused with a deep but cleareyed love for its subjects.”

Website: https://iamgmjohnson.com/ 

Twitter: @IamGMJohnson

Instagram: @IamGMJohnson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/george.m.johnson

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 for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Amnesty International USA, Association of University Presses, Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Freedom to Read Foundation, Index on Censorship, National Book Foundation, 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 Penguin Random House.

Website: https://bannedbooksweek.org/

Twitter: @BannedBooksWeek

Instagram: @banned_books_week

Don’t Miss These Banned Books Week Coalition Events!

The Banned Books Week Coalition is delighted to host some amazing creators during Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, including a warm-up even with comics superstar Gene Luen Yang, Facebook Live events with the creators of the banned children’s books Something Happened in Our Town and One of a Kind Like Me and Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds, and Twitter chats with Laurie Halse Anderson and Alex Gino! Get the details here!

A Conversation With Gene Luen Yang: Censorship in Leander, Texas

Thursday, September 23, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. CDT / 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. CDT
Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

Bestselling comics creator and former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Dragon Hoops, Shang-Chi) is joined by educator Alexis Huddleston and parent Stephani Bercu for a conversation about the censorship of young people’s literature in Leander, Texas, and beyond! Early this year, the school district in Leander undertook a review of its book club reading lists after a parent complained about one of the titles during a school board meeting. The review led to the removal of more than a dozen acclaimed and award-winning novels and graphic novels, most of them by people of color or featuring diverse characters. Huddleston and Bercu will speak about their experience defending the reading lists, while Yang — who has two titles, Dragon Hoops and American Born Chinese, on the list — will offer a creator’s perspective on censorship. Moderated by Nora Pelizzari (National Coalition Against Censorship) and Betsy Gomez (Banned Books Week Coalition).

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man and Superman from DC Comics (with various artists), Superman Smashes the Klan from DC Comics (with Gurihiru), the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru), and Dragon Hoops. He is currently writing Shang-Chi for Marvel Comics.

In 2016, Yang was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader, and the Children’s Book Council appointed him the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. For more, visit www.geneyang.com

Censorship of Children’s Books: A Conversation with the Creators of Something Happened in Our Town and One of a Kind, Like Me

Monday, September 27, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30– 2:30 p.m. CDT / 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PDT
Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition in a conversation about the censorship of children’s books with Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, the authors of Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice, and Laurin Mayeno and Robert Liu-Trujillo, the author and artist of One of a Kind, Like Me. Something Happened in Our Town, which examines the impact of a police shooting from the perspectives of a Black family and a White family, was one of the top ten most challenged books of 2020. One of a Kind, Like Me, which tells the story of boy who wants dress as a princess in his school costume parade, was banned in a North Carolina school district in early 2021. We’ll discuss the circumstances behind the censorship challenges to the books, how the attacks on diverse literature harm students, and what we can do to defend children’s books. Moderated by Betsy Gomez (Banned Books Week Coalition).

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.

Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP, worked together for more than two decades as Emory University School of Medicine faculty members serving children and families in Atlanta. All three psychologists have been involved in community advocacy efforts focused on children’s behavioral health and social justice.

Dr. Celano and Dr. Hazzard have developed and utilized therapeutic stories in individual and group therapy with children and teens. All three authors valued story-time with their children, who taught them important lessons about what children need from adults.

Something Happened in Our Town is their first picture book for children.

One of A Kind, Like Me / Único como yo is a sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality. It’s a unique book that lifts up children who don’t fit gender stereotypes, and reflects the power of a loving and supportive community.

Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It’s almost closing time – will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time?

About the Author: For more than 17 years, Laurin Mayeno has provided consulting services to numerous organizations, resulting in greater diversity, more inclusive and equitable work environments, and improved effectiveness working with diverse populations. Laurin’s experiences as a mixed race woman growing up during the social movements of the 1960s, led her to work that fosters inclusion, equity and full appreciation for cultural diversity. Her experience as the mother of a nonbinary queer child also gave her a deep appreciation for importance of responding to gender diversity, which is now a central focus of her work. Her Proud Mom videos and her bilingual children’s book One of a Kind, Like Me/Único como yo are among the resources she has developed to spark dialogue and understanding. 

About the Illustrator (from his website): Robert Liu-Trujillo is a life long Bay Area resident. Born in Oakland California, he’s the child of student activists who watched lots of science fiction and took him to many demonstrations. Always drawing, Rob grew up to be an artist falling in love with graffiti, fine art, illustration, murals, and children’s books. In that order, sort of. Through storytelling he’s been able to scratch the surface of so many untold stories. Rob is the author and illustrator of Furqan’s First Flat Top. He’s a dad of a teenage boy and a brand new baby girl. He loves ice cream and his wife who laughs big and corrects his grammar every chance she gets. Down with the system and soggy french fries!

Rob is a co-founder of The Trust Your Struggle Collective, a contributor to The Social Justice Children’s Book Holiday Fair, The Bull Horn BlogRad DadMuphoric Sounds, and the founder of Come Bien Books.

Ask Jason Reynolds Anything* (*About Banned Books)

Tuesday, September 28, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00– 1:00 p.m. CDT / 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT
Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

Join Banned Books Week Honorary Chair and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds for a conversation about censorship, young people’s literature, and the ways that books bring us together! Moderated by Emmy Award–winning writer, arts organizer, and librarian Scott Woods, this conversation will feature questions submitted by teens around the country. This livestream is free and open to all, and a great opportunity to engage your students and patrons during Banned Books Week!

Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books for young people, including All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely), Ghost, Long Way Down, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, and Stamped (with Ibram X. Kendi). A multiple National Book Award finalist, Reynolds has also received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and several Coretta Scott King Award honors. Reynolds recently received the Carnegie Medal for his middle grades novel Look Both Ways. He is currently serving a two-year term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress.

As an advocate for storytelling and an outspoken critic of censorship, Reynolds is the perfect person to headline Banned Books Week 2021, which takes place September 26 – October 2 and has the theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

#BannedBooksChat on Twitter with Laurie Halse Anderson

Wednesday, September 29, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. CDT / 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. PDT
Twitter

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.

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.

#BannedBooksChat on Twitter with Alex Gino

Thursday, September 30, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. CDT / 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. PDT
Twitter

Join Alex Gino, the author of George (Melissa’s Story), for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter! Since its publication in late 2015, George (Melissa’s Story) has been an annual fixture on ALA’s Top Ten Most Challenged books list. It topped the most recent top ten, with challenges, bans, and restrictions for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community.” In this Twitter chat, we’ll discuss the importance LGBTQ+ content, why it is frequently targeted by censors, and more!

From the author’s website:

Alex Gino loves glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the complexity of being alive. They would take a quiet coffee date with a friend over a loud and crowded party any day. A former LSAT tutor who never touched law school, Alex can still talk your ear off about sufficient and necessary conditions.

Alex has been writing stories since before they knew the alphabet, dictating stories to their parents. They have always considered themself a writer, but it wasn’t until 2014, with the sale of MELISSA’S STORY (GEORGE) that they had any idea that authoring books would be how they make their way in the world. They are grateful for the ability to spend their time and energy on something so close to their heart.

Alex has been an activist and advocate for LGBTQIAP+ communities since 1997, when they became co-chair of what was then called the LGBA at the University of Pennsylvania. (It was renamed the QSA the year after they left.) They are proud to have served on the board of NOLOSE, a fat-positive, queer, feminist organization dedicated to supporting radical fat acceptance and culture. Alex would like to thank the Black women and other amazing BIPOC folk of NOLOSE who raised their consciousness about race and how racism permeates our culture. They are currently a member of We Need Diverse Books and PEN America.

You can keep up with Alex’s adventures mostly on Twitter (@lxgino), and occasionally on Facebook (Alex Gino, Author).

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.

Example:

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.

Teens and Teen Reading Groups: Don’t Miss the Ask Jason Reynolds Anything* (*About Banned Books) Contest!

Jason Reynolds (photo by James J. Reddington)

Do you have a burning question (about censorship) for New York Times bestselling author and Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds?! If you’re a teen or an educator, a librarian, or a bookseller who works with teens, now’s your chance! The Banned Books Week Coalition wants to include you in our Facebook Live event with Jason Reynolds at 1:00 p.m. EDT on September 28!

Send us your questions using this form, and they could be included in our conversation with Jason Reynolds! We’re accepting text and video submissions, and those that we include in the event will receive a copy of Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks or a Banned Books Week poster, signed by the author himself! Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 17, 2021.

See who’s included when we join Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds on Facebook Live, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EDT on September 28, 2021!

You can celebrate the ways in which books unite us throughout Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, 2021! The Banned Books Week Coalition is here to support your celebration of reading, with programming ideas, promotional materials, and other resources! Visit bannedbooksweek.org or follow @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter to get the latest Banned Books Week and censorship news.

How To Submit

Contestants can submit questions in text or video format using this form. Video submissions should be limited to 30 seconds or less (shorter is better). The contest is free to enter. 

Contestants must be either living in the U.S. or its territories (but need not be citizens) and must be 13 – 20 years of age on September 28, 2021. Educators, librarians, and booksellers who work with teens ages 13 – 20 are also encouraged to submit videos with their classes and/or book clubs.

Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 17, 2021.

Prizes

l: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks (published by Simon & Schuster)
r: Banned Books Week 2021 Poster (copyright American Library Association)

Individuals whose questions are selected for inclusion in the Facebook Live event will receive a copy of Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, signed by Jason Reynolds!

Submissions from a class or book club chosen to be included in the event will be awarded with a Banned Books Week poster, signed by Jason Reynolds. 

Up to a total of ten (10) prizes will be awarded.

Questions? Send us a note at coordinator@bannedbooksweek.org

Contest Rules

  1. All questions (text and video) should be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, September 17.
  1. Videos should be submitted via YouTube link. Video submissions cannot exceed 30 seconds in length. Shorter submissions are encouraged. 
  1. Questions should address the theme of Banned Books Week (“Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”), intellectual freedom, censorship, and/or works by Jason Reynolds. Be creative!
  1. Individual contestants must be age 13 – 20 on the day of the Facebook Live event (September 28, 2021). 
  1. Questions may be submitted by classes or book clubs and their adult supervisors as long as the teens involved are age 13 – 20 on the day of the Facebook Live event (September 28, 2021).
  1. Contestants must live in the United States or its territories. U.S. citizenship is not required for entry.
  1. Questions selected for inclusion will be shown during the Facebook Live event on September 28 (for video submissions) and the contestant’s first name, city, and state will be shared during the event (for both text and video submissions). For class or book club submissions, the contestants’ school, library, or bookstore, as well as city and state, will be identified. 
  1. Prizes: A combined maximum of ten (10) novels signed by Jason Reynolds (for individual contestants) OR Banned Books Week posters signed by Jason Reynolds (for classes and book clubs). Contestants selected for inclusion in the contest will be contacted via email after the event and will have until the end of Banned Books Week (October 2, 2021) to claim their prize. Prizes will be delivered within eight (8) weeks of the conclusion of Banned Books Week (October 2, 2021).

This contest is sponsored and maintained by the Banned Books Week Coalition. It is not directly overseen by Jason Reynolds or Simon & Schuster and its subsidiaries.

“Everything Counts” — Jason Reynolds Drops Some Knowledge During the #BannedBooksChat

We recently had the pleasure of joining Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter. Ever the advocate for reading, especially among young people, Reynolds proved why he’s such a powerful voice in publishing today. Some highlights from the #BannedBooksChat:

Q1: #BannedBooksWeek is all about celebrating the freedom to read, but a lot of young people need extra motivation to read. What are some ways we can encourage a love of reading as we work to defend the right to do so? #BannedBooksChat

Q2: In the past few years, nearly every book on the @OIF #BannedBooksList was aimed at young adult audiences. What drives these attempts to ban young people’s literature, and how do we counter it? #BannedBooksChat

Q3: This year’s @OIF #BannedBooksList (bit.ly/2xB4MfQ) includes titles that address racism, share BIPOC stories, and center on LGBTQ+ characters. What advice do you have for defending these stories from censorship? #BannedBooksChat

Q4: Several states have passed or are considering laws that limit teaching related to race and gender in schools (https://ncac.org/news/divisive-concepts-statement-2021). How does singling out and censoring these ideas harm students? #BannedBooksChat

Q5: The theme of this year’s #BannedBooksWeek (Sept 26 – Oct 2) is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” What are some examples of books that bring us together? #BannedBooksChat

Q6: How do you plan to celebrate #BannedBooksWeek and the freedom to read in your community? #BannedBooksChat

Many thanks to Reynolds and everyone who joined the chat. Read the full #BannedBooksChat archive below, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for our live event with Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds, taking place at 1:00 p.m. EDT on September 28!

Jason Reynolds Named Inaugural Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week

Photograph of Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds (Credit: James J. Reddington)

The Banned Books Week Coalition is proud to announce that Jason Reynolds has been named the inaugural Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week 2021. The New York Times bestselling author will headline the annual celebration of the right to read, which takes place September 26 – October 2, 2021.

Reynolds is the author of more than a dozen books for young people, including All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely), Ghost, Long Way Down, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, and Stamped (with Ibram X. Kendi). A multiple National Book Award finalist, Reynolds has also received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and several Coretta Scott King Award honors. He is currently serving a two-year term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress.

As an advocate for storytelling and an outspoken critic of censorship, Reynolds is the perfect person to headline Banned Books Week 2021, which has the theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” For young people in particular, books offer both shared and differently lived experiences that help them develop empathy and understand themselves and their world. In turn, censorship isolates us from each other by narrowing our view of the world.

“I’m excited about being the inaugural Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week,” says Reynolds. “More importantly, I’m excited about this year’s theme, which is so simple, yet so powerful. What does it mean when we say, ‘Books unite us?’ It means that books are the tethers that connect us culturally. Stories ground us in our humanity; they convince us that we’re not actually that different and that the things that are actually different about us should be celebrated because they are what make up this tapestry of life.”

Since it was founded in 1982, Banned Books Week has highlighted the value of free and open access to information by drawing attention to the attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores. Despite their accolades, Reynolds’s novels aren’t immune from censorship. All American Boys and Stamped, both of which address racism and police brutality, have been challenged repeatedly and are among the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020, an annual list released during National Library Week in early April. ALA’s Top 10 list included other books on racial justice, highlighting a growing trend toward attempts to censor stories by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. Further, several state legislatures are considering laws that would limit instruction related to antiracism and social justice, negatively impacting the availability of material by Reynolds and other authors addressing these issues.

“To censor a book is to damage the framework in which we live,” adds Reynolds. “Any time we eliminate or wall off certain narratives, we are not getting a whole picture of the world in which we live. And navigating the world in a way that is closed-off, closed-minded, is poisonous. It means that we limit our vocabulary, which complicates how we communicate with one another. We have to celebrate stories and ensure that all books have a space on the shelves and the opportunity to live in the psyches of our children, as they grow into the human beings who will inherit this wonderful place.”

Join Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds to celebrate the ways in which books unite us during Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, 2021! The Banned Books Week Coalition is here to support your celebration of reading, with programming ideas, promotional materials, and other resources! Visit bannedbooksweek.org or follow @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter to get the latest Banned Books Week and censorship news.

Learn more about the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 at ala.org/bbooks/top and the issues facing America’s libraries at ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2021

ABOUT JASON REYNOLDS

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He’s also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include Stamped, When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com

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.

Website: https://bannedbooksweek.org/

Twitter: @BannedBooksWeek

Instagram: @banned_books_week

Banned Books Week 2021: Books Unite Us

The Banned Books Week Coalition is delighted to announce our theme for the 2021 celebration of the right to read: “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” The annual event will take place September 26 – October 2, 2021.

With a central image showing two hands sharing a book, the 2021 theme is intended to be inclusive and emphasizes the ways in which books and information bring people together, help individuals see themselves in the stories of others, and aid the development of empathy and understanding for people from other backgrounds.

The Coalition announces the Banned Books Week theme in conjunction with National Library Week and the release of the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books list. This year’s list includes titles that address racism and racial justice, as well as those that shared the stories of Black, Indigenous, or people of color. As with previous years, LGBTQ+ content also dominated the list:

  1. George by Alex Gino. Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community.”
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote antipolice views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now.”
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, it was claimed to be biased against male students, and it included rape and profanity.
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of the author.
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin. Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote antipolice views.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience.
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes and their negative effect on students.
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse.
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Challenged for profanity, and because it was thought to promote an antipolice message.

Please visit bannedbooksweek.org and follow our social media for updates on Coalition events and resources. You’ll also find print and digital assets, publications, and more to help you plan and promote your event, and we will be adding even more resources in the coming months!

If you need posters, bookmarks, buttons, or other physical materials for your Banned Books Week celebration, visit the ALA webstore!

Finally, the Coalition maintains a free public events page for happenings around the world. Anyone hosting an event or putting up a display is encouraged to visit https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/ to have it included on the list.

Join us for the celebration of the ways in which books unite us during Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, 2021!

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.

Wrap Up Banned Books Week Virtually!

It may be the last day of Banned Books Week, but it’s not too late to take part in the fun! You can write your favorite banned author (here’s a good place to start if you’re having a hard time deciding who you want to write to), thank your favorite free speech defender, Stand for the Banned in the virtual read-out, or use our customizable downloads to share your favorite banned books and trivia!

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.

BBW Events Spotlight: October 1

Happy Banned Books Week day 5! The celebration of the right to read might be heading toward it’s end, but censorship never stops! Learn about censorship in the comics industry with Image Comics and ALA, enjoy a performance of City Lit Theater’s Books on the Chopping Block, and more in today’s happening. And don’t forget you can still join the celebration on social media! Read on for details.

(Un)Welcome to the Comics Industry

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

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 … Read More

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

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

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 … Read More

Censura em Brasília durante a Ditadura Militar – Censorship in Brasília during the Military Dictatorship

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm -03
Virtual Event

Lecture about censorship of books and the press in Brasília during the Military Dictatorship (1964 -1985). Content result of postdoctoral research.

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.

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.

BBW Events Spotlight: September 29

We’re hitting the third day of Banned Books Week running! Don’t miss Portugal. The Man, live with NCAC and the Banned Books Week Coalition; SAGE Publishing’s conversation about COVID-19 and academic censorship, and so much more! Keep reading for details…

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

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

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 … Read More

COVID-19 and Academic Censorship

9:00 am – 10:00 am PDT
Virtual Event

What does censorship look like in a fully online world? Our experiences dealing with COVID-19 have increased – and in many ways complicated – interactions with open data, internet control, and e-book access. What have we learned about censorship in academia as a result? In this hour-long webinar, taking place during Banned Books Week, panelists … Read More

Banned through Comics Metadata!?

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

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 … Read More

Banned Books Week: Whose Voices Are Still Being Censored?

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm BST
Virtual Event

This event is FREE for all. Please register here. Banned Books Week 2020 (28 September–2 October) takes place four months after George Floyd’s murder led to a global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and three months after the publication of the Rethinking Diversity in Publishing report, which demonstrated the particular challenges writers of colour … Read More

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.

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 page

In early 2020, Portugal. The Man joined 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 — I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien — 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.

During this hourlong livestream, we’ll talk with Portugal. The Man about why they took action, the role of communities in fighting censorship, and the importance of access to information. We’ll close with a short Q&A. The event will be moderated by Nora Pelizzari (Director of Communications, NCAC) and Betsy Gomez (Coordinator, Banned Books Week Coalition).

How will this work?

  1. Make sure you like the National Coalition Against Censorship on Facebook.
  2. At 6:00 p.m. EDT on September 29, go to Facebook and look at the News Feed.
  3. Click Watch in the Navigation Panel on the left. (Click See More if you don’t see Watch in the list.)
  4. After clicking Watch, click Live in the Navigation Panel on the left.

You can also go directly to facebook.com/live to access Facebook livestreams or the video section of NCAC’s Facebook page to access the event.

About PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Portugal. The Man took 2017 by the horns after a considerably long gap between records. They spent years working on an album called Gloomin + Doomin before later developing what would become known as their latest studio album WOODSTOCK. Fate struck lead singer John Gourley twice. First, John got some parental tough love from his old man. “What’s taking so long to finish the album?” John’s dad asked. “Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?” The whole thing got John thinking about why the band seemed to be stuck on a musical elliptical machine from hell and more importantly, about how to get off of it. Second, John found his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival, which ultimately knocked something loose in his head. He realized that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about the world crumbling around them.

With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly bat-shit-crazy decision: they took all of the work they had done for the three years prior and threw it out. The band went back to the studio — working with John Hill, Danger Mouse and longtime collaborator Casey Bates. In this new-found creative territory, the album that became WOODSTOCK rolled out naturally from there. Fast forward to present day and it was impossible to escape the album’s first single, “Feel It Still,” which dominated the charts and radio airwaves in 2017. The 4X Platinum Certified hit reigned at #1 at nearly all radio formats, including Top 40, as well as Alternative, where the song held the chart’s top spot for a mind-blowing 20 weeks, breaking the record for most weeks at #1. Yes, you read that right. Five guys from Wasilla, Alaska, who have played nearly 1,500 shows in their career, broke Alternative radio records and had a #1 song at Pop radio. Billboard Magazine even went as far as to call the song “the unexpected rock crossover hit of 2017,” while Rolling Stone listed it as “one of the best songs of 2017.” AND THEN…the band kicked off 2018 by winning a GRAMMY Award for “Feel It Still.”

About the PTM Foundation

PTM Foundation is focused on building community resilience, empathy, and awareness through music, stories, art, education and connectivity. They aim to convene and organize partnerships and projects informed by community need, then mobilize Portugal. The Man’s listeners and supporters around that shared vision.

While their advocacy, philanthropy, and community engagement work is primarily centered around universal issues related to human rights, community health, and the environment, this organization puts a specific focus on highlighting the stories of Indigenous Peoples, and they are committed to helping bring these sacred voices — often the most informed, yet silenced among us — to the forefront.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) promotes freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression and opposes censorship in all its forms. Since 1974, NCAC has engaged in direct advocacy, education, research and analysis to support the principles of the First Amendment. A coalition of over 50 national non-profits, NCAC’s alliance includes literary, artistic, education, and civil liberties groups. NCAC is national in scope, but often local in their approach, engaging with a nationwide network of advocates and supporting local activism. NCAC works with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation.

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.

1 2