08:09 PM

Publishers Celebrate Banned Books Week with Events, Resources and More

Offerings include authors' comments, forums, giveaways, selfie ops, how-to's

New York, NY; Sept. 15, 2014 -- From offering information-rich special websites to sharing personal experiences to soliciting selfies, member organizations of the Association of American Publishers are actively participating and engaging readers, educators and book lovers of all kinds in the 32nd annual Banned Books Week, September 21—27.

AAP was a founding member of Banned Books Week and continues to collaborate with libraries, schools, teachers, bookstores, authors and others on this annual celebration of the freedom to read.AAP also works year-round to promote and protect the freedom to read and the freedom to publish in the US and around the world.

AAP members Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster have produced a range of materials and opportunities to generate dialogue, share support of challenged titles and encourage reading. Details of their activities are below.

“We’re often asked 'Why dedicate a week to celebrating books that have been banned or challenged?' A core principle of the AAP publishing community is ensuring the continued availability of the widest possible choice of reading materials, including those that might be viewed as unorthodox or unpopular. Defending the right to publish and read these works is the hallmark and obligation of a free society,” said Judith Platt, AAP’s Director of Free Expression Advocacy.

Highlights of their activities:

Hachette Book Group

HBG staff, authors and friends will use Banned Books Week to share stories about banned or challenged books that impacted their lives. Using theirFacebook page as a primary destination and incorporating text, images and other formats, contributors will offer personal experiences and thoughts. This company-wide initiative will also have videos of the HBG community reading from their favorite banned titles.


The Epic Reads online community will offer hosted discussion forums, original banned books content and graphics and a variety of ways to get involved in the national BBW festivities. The public can also download and share a BBW support badge. Teacher and librarian resources will be available at The Page Turn.


A special website emphasizes The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (celebrating its 50th anniversary), and Annie on My Mind, by Nancy Garden. In memory of Garden, who passed away this year, Macmillan has donated to the Kids’ Right to Read Project, part of the National Coalition Against Censorship. :01 (First Second), its graphic novel imprint, is producing a special social media campaign for graphic novels, this year's BBW theme.

 Penguin Young Readers Group

Penguin Kids, Penguin Teen, and Penguin Classroom will offer giveaways (through social media) of many of the most challenged books in libraries and schools. Penguin encourages readers to take and share a selfie of themselves holding a the sign "I celebrate #BannedBooksWeek because ...". Penguin will also participate in several #BannedBooksWeek Twitter chats during the observance week.

Random House Children’s Books

Its First Amendment First Aid Kit offers information for librarians, teachers and readers including how to fight censorship and how to talk about banned books. Booksellers, educators and libraries can view tips with suggested steps for dealing with book challenges. Another section provides guides for book club discussions. The kit also features a downloadable poster and digital images to use on websites and blogs.

Riverhead Books

Riverhead Books is joining forces with Penguin Classics to host giveaways on their respective social media channels. Riverhead is collaborating with Revolution Grounds, a coffee shop in Tuscon, AZ to give away free copies of works by Junot Diaz. (Tuscon has banned the works of Junot Diaz from the public school system.) Riverhead is also supporting Little Free Library. LFL will be giving away challenged titles on their Facebook page. Blogger Swapna Krishna will feature Banned Books on her site on Wednesday, September 24.

SAGE Publications

SAGE will be hosting a free webinar on September 24, focusing on Regional Issues for Banned Books. Congresswoman Linda Sanchez will be joining this conversation. SAGE has also contributed heavily to the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel by featuring videos of 200+ librarians reading from their favorite banned books. The videos were taken at the recent American Library Association Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Keep up with other SAGE Banned Books Week efforts on Twitter.


Scholastic is utilizing its network of social media channels to showcase award-winning books for children and young adults that have been challenged, and provide resources for understanding the issue. The “On Our Minds” blog will feature a slideshow of noteworthy banned book covers. Scholastic is the publisher of the #1 most banned books in 2013: Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey.

Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster is encouraging book lovers to share an un-“censored” selfie — a photo of themselves with their favorite challenged book — on #BannedBookSelfie. The publisher is offering information and resources at their dedicated webpage including a catalog of banned titles and author quotes. At the site, BBW participants can also get a free poster.


The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.