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Publishers Support Banned Books Week with Events, Outreach and Activities

Freedom to Read Young Adult Books is celebrated September 27 – October 3, 2015

Protecting the right of young people to read a wide variety of books is an integral part of AAP’s work in support of free expression,
Judith Platt, AAP’s Director of Free Expression Advocacy and chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee

Washington, DC; September 21, 2015 – From The Perks of Being a Wallflower to The Kite Runner, Young Adult titles have been some of the most challenged in schools and libraries in recent years. In support of these books and the freedom to publish, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and our member companies are coming out full force to support Banned Books Week (#BannedBooksWeek), taking place Sept. 27 – Oct. 3.

In its 33rd year, Banned Books Week is dedicated to exposing the problem of censorship and its effect on a robust and active book market that nurtures education and growth.

“Protecting the right of young people to read a wide variety of books is an integral part of AAP’s work in support of free expression,” said Judith Platt, AAP’s Director of Free Expression Advocacy and chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee. “By focusing on Young Adult books we are reaffirming our commitment to keeping books that are challenging, entertaining and relevant to their lives freely available to them in school and public libraries and on classroom reading lists.”

As a founding member of Banned Books Week, AAP continually works to advocate for the freedom of expression by combatting censorship in collaboration with other sponsor organizations representing booksellers, libraries, teachers, publishers, authors, journalists, college bookstores and anti-censorship groups.

Click here to see a slideshow of some of the most frequently banned Young Adult Books.

Discussions online and in person, author appearances, and free giveaways will take place in libraries, schools, bookstores and other community settings across the nation. AAP member companies are also hosting interactive and community building events geared towards engaging readers and promoting the right to read, including:

Banned Book Week on Social Media

  • Many publishers are using the #BannedBooksWeek hashtag to promote and encourage discussions on advocacy for all readers including Bloomsbury, Dreamspinner Press, little bee books, and Perseus Books Groups. Additionally, several publishers have dedicated landing pages, including HarperCollins, Macmillan Children’s and Simon & Schuster.
  • Dreamspinner Press will display a “Rebel Reader” banner on their website and will promote the week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Hachette Book Group is celebrating the week with a shareable graphics campaign spearheaded by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The campaign will highlight quotes from banned literature and will be shared through social media channels for NOVL (LBYR's teen reading community): thenovl.comTwitterFacebookInstagram. Readers can also follow LBYR's Twitter handles: @lbkids and @lbschool.
  • HarperCollins will have information on how to get involved in activities on their Epic Reads website and YouTube page. They’ll also have a social media outreach through various twitter accounts, encouraging reading of banned books and explain how to join the cause. Find them @EpicReads, @HarperTeen, @HarperChildrens.
  • Penguin and Penguin Classics will celebrate Banned Books Week via their Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Follow them to learn more about the history of their banned books.
  • Random House is encouraging readers to post banned book selfies on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and tag @RHLibrary. Readers can also participate in the Banned Books Week Pinterest Board by sending their Pinterest username to library@randomhouse.com.
  • Scholastic will share Banned Book Week related content on various social media accounts, including their blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Simon & Schuster will be posting daily on Twitter and Facebook. Readers can join the conversation by posting a picture of their favorite banned books with the hashtag #SSBannedBooks. They also created a video that celebrates the freedom to read.

Banned Book Week Events

Past Events:

  • SAGE teamed up with the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom to run the 2nd annual Banned Books Readout Booth at the ALA annual conference in San Francisco this June. More than 200 conference attendees stopped by the booth to read a short passage from a frequently challenged book and to explain why the book – and the freedom to read – are so important. These readings were recorded and will be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel during Banned Books Week.
  • The AAP Young to Publishing Group hosted a brown bag lunch at Random House offices on September 17 at noon that focused on censorship in Young Adult books. Dave Horowitz, Executive Director of Media Coalition moderated a panel that included Charles Brownstein, Executive Director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director, American Library Association’s (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom; David Gale, Editor of And Tango Makes Three from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; and Robie Harris, Author of It’s Perfectly Normal and Who’s In My Family?
  • Pen American Center presented “The Words Your Children Cannot Read” on the Main Stage of the Brooklyn Book Festival at 10:00am on September 20 with authors Matt de la Pena, Libba Bray, Robie Harris, and Christopher Myers reading from banned and challenged books.

Sept 29 Events:

  • SAGE Publishing and ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom will host a webinar titled How to protect the freedom to read in your library on Tuesday, September 29 at noon ET. The panel will be moderated by Vicky Baker, deputy editor of the Index on Censorship magazine; participants are: Kate Lechtenberg, a teacher librarian; Kristin Pekoll; and Scott DiMarco, university librarian.
  • The sponsors of Banned Books Week will host a panel “Celebrating Banned Books Week: A Conversation with Banned and Challenged Young Adult Authors” at 7 p.m.ET in the Housing Works Bookstore Café (NYC), including David Levithan, author of Boy Meets Boy and Two Boys Kissing, Meg Medina, author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which has been banned in some areas due to its title, and Coe Booth, author of Kinda Like Brothers. The discussion will focus on the topic of censorship, each author's experience being banned or challenged, and the importance of free and open access to all books, especially for young adult readers. The conversation will be moderated by David Shipler, author of Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword.

Banned Book Week Promotions/Giveaways/ Resources

  • HarperCollins is offering teaching resources for challenged and banned books based on the acclaimed, frequently challenged and banned work of Chris Crutcher.
  • Macmillan Children’s will have discounts for their frequently banned books, including: Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern; My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt; Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott; and The F-It List by Julie Halpern. They will also have a giveaway that includes Macmillan books such as Speak and A Wrinkle in Time. All the details can be found on their landing page.
  • Penguin and Penguin Classics will host a giveaway of famous banned books, including: Of Mice and Men, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Black Beauty, The Jungle, On the Origin of Species, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
  • The Simon & Schuster site offers downloadable posters and bookmarks. Visitors can enter the Banned Books Week 2015 poster sweepstakes featuring a poem by New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins and also learn about the social program contests and social media giveaways.
  • Printable “warning labels” can be found on QuirkBooks.com throughout the week. The labels can be used as bookmarks, and will highlight important elements of the different banned books. For example, one label reads: WARNING: May Cause Intellectual Growth and Symptoms of Empathy.
  • Random House is offering resources, including “Censorship Causes Blindness” posters, the High School Teacher’s Guide, Tips for Discussing Banned Books with Teens, and other educational tools.

Challenged Book Lists:

Media Contact

Marisa Bluestone / mbluestone@publishers.org / {202} 220-4558

About AAP

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.