Auction Raises Thousands to Support Free Speech Rights of Kids

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The 18th Annual Children’s Art Auction and Reception at BookExpo America raised nearly $30,000 to defend the free speech rights of young readers. More than 300 booksellers, publishers, and artists attended the June 6 event and bid on 100 original works by many of the leading artists and illustrators in the children’s book industry. Proceeds benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the Kids’ Right to Read Project, which ABFFE co-sponsors with the National Coalition Against Censorship.

The highlight of the evening was a live auction led by honorary chair Walter Dean Myers and his son, illustrator Christopher Myers. They joked and cajoled their way through the sale of four items, including five pages of original images used to create Rosemary Wells’ forthcoming Max and Ruby book and an Abrams-sponsored trip for two to walk in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Wimpy Kid helium balloon.

ABFFE is planning its next auction of children’s art, which will be conducted during Banned Books Week (September 29 - October 6). Artists or publishers interested in donating to the online auction should contact ABFFE President Chris Finan.