Banned Books Week 2014 to Celebrate Graphic Novels

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The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the national Banned Books Week planning committee have announced that this year’s celebration of the freedom to read will feature comics and graphic novels.

Banned Books Week (September 21–27) will shine a light on this frequently misunderstood form of storytelling and will celebrate the value of comics and graphic novels for readers of all ages. “New art forms always frighten people, particularly when they appeal strongly to kids,” said ABFFE President Chris Finan.

“Comics were gutted by censors in the 1950s, and graphic novels have also faced resistance.”

The acclaimed memoir Fun Home by Alison Bechdel has been the flashpoint in a university funding controversy in South Carolina, while last year Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi faced an attempted ban in the Chicago Public Schools. Graphic novels also continually show up on the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual list of frequently challenged books. The current list features Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants in the top spot and Jeff Smith’s Bone series in 10th place.

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read by encouraging readouts, displays, and community activities designed to raise awareness of the ongoing threat of censorship. is a hub for information about how individuals and institutions can become involved in celebrating this important event. The website also includes resources and activities provided by event sponsors.

For the second year, ABFFE will partner with the Ingram Content Group to distribute to booksellers Banned Books Week kits that contain everything needed to create a display. Last year, kits were sent to the first 150 bookstores that ordered a minimum number of banned or challenged titles from Ingram. Because the kits were snapped up in the first few days of the promotion, the number will be doubled this year. Details will be announced soon.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by ABFFE, the American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center, and Project Censored.

Learn more about Banned Books Week at