Banned Books Week 2018, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held September 23–29. The 2018 theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against censorship. The coalition’s website, BannedBooksWeek.org, will make programming materials and resources available in the coming weeks, including tools to help empower booksellers to join the celebration.
“Banned Books Week gives everyone a chance to celebrate their story,” said Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition committee. “The courageous students, teachers, librarians, and authors who stand up for challenged ideas remind us that intellectual freedom is our birthright. By creating an event for your community, posting online about the freedom to read, or even just reading a banned book, each person has an opportunity to further that right.”
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of booksellers, librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
Earlier this week, American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom released their list of the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017. The list includes the critically acclaimed and timely YA novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray), the best-selling middle grade graphic novel Drama by Raina Telgemeier (GRAPHIX), the groundbreaking children’s book And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson, and Henry Cole (Little Simon), and many more titles.
Booksellers are encouraged to join the celebration by creating displays and events in their stores during Banned Books Week. Watch Bookselling This Week in the coming months for more announcements about the event.