Jack Gantos and Lauren Myracle to Host Children’s Art Auction at BEA

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Jack Gantos

The Annual Children’s Book Art Auction and Reception at BookExpo America to benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) will be hosted by Newbery Medal-winner Jack Gantos and bestselling author Lauren Myracle, whose books top the list of the country’s most challenged titles. The auction will be held on May 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the River Pavilion of the Javits Convention Center.

The auction, which has been a highlight of children’s programming at the trade show for the last 19 years, offers a unique opportunity to buy original works by award-winning artists and illustrators. The highly anticipated event brings together representatives from the entire children’s book industry, including booksellers, publishers, authors, artists, illustrators, and other industry professionals.

Proceeds support ABFFE’s defense of the free speech rights of young readers. ABFFE is a co-founder of the Kids’ Right to Read Project, which supports students, parents, teachers, and librarians fighting book challenges around the country. ABFFE is also a principal sponsor of Banned Books Week, the only national celebration of the freedom to read.

Lauren Myracle

“I’m proud to lend my voice to this auction to raise money to help not just young readers, but authors as well,” Gantos said.

“I’m thrilled to be co-hosting the 2013 Children’ Book Art Silent Auction with the inimitable Jack Gantos,” Myracle said. “ABFFE is a passionate advocate for freedom of speech, and it’s an honor to help raise funds to support these booksellers in their fight against censorship. Books matter. Kids matter. (And, bonus, Jack is one cool dude!)”

ABFFE President Chris Finan welcomed the support of Gantos and Myracle. “We are very excited that Jack and Lauren have agreed to co-host this year’s auction,” Finan said. “They make an irresistible team.”

Gantos and Myracle will lead a session of live bidding during the mostly silent auction.

In addition to remarkable art from new books, this year’s auction will feature pieces created in honor of Maurice Sendak, who mentored and inspired so many artists and fought vigorously against efforts to censor In the Night Kitchen.

Light refreshments, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. Tickets are $99 and may be purchased online. There is no charge for bookseller members of the ABC Children’s Group at ABA.

New this year, an online auction component offering additional art not available at the BEA event will be held the week before the auction and reception at the Javits Center. The online auction is an opportunity for people across the country to participate in the fight against censorship of books for young readers.

Details about the coming events, including a preview of the art in both auctions, will be posted on ABFFE’s new auction website.

For further information, contact ABFFE Auction Manager Kristen Gilligan Vlahos.