“Punching the Air” Virtual Reading Series Kicks Off October 7

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Punching the Air Book Club

Booksellers can sign up now to purchase signed editions for the American Booksellers Association’s four-part virtual book club event on Punching the Air, which will take place every Wednesday in October at 2:00 p.m. ET on Zoom.

A number of people have already signed up for the event, with donations surpassing $400 for the Prison Book Program

This series marks the first event in ABA’s consumer-focused fall virtual reading program. For this series, authors Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam will discuss their young adult novel, Punching the Air (Balzer + Bray), in hour-long talks moderated by Cliff Helm of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri (on October 7 and 14), and Kathy Burnette of The Brain Lair bookstore in South Bend, Indiana (on October 21 and 28).

HarperCollins has made available 50 eight-copy cartons of signed editions of Punching the Air. Booksellers can sign up now to claim a box (limit: one carton per bookstore).

Bookstores that are interested in bringing the free Punching the Air virtual book club to local educators, students, and readers of all ages can share the Eventbrite registration link and utilize the educator guide and other marketing materials available for download on BookWeb.org.

Topics covered during the book club will include:

  • My Punches Will Be My Paintbrushes — the importance of art for teens
  • The criminalization of Blackness 
  • The prison-industrial complex
  • The emotional work of social justice

While ABA will coordinate these events for stores to promote, whether a bookstore benefits from them will depend on how much effort it puts into marketing both the event and the store to its customer base. Social media marketing materials created for the event have space available for bookstores to customize with their logos. Marketing materials include:

  • Facebook event banner
  • Instagram carousel
  • Instagram Story slide
  • Website image

While promoting these events, booksellers are encouraged to link all materials directly to the book’s purchasing page on their website.

Registration for the free event series is required through Eventbrite; the event link and password will be shared with attendees a few days ahead of the event in a direct email. An attendee will only have to register once for access to the entire four-part series.