Link of the Week: We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books is an organization that campaigns for the production of children’s literature that is more inclusive and embracing of diverse, non-majority characters.

weneeddiversebooks-logoWNDB is a non-profit grassroots group that describes themselves as being “committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.” WNDB advocates for “all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.” WNDB’s mission is to give children the opportunity to see themselves in more books so that they may identify with characters, feel empowered and visible, and be more interested in reading.

Volunteering, donating, or attending any of the the WNDB programs helps to spread their vision. With it being Banned Books Week, and more than half the books highlighted on the banned book’s list being “by authors of color, or contain[ing] events and issues concerning diverse communities,” it’s a good time to help a cause that combats this and brings awareness to something that encourages making different voices more accessible to readers.

Banned Books Week 2016

Image result for banned books week 2016

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge

The Banned Books Week Coalition is a national alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage

various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.

This year, Banned Books Week is celebrating diversity.Image result for banned books week nyc

 In addition to our sponsors, Banned Books Week received generous support from Penguin Random House and DKT Liberty Project.


The 2016 celebration will be held September 25-October 1.

A series of events are held in honor of Banned Books week in libraries, bookstores and though online webinars (some can be found below). Follow these link to see some interesting events being held in New York City:

Bannedbooksweek.org
American Library Association
New York Public Library

Also, to get an understanding of what kinds of books do get banned or challenged, take a look at this link listing the top ten banned or challenged books in 2015.Image result for banned books week nyc

Image result for banned books week 2016Reading Without Walls: Author Event with Gene Luen Yang and Sesame Street

Sunday, September 25, at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (doors open at 10:15am)

53rd Street Library

Join the New York Public Library in partnership with Sesame GroverWorkshop (the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street!) as we welcome the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang, joined by his furry friend, Sesame Street’s Walkaround Grover, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Sesame Street classic storybook,The Monster at the End of this Book. Yang will read aloud this time-honored tale (first published in 1971 by Little Golden Books) and will discuss his ‘Reading Without Walls‘ initiative, which encourages readers to explore books of diverse voices, genres, and formats. Gene Luen Yang

Sesame Street’s Walkaround Grover will greet attendees, followed by Yang’s read-aloud of The Monster at the End of this Book. Yang will then participate in a short Q&A and discussion about his  ‘Reading Without Walls’ initiative. This event will conclude with a book signing by Yang and a photo opportunity with Walkaround Grover.

In the spirit of celebration, each attendee will receive their very own copy of The Monster at the End of this Book, courtesy of Random House Children’s Books.

Admission is free. RSVP is recommended

Banned Books Week Open Mic: Celebrating Diversity

celebrarting diversity
Tuesday, September 27,  at 7:00 pm

Housing Works
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10012

A reading and open mic celebrating inclusivity in literature, with banned, challenged, and disenfranchised voices. Join the sponsors of Banned Books Week for an inspring evening of readings celebrating the work of diverse writers and authors. Scheduled readers so far include Daniel José Older, Ibi Zoboi, Taran Matharu, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Mariela Regalado.

This year’s Banned Books Week – the annual celebration of the freedom to read – is focusing on diversity and will celebrate literature written by diverse writers, especially those that have been banned or challenged. It is estimated that over half of all banned books are by authors of color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities, according to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Admission is free.
RSVP on Facebook

Battling Bannings: Authors discuss intellectual freedom and
the freedom to read

Thursday, September 29,  11:00 am – 12:00 pmWendy Dolinger

Online Webinar

What’s it like to be an author of a banned or challenged book? How do they respond and how can librarians support the freedom to read? In honor of Banned Books Week, three authors will address these questions and more during a free webinar. Moderated by Vicky Baker, Deputy Editor of Index on Censorship magazine, the webinar will include perspectives from:

-Jessica Herthel, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a co-author of I Am Jazz, a children’s picture book about a transgender girl.
-Christine Baldacchino, a former early childhood educator, and the author of the widely-acclaimed book Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress.
-Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, and author of The Hindus: An Alternative History; and On Hinduism, which portrays the history of Hinduism outside of mainstream perspectives.

Following the three presentations, there will be some time for Q&A. Register to attend the live webinar session.

Free Script of Chris Crutcher’s The Sledding Hill

Chris CrutcherTalented playwright Jarrett Dapier has offered his complete stage adaption of Chris Crutcher’s YA novel,The Sledding Hill to the Office for Intellectual Freedom in support of Banned Books Week. There are no limitations to reading, sharing, or printing Dapier’s play.

It is available here to download and read freely.

 

Link of the Week: Banned Books 2012

Happy Banned Books Week! This week organizations across the country are working together to raise awareness about censorship and celebrate intellectual freedom. Some of your favorite books might have been censored or burned at one point in time. Many books are still challenged today, and abroad some people still suffer severe consequences for the thoughts they express. Take a look at how some groups are drawing attention to the week.

 

American Library Association
American Library Association

What’s your favorite banned book? Post your answer in the comments!

-By Jenna Vaccaro