The Authors Guild’s Banned Books Club shines a light on censored works
The Authors Guild is launching a Banned Books Club, the literary world’s latest initiative in response to the nationwide wave of censorship and restrictions over the past year.
Through a partnership with book club app Fable, the Authors Guild will highlight one work of fiction or non-fiction from a classroom or school library each month next year. and will facilitate a discussion with the author. The first selection for the online club (authorsguild.org/bannedbooksclub) is David Levithan’s young adult novel “Two Boys Kissing.”
“Our goal is to give students and adults the chance to read and learn about books banned in their districts and elsewhere and to provide the rare opportunity to engage on the platform with the authors of these works” , Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, said in a statement Thursday.
Levithan, an award-winning author who also runs a young adult imprint at Scholastic, said in a statement that the new club would be “a great forum to discuss not only why these books are being challenged, but also how to support children who are disenfranchised face such challenges.
The Guild, founded in 1912, is made up of more than 10,000 published authors.
Over the past few weeks, the New York Public Library has made “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson and a handful of other contested works available to everyone through its app, and the Brooklyn Public Library has launched Books UnBanned, through which young people from all over the country between the ages of 13 and 21 can receive a free library card.
We Need Diverse Books, a grassroots organization that advocates for greater inclusion in publishing, distributes grants of $2,000 each to teachers and libraries that can be used for author visits, the purchase of miscellaneous books and other efforts to fight censorship.