Taking a stance against the growing number of titles challenged in schools, libraries, and bookstores across the country, several large publishing houses are providing resources to support the freedom to read. This year’s Banned Books Week, which will be held September 18–24, will focus on the theme “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”
Below is a sampling of how these publishers will be promoting Banned Books Week:
DK: The publisher will promote its new title, Banned Books, with a dedicated landing page that explores the history of controversial books and includes a downloadable resource with featured books for further reading. Readers can also enter to win a mini banned books library in partnership with other Penguin Random House divisions. Teachers addressing book bans in their own classrooms can access additional resources via the Penguin Random House Secondary Education website. To assist booksellers, DK has partnered with Bookshop.org to send e-newsletters to subscribers during BBW to help promote reading banned books. An upcoming DK title, The Reading Adventure, will also be highlighted on social media platforms.
HarperCollins: HarperCollins Children’s Books is partnering with Bookshop.org, Little Free Library, and the Banned Books Week Coalition on a downloadable resource page, enabling readers to voice their concerns over censorship. As part of this initiative, the publisher is distributing 1,000 banned books to Little Free Libraries nationwide and asking readers to purchase a banned book from Bookshop.org, give it to someone in need, or donate it to a Little Free Library near them. Also through the Banned Books Week Coalition, the publisher is hosting a Facebook Live author event, featuring authors Angie Thomas and Jerry Craft, on September 21 at 6 p.m. ET. HarperCollins is utilizing its HarperKids, Shelf Stuff, HarperStacks, and Epic Reads platforms to educate audiences on the impact of books bans on authors and students. Finally, Epic Reads is working with the Banned Books Book Club to promote the virtual book club’s September pick, Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson. Epic Reads and BBBC will also collaborate together on social media posts, banned book giveaways, and an Instagram Live event featuring HarperCollins children’s authors of banned books.
Macmillan: The company will be hosting author events with Mike Curato and George M. Johnson, who is serving as honorary chair of Banned Books Week. Social media channels Mac Kids and Mac Kids School and Library will promote frequently challenged books and encourage readers to share their favorites. Additional materials can also be found on the MacKids School & Library Read and Share Banned Books Resource Center.
Penguin: Penguin Random House and Booklist are hosting “Breaking Bans: A Celebration of Challenged Books” on September 21 at 2 p.m. ET. The one-hour webinar will feature Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project), Renée Watson (The 1619 Project: Born on the Water), Kim Johnson (This Is My America) and Kyle Lukoff (Different Kinds of Fruit and Too Bright to See), authors whose work has been censored. Ten attendees will receive a pack of challenged books and BBW resources for their libraries. To register for the event, click here.
Random House: Booksellers can download Random House’s 2022 Digital Merchandising Kit for use in their stores. For educators, the Understanding the First Amendment: A Guide for Teachers and Librarians digital guide provides advice for when books are challenged in the classroom. RHCB has updated its webpages with additional tips and booklists, while subscribers of RHTeachersLibrarians.com and GetUnderlined.com will receive dedicated newsletters. Finally, author and editor David Levithan will chat with A.S. King at the Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C., on September 21 at 6:30 p.m. ET for a special BBW event.
S&S: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will promote its resource website and feature multiple posts across all S&S social media channels and on OfftheShelf.com. S&S newsletter subscribers will receive a BBW-themed newsletter, and a BBW book window display will be highlighted at the company’s Rockefeller Center offices in New York City.