Banned Books Week Virtual Events Feature Authors Jasmine Warga, Nic Stone, John Green, and Honorary Chair LeVar Burton

It's Banned Books Week 2023. While there are many in-person events in libraries and bookstores across the country, these virtual events will allow everyone to hear important conversations at this critical time.

It's Banned Books Week, and while there are in-person events in libraries and bookstores across the country, there are also many virtual events that will allow everyone to listen or join important conversations at this critical time. These events involve authors Jasmine Warga, Nic Stone, John Green, and Mike Curato; Leander, TX, district library coordinator Becky Calzada; the week’s honorary chair LeVar Burton; and more.

Below are five virtual events to note (all times EDT). Look through the full calendar to find in-person events near you.

Monday, October 2, 8–9 p.m.

Book Challenges on the Rise: Support Your Freedom to Read

This Banned Books Week webinar, moderated by syndicated columnist Heidi Stevens, will share how to effectively support intellectual freedom. It will examine the current state of book challenges, Illinois’ legislative response, and the implications of censorship on communities with a panel that includes: Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian; Monica Harris, executive director, Reaching Across Illinois Library System; Jasmine Warga, author of challenged books The Shape of Thunder and Other Words for Home; and Jarrett Dapier, author of challenged picture books and freedom to read advocate.

Tuesday, October 3, 9–10 p.m.

From Howl to Now: Book Bans in the U.S.

This panel will share insights, observations, and methods to counter the suppression of books that address issues pertaining to race, gender, and sexuality. It features: Ipek S. Burnett, co-chair of Human Rights Watch Executive Committee in San Francisco, board member of 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students with their writing skills, and author of A Jungian Inquiry into the American Psyche: The Violence of Innocence; Becky Calzada, district library coordinator in Leander, TX, and co-founding member of #FReadomFighters; Leela Hensler, teen advocate for human rights and academic freedom; Summer Lopez, PEN America’s chief program officer, free expression; Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin, Dear Justyce, Blackout, WhiteoutClean Getaway, How to Be a (Young) Antiracist, and more.

Wednesday, October 4, 1–2 p.m.

Authors and Advocates on Fighting Book Bans

This conversation about the impact of book bans and the ways in which they have taken action to fight censorship includes Calzada, author John Green (Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars), writer and illustrator Mike Curato (Flamer), and Banned Books Week youth honorary chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels. The program will close with a short Q&A.

Wednesday, October 4, 8–8:30 p.m.

LeVar Burton LIVE in Conversation with Da’Taeveyon Daniels

Actor, director, literacy advocate—and Banned Books Week 2023 honorary chair—LeVar Burton will discuss his anti-censorship work with Daniels during this live event, which will stream on Instagram

Thursday, October 5, 6–7 p.m.

Reading with Love: A Virtual Drag Read Aloud of Children’s Banned Books

Drag talents Coco Sho-Nell, Emi Grate, Mister Max, and Nancy Nogood will read during this family-friendly broadcast geared toward children aged 5-8. Read-aloud topics will include the gender binary, trans children, parents of the same gender, and the history of the Gay Pride flag.

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