For The Media


Coalition Declares that “Banning Books Silences Stories”

New York City, New York, April 12, 2018 -- Banned Books Week 2018, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held September 23 - 29. The 2018 theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against the tide of censorship.

As we kicked off National Library Week, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom released their list of the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017. The list includes the critically acclaimed and timely YA novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, the bestselling middle grades graphic novel Drama by Raina Telgemeier, the groundbreaking children’s book And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson, and Henry Cole, and much more. These stories and others have been silenced, and Banned Books Week is a call to action to speak up for the right to read.

Tango has appeared on the ALA’s Most Challenged list for most of the dozen years since it was published,” says Parnell. “It’s a distinction we’re both proud of and wish didn’t exist. Thankfully, one powerful thing stands between our book and those who’ve tried to suppress it. It’s called the Constitution. Discretion is acceptable. Sensitivity is important. But censorship has no place in American public life.”

Drama has appeared in the Top 10 list three times now and is frequently challenged because it includes LGBTQ characters. “When Drama first appeared on the Top 10 list in 2015, I almost didn’t have the words to express myself,” Telgemeier explains. “But everyone deserves to see themselves in literature. Censorship sends a problematic message to readers, telling them that they aren’t worthy of enjoying stories they relate to.”

Students are increasingly defending challenged material. When The Hate U Give was removed from shelves in Katy, Texas, 15-year-old Ny’Shira Lundy started a petition that garnered nearly 4,000 signatures and helped restore the book. “I feel like children should have the power to learn about what they want to learn about,” Lundy told the National Coalition Against Censorship. “But by [removing a book], we don’t have intellectual freedom, we don’t open the door to learn about the things that we would like to learn about.”

Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC) committee, says, “Banned Books Week gives everyone a chance to celebrate their story. The courageous students, teachers, librarians, and authors who stand up for challenged ideas remind us that intellectual freedom is our birthright. By creating an event for your community, posting online about the freedom to read, or even just reading a banned book, each person has an opportunity to further that right.”

As the attacks on the right to read escalate, a celebration of reading is needed now more than ever. BBWC is here to support the community of readers, including students, educators, libraries, and booksellers, in the United States and abroad. Please join us during Banned Books Week, September 23 - 29, 2018!

BBWC will make programming materials and resources available in the coming weeks. Be sure to visit or follow us on Twitter to get the latest Banned Books Week and censorship news.

Learn more about the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017 at and the challenges facing America’s libraries at


The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international 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.

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Dramatists Legal Defense Fund; Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House. / @BannedBooksWeek

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson