PEN Out Loud: I Write Banned Books

Monday September 25: 7:00PM 8:00PM

Event Admission

Censorship is happening today and it is infringing on the right of readers.

In celebration and defiance during Banned Books Week 2017, PEN America in partnership with Strand Books invites authors--whose books have been banned or challenged because of their cover art and content--to discuss their experiences, and how to get skeptical readers to live up to the saying "don't judge a book by its cover."

The discussion will feature David Levithan, author of Two Boys Kissing, which was challenged in part because of the cover photograph of two boys kissing, Coe Booth, whose honest portrayals of inner city life have met with challenges across the country, and Ariel Schrag, whose comics anthology Stuck in the Middle has received multiple challenges due to "explicit language and content." The panel will be moderated by Jason Low!

David Levithan is an American young adult fiction author and editor. His first book, Boy Meets Boy, was published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in 2003. He has written numerous works featuring strong male gay characters, most notably Boy Meets Boy and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. Levithan works for Scholastic as an editorial director and is also the founding editor of PUSH, a young-adult imprint of Scholastic Press focusing on new voices and new authors.

Coe Booth was born and raised in the Bronx. She has a master’s degree in psychology and has worked as a counselor for teenagers and families in crisis situations. She also has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Her first novel Tyrell won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and her novels Kendra and Bronxwood were selected by the American Library Association as Best Books for Young Adults. Her first middle-grade novel Kinda Like Brothers was selected as an ALA Notable Book for Children and an NPR Best Book of 2014. 

Ariel Schrag is the author of the novel Adam and the graphic memoirs Awkward, Definition, Potential, and Likewise. Her new graphic memoir, Part of It, is forthcoming in fall 2018.