Kidlit Unites Against Book Banning
More than 13,000 MG and YA authors and illustrators have signed a letter condemning the current wave of book banning. The letter, written by Newbery Honor author Christina Soontornvat, calls on Congress, state leaders, and school boards to act now to protect students and their right to access a diverse selection of books.
“This current wave of book suppression follows hard-won gains made by authors whose voices
have long been underrepresented in publishing.” (From Soontornvat letter)
Demonstrating the resonance of this message with children’s book creators, most of the thousands of signatures on this letter were gathered in under 48 hours. The letter is now posted on diversebooks.org and includes signatures from a handful of contributors from our blog here at From the Mixed-Up Files … of Middle-Grade Authors.
“When books are removed or flagged as inappropriate, it sends the message that the people in
them are somehow inappropriate. It is a dehumanizing form of erasure …. At a time when our country is experiencing an alarming rise in hate crimes, we should be searching for ways to increase empathy and
compassion at every turn.” (From Soontornvat letter)
Illustration by: Aixa Perez-Prado
On May 18, Soontornvat sent the signed letter to the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, which is investigating book banning in schools. On Thursday, the subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over civil rights and equal protection laws, held its second hearing on the subject and formally introduced the letter into its record.
((Interested in reading more on the fight against book banning? Click here.))
((Want a list of banned books you can support? Click here.))
The CCBC: (Children’s Cooperative Book Center) has released its 2022 choices list. The wide-ranging list has 273 best-of-the-year choices in books including non-fiction, poetry, picture and early readers, middle grade and young adult.
MUF is delighted to recognize on this list so many authors we’ve had a chance to chat with here on our blog:
Congratulations to all of the creators on the list!
The Children’s Cooperative Book Center is a noncirculating library that is part of the school for education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Among their annual reports, CCBC librarians release their Choices list and a deeply-researched assessment of diversity in publishing.
World Read Aloud Day
Back for its 13th year, World Read Aloud Day 2022 invites the world to slow down and sit down together on February 2, 20220, to read. Created by Litworld and sponsored by Scholastic, the yearly event is intended to bring people together in a common love of books and stories.
Scholastic and LitWorld to Host Free Virtual Event Series Leading Up to World Read Aloud Day Annual Celebration on February 2, 2022.
This year, virtual events to mark World Read Aloud Day begin on January 31 and will continue through February 2. The events include sing-along sessions for the kids, chats about parenting, and a presentation with Q and A from I SURVIVED series author Lauren Tarshis. For a full list of events, click here.
All readers and event participants are encouraged to share the word with the #WorldReadAloud hashtag on social media — tell us what you’re reading and what you love!
((Like the I Survived series? Read MUF contributor Meira Drazin’s interview with her here.))
According to Scholastic, 173 countries celebrate this day of reading.