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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Press Release Fun: Free Speech Rights at BookExpo

Oh, doggone it. I can’t do a full Book Expo this year and these sound good. Check ’em out, oh fellow librarians, if you get a chance. Particularly the first.

Free Speech Rights of Kids Are Focus at BookExpo America

NEW YORK, NY, May 4, 2011 – Attacks on the free speech rights of kids will be the focus of two events on the second day of Book Expo America, May 25.  In the morning, bestselling authors Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Twisted) and Robie Harris (It’s Perfectly Normal, It’s So Amazing!) will join Pat Scales, a defender of free speech in libraries for over 30 years, in exploring the perilous state of kids’ right to read at a time when there are hundreds of challenges to books in schools and libraries every year.  “Book Banning 2011: A Report from the Front Lines of the Battle for Free Speech” will be moderated by Joan Bertin, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship.  The hour-long program begins at 11:30 in Room 1E12.  It is co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), the Association of American Publishers, the Freedom to Read Foundation and PEN American Center.

From 5 to 7:30 p.m., the children’s book industry will demonstrate its support for kids’ right to read during the ABC Children’s Group Children’s Art Auction and Reception in the Javits Center.  Proceeds from the sale of more than 100 works by leading artists and illustrators will be donated to the ABFFE Fund for Free Speech in Children’s Books.  Laurie Halse Anderson is the honorary chair of the event.

The children’s art auction is not only an opportunity to buy wonderful art but a chance for booksellers, librarians, publishers, authors, illustrators, and other industry professionals to socialize with friends from around the country.  Light refreshments, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks will be served.  Music will be provided by The Sweet Remains, a band whose three-part harmonies have been compared in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and the Eagles.  The Sweet Remains appears courtesy of Putumayo World Music.

A preview of the art being auctioned is available online,

Tickets for the auction and reception are $89 ($69 for bookseller members of the ABC Children’s Group) and can be purchased here Tickets may sell out prior to BookExpo.  If not, they can be purchased during a preview of auction artwork in the Crystal Pavilion of the Javits Center on Tuesday, May 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tickets purchased onsite will be $99 ($79 for ABC Children’s Group members).

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.