Authors Against Book Bans logo with white letters over three black painted lines


Right here at this link.

We recommend reporting to all five groups linked here, given their unique roles in the fight for our freedom to read. ALA and PEN America both collect data on challenges and bans, and PEN can sometimes help in a response. School Library Journal can call more attention to the issue by providing press coverage. Every Library can help create a grassroots response where the challenge or ban is taking place, and National Coalition Against Censorship may be able to as well.

And if you haven’t already, join us.

YES! For too long the authors most impacted by book challenges have borne most of the burden of defending their work and the freedom to read. It’s time for all authors to join this collective fight and relieve those who are most in the line of fire.

We are the author wing in the larger fight to protect the freedom to read.  We aim to organize authors on the national and local levels to support the organizations already in place. We are working with a variety of national organizations, as well as grassroots groups fighting book bans.

The founding members of AABB currently serving in national leadership roles are the authors Samira Ahmed, Gayle Forman, Alan Gratz, Joanna Ho, David Levithan, Sarah MacLean, Celeste Pewter, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Maggie Tokuda-Hall.

If your name has ever been printed in a book as a credit to its creators, you are welcome to join us. We are looking for writers, illustrators, narrators, translators – all the people who create literature. We are completely genre-agnostic and are open to traditionally and independently published creators.

Yes, we stand against ALL book bans, no matter where they are coming from on the political spectrum. And because this historic rise in bans has disproportionately impacted authors from and books about populations whose voices have been historically silenced, we are prioritizing defending those books so these works and authors are not silenced anew.

We are nonpartisan and single-issue. We are pro freedom to read and against book banning.

We are not a charity, but if you would like to make a donation, consider giving to one of these organizations fighting for the freedom to read: We Need Diverse Books, EveryLibrary, PEN America, National Coalition Against Censorship, ACLU, United Against Book Bans, The Authors Guild Foundation and grassroots Freedom to Read groups. Each group is different, and each serves the many disparate needs created by this fight.

Much as we love drag-queen story hour, AABB is a single-issue organization. We stand against book bans and for the freedom to read. Though our members may have a variety of opinions on other issues, we are using this space to focus on this one pertinent fight.

Our goal is to be in every state. Right now we have 24 regional and state chapters. When you join AABB, you will work either in your state or one with which you are affiliated. If you live outside of the US, you can still join and support the fight. Because book bans are a five-alarm fire in the United States In particular, our focus is here and not abroad.

First, we hope you’ll join AABB and add your name to our membership. If that’s what you can do today, thank you! We’re thrilled to have you. We hope you’ll also add your name to our open letter, protesting bans and highlighting the importance of reading widely.

Once you are a member, you will receive periodic email calls to action from your chapter leaders, offering other opportunities for action: writing letters of support, appearing before boards or committees, making videos in support of educators, attending events supporting the freedom to read, and more. These are available to you if you’d like to volunteer more time or energy, but are not required. If you want to do more to participate in your region’s leadership team or organizing other initiatives, email us.

Thanks for joining us

Vote and encourage others to vote, especially in local school board elections.  Turnout in these elections can be as low as 10% of  eligible voters  which means those who vote have an outsize influence. Check your voter registration. 

Never underestimate the power of thanking the educators, librarians, and others who are defending the freedom to read. They are being assaulted by negativity, so try to shower them with as much positivity and support as you can. No one should feel alone in this fight, because none of us are fighting this alone. Personal notes to your local community and school librarians are a great way to show your support.

Support the organizations that are fighting the legal battles. In many places, nothing will change until we defeat book-banning laws. Support organizations like PEN America and the ACLU as they lead these legal fights.

Join any of the incredible groups, like EveryLibrary, which can help you form your own grassroots group and offer free consultations for you as you get rolling. AABB is one piece of a framework that already exists, and getting plugged into more than one stream for education and direction can only help! However, linked here is a list of all the groups participating in this fight on the national and the grassroots level, assembled by Penguin Random House’s legal team. 

Don’t be silent. Even if your books aren’t being challenged or banned, make sure you talk about the importance of the freedom to read when you do presentations (you can download and use the AABB slides on this matter for free), and highlight some of the books and authors who are under attack. This is an all-for-one, one-for-all fight, and all our voices are needed.

KEEP WRITING. Refuse to be silenced. The more books we have out there telling honest, diverse stories, the harder it is to erase us from the shelves.

If you are a bookseller, American Booksellers for Free Expression is hard at work and one of our partners in this fight.

If you are a publishing professional but not a creator, PEN America offers briefings for you.

If you are a bookseller, publishing professional, or a reader who cares, EveryLibrary does a great job keeping their members informed and activated if and when this fight comes to your community. They can even guide you through starting your own Fight for the First initiative! You can also check this list of grassroots organizations* to see if there are existing ones in your community.

If you are a parent or community member who wants to participate, your community needs you! Start by attending school and community board meetings and getting up to speed on your local school district’s procedures for assessing and responding to challenges and bans. Some districts have volunteer panels to read and assess books that are challenged, others allow for public comment on book challenges. Introduce yourself to your school and community librarians and voice your opposition to book bans and book challenges. Ask how you can help. 

We need everyone’s help to fight for the freedom to read. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Stand: Stand with school libraries and tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Right to Read Act. 
  2. Call: Contact your representative and ask them to support the Fight Book Bans Act H.R. 6596
  3. Register. Show up. Vote. Vote in all elections and don’t forget the local ones! Voting in your local school and library board elections is one of the most effective ways you can protect the freedom to read. If you’re already registered to vote, get FIVE of your friends to register. Then grab those friends and head to the polls together.
  4. Act locally: Attend your local library and school board meetings. Learn how your community addresses and assesses book challenges and what books, if any, have been banned. Introduce yourself to your school and local librarians and ask how you can help. 

Speak Out: Most school and library board meetings have time for public comment. Sign up to speak about why the freedom to read is critically important in your community and why censorship is both dangerous and damaging to everyone.

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