Author Alison Bechdel is pictured on a navy blue background with geometric shape next to her photo on the left side of the image. The right side of the image reads: Happy Birthday Alison Bechdel

Happy Birthday, Alison Bechdel!

Bechdel is most known for penning the graphic memoir Fun Home, which was later adapted into a Tony-winning Broadway Musical, and her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which ran for 25 year in print and was later published online. Bechdel’s debut graphic novel, Fun Home, was published in 2006 and is about her relationship with her closeted father and her own journey with her sexuality. This year Bechdel reenters the graphic novel scene after nearly a decade away with The Secret to Superhuman Strength.

Photo of John Green on a stage, smiling and giving a thumbs up to the audience.

Happy Birthday, John Green!

I first encountered Green’s books after I took a course on children’s literature in graduate school in 2012. One of the final sections of the class featured banned and challenged books, and I selected Looking for Alaska, not knowing anything about Green or his books. I really enjoyed the novel, and though I hadn’t attended a boarding school like Miles and Alaska, felt a sense of understanding at Miles’ awkward and anxious high school experiences. I recall reading it and thinking, Okay, so what’s wrong with it?!

Jamaica Kincaid

Banned Author Highlight: Jamaica Kincaid

When I was researching more about Lucy and Kincaid’s other works, I was struck by the number of criticisms that labeled her work as “angry”. Considering her childhood trauma and that many of her works contain autobiographical elements, it is not surprising that her characters are angry, or experience passionate feelings. That is true of many coming of age stories or memoirs.

ALA Graphic: Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. Banned Books Week September 26 - October 2, 2021

Jason Reynolds Named Inaugural Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week has never had an honorary chair before but unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. Jason Reynolds will be the first honorary chair of Banned Books Week and he is excited about it! This year marks the 39th celebration of Banned Books Week since its first celebratory year in 1982. The 2021 theme is Books Unite Us; Censorship Divides Us and it will take place from September 26th to October 2nd.

A photo of Dan Rather next to a photo of the cover of his book What Unites Us: Reflection of Patriotism on top of a red background with a white speech bubble

“Libraries are What Unite Us”: A Conversation with Dan Rather About His Book “What Unites Us”

Dan Rather, veteran journalist and author of the book What Unites Us: Reflections of Patriotism, sat down with Adult editor for Booklist Donna Seaman to discuss his book and the important role libraries play in sustaining our democracy. Their discussion also touched on the importance of funding libraries, the free and independent press, and science literacy.

IFRT Reads The Future of Academic Freedom

“So That Teachers May Freely Teach and Students May Freely Learn”: Safeguarding the Future of Academic Freedom with Henry Reichman

Government interference in classroom curricula. Financial pressures and conflicts of interests. The death of tenure. Trigger warnings, cancel culture, censorship, and the chilling effect. With all the pressures threatening open inquiry and free expression on campus, you might wonder: “Does academic freedom have a future?” Join the IFRT Reads community to explore this question with Oboler Award-winning author and academic freedom scholar, Henry Reichman, and his 2019 book, The Future of Academic Freedom.