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Here's how you can celebrate Banned Books Week in North Texas

Books such as "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison and "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe (pictured) are frequent targets of book bans.
Rick Bowmer
Books such as "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison and "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe (pictured) are frequent targets of book bans.

Events surrounding Banned Books Week will take place all around North Texas, including a free trivia event, a youth seminar, and a host of virtual conversations with censored authors.

Banned Books Week was established by a coalition of nonprofits including Amnesty International and the American Library Association. Held annually during the last full week of September, the week celebrates the "freedom to read" in the face of increasing literary censorship, according to the coalition's mission statement.

Betsy Gomez, the coordinator of the Banned Books Week coalition, said their event has become more important than ever.

"In the first eight months of this year, we've already seen 681 reported attempts to ban or restrict library resources, targeting 1,651 unique titles," said Gomez via email. "Banned Books Week has always functioned as an advocacy campaign to inform the public about censorship, and many people remain unaware of the breadth of what's happening now, so our work remains vitally important."

Here are a few ways you can celebrate Banned Books Week in North Texas.

Tuesday, Sept. 20
"I'm With the Banned": The North Branch Library of the Denton Public Library hosts an arts-and-crafts event at 6:30 p.m. Teens ages 14 and up can make their own Banned Book Week-themed crafts in the library's "Forge" makerspace.

Friday, Sept. 23
Banned Books Week Trivia: The Wild Detectives bookstore in Oak Cliff and the Dallas Public Library host a banned book themed trivia night at 7 PM at the bookstore. Participating bookworms have the chance to win Dallas Public Library branded t-shirts.

Saturday, Sept. 24
"All About Banned Book Week": The East Regional branch of the Fort Worth Public Library is holding a youth seminar on banned books at 3 PM. Kids from grades 6-12 will be able to learn about some books that have been banned and participate in a crafts session themed after the event.

All Week Long:

Free banned books: Half Price Books will give away $50 gift cards to five lucky readers in honor of the event. The link to register for the giveaway can be found here.

Meet authors who've been banned: A number of virtual conversations with authors will also be livestreamed throughout the week on theBanned Books Week Facebook page. The slate of authors includes comic book artist Gene Luen Yang and Banned Books Week's honorary chairperson Jason Reynolds.

A full list of Banned Books Week events can be found on the Banned Books Week website.

UPDATE: This post was updated on 9.22 to correct the topic of conversation at the East Regional Branch of the Fort Worth Public Library.

Max Chow-Gillette is the Fall 2022 Art&Seek intern.