Industry & Advocacy News
June 15, 2022
Celebrate Pride Month with this free virtual event moderated by children’s and YA novelist Rachel Vail
New York (June 15, 2022): The Authors Guild Banned Books Club is excited to present a free live discussion with bestselling young adult author David Levithan about his novel Two Boys Kissing on Monday, June 20, at 7 p.m. ET on the Fable app.
To attend the live virtual event, please register at https://fable.co/events/author-david-levithan.
Two Boys Kissing was a 2014 Stonewall Honor Book in Children’s and Young Adult Literature and ranks #18 on the American Library Association’s 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the past decade. The novel tells the story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who decide to participate in a 32-hour kissing marathon to set a new Guinness World Record. In conversation with fellow YA and children’s book author Rachel Vail, Levithan will talk about what led him to write the novel, his use of a Greek chorus of older gay men to narrate events, its reception by young readers and the impact that disproportionately banning books featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists from public schools has on all students. At the end of his talk, Levithan will take questions from the audience.
“David Levithan has contributed much to the American literary canon both as a writer and editor of books for teens and young adults, and we were thrilled he agreed to be the first of our featured authors for our Banned Books Club,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. “We can think of no better way to celebrate Pride Month than to have an open discussion between David, Rachel and book club readers about the importance of books depicting positive LGBTQ+ characters and supportive relationships such as we see in Two Boys Kissing. This is particularly true now when so many far-right politicians and activists seek to erase and deny the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in public schools and libraries.”
In addition to Two Boys Kissing, Levithan has authored more than 20 novels, including Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Every Day and, with Rachel Cohn, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. In 2016, the ALA honored him with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. He also serves as the founding editor of PUSH, a young-adult imprint of Scholastic focusing on new voices and new authors.
Vail, who serves on the Authors Guild Council, has published more than 40 novels for children, tweens and teens, including Bad Best Friend; Well, That Was Awkward; Unfriended; If We Kiss; Kiss Me Again; the Avery Sisterstrilogyand her hugely popular Elizabeth Case series.
Launched in April 2022, the Authors Guild Banned Books Club is a free, virtual monthly book club held on the Fable app. Each month, the Banned Books Club presents a different work of fiction or nonfiction recently barred in one or more U.S. school districts or states. Participating readers can log on to Fable anytime during that month to access the moderated book discussion, led by each work’s author, as well as valuable resources to help them get the most out of the reading experience.
Interested readers still have time to sign up for this month’s featured work, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. Beginning June 22, the next novel featured in the Banned Books Club will be Jacqueline Woodson’s Red at the Bone, followed by Jonathan Evison’s Lawn Boy (July 27).
For more information, visit authorsguild.org/bannedbooksclub.
With more than 12,000 members, the Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for published writers. It advocates for working writers to protect free speech, freedom of expression and authors’ copyrights; fights for fair contracts and authors’ ability to earn a livable wage; and provides a welcoming community for writers and translators of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and journalism. It also offers free programming to teach working writers about the business of writing and events that highlight the importance of a rich, diverse American literary culture and the authors that contribute to it through its educational and charitable arm, the Authors Guild Foundation.