BCBF 2023, Censorship: the state of children's book banning in the world and what's being done?

Censorship is an ancient practice. Whether it be Cato the Censor, or later Popes to blacklist certain books, the goal is always the same: to control, redact and censor, in other words, to stop disclosure. Censorship takes place in many sectors – the press, communications, politics and cinema. Totalitarian regimes exert strict controls.

But why is there censorship in more democratic countries?
And why, around the world, are some children’s books banned?
Long-debated, this issue will be a discussion focus at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, following up on David Levithan’s troubling and visionary article in the New York Times of 23 September 2022 entitled Standing up to the new censorship. In his article, Levithan - America’s 11th most censored author according to PEN America - talks about how censorship today has become a tool used to attempt to deprive communities of their voices and erase their history. A panel of experts, including publishers and scholars from around the world, will give their views of the state of children’s book banning around the world and of what is being done. Moderator: Barbara Marcus, President Penguin Random House, USA.

Panel: Jon Anderson, President and publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division and on the Board of the National Coalition Against Censorship, USA; Dora Batalim SottoMayor, Member of Instituto Emilia, Brasil, and Coordinator of the Postgraduate Course in Children's Books at the Catholic University of Lisbon, Portugal; Doris Breitmoser, Managing Director of the Association for Children’s Literature/Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur AKJ, Germany; Giorgia Grilli, professor of children's literature and co-founder of the Center for Research in Children's Literature in the Department of Education, University of Bologna, Italy; David Levithan, author, USA.