The two auctions of children’s book art that were held in conjunction with BookExpo America raised almost $60,000 to defend the free speech rights of kids, the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) reported on Wednesday, June 10.
More than 170 pieces of children’s art were sold at an auction at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York on May 26, the eve of BookExpo America, and during an online auction that concluded on eBay on Monday, June 8. The auction income at the Hyatt was also generated from ticket sales and sponsorship by the Random House Children’s Group. The auctions raised funds for the Kids’ Right to Read Project and Banned Books Week, the national celebration of the freedom to read.
“We are extremely grateful to the artists who contributed such beautiful work, to Random House Children’s Group, and to everyone whose bids made our auctions so successful,” ABFE Director Chris Finan said.
A highlight of the auction at the Hyatt was a tribute to Judy Blume. More than 20 artists submitted pieces inspired by Blume’s children’s books, which for many years have been among the most frequently challenged titles in the country. ABFE presented Blume with a plaque that recognized her as a “Defender of a Kid’s Right to Read.”
The Kids’ Right to Read Project, which supports parents, teachers, and librarians who are fighting book challenges in their communities, was co-founded by ABFE and the National Coalition Against Censorship.