Don’t #%?$ My Graphic Novels: Conquering Challenges and Protecting the Right to Read

We strive to create inclusive library collections that reflect a diverse global community. But what happens when members of the school community challenge or attempt to ban such inclusive materials? In 2018, 38% of reported book challenges took place in schools. Among the challenged works were those in illustrated format, including PersepolisDramaThis One Summer, Captain Underpants, Bad Kitty, and Bone. As we celebrate School Library Month, join us in advocating for and defending books that incorporate art with Bad Kitty author and illustrator Nick Bruel and librarians Mariela Siegert, Martha Hickson, and Suzanna Panter. They will share their experiences with censorship and navigating a graphic novel challenge. Moderated by Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, with resources and tools to support inclusion of all types of learning resources.


  • Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association


  • Suzanna L. Panter, Program Manager, School Libraries, Tacoma Public Schools
  • Mariela Siegert, School Librarian, Downers Grove North High School
  • Martha Hickson, Librarian, North Hunterdon High School
  • Nick Bruel, Author