Photo of Robie H. Harris next to cover of "It's Perfectly Normal"

Candlewick Press honors robie h. harris with donation to Unite Against Book Bans

This blog post is from Candlewick Press, a Unite Against Book Bans partner.

Candlewick Press is proud to announce our donation to Unite Against Book Bans in memory of Robie H. Harris—author, advocate, and all-around icon of children’s literature—who died in New York City earlier this year at the age of eighty-three.

With her book It’s Perfectly Normal, illustrated by Michael Emberley, published in 1994, Robie H. Harris became one of Candlewick’s founding authors. In the ensuing years she was renowned for enlisting countless experts, from educators to clergy people to physicians to adolescents themselves, in her research. Her work was driven by an openhearted and open-minded curiosity and a fierce determination that the full experience of children be honored.

Alongside ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, PEN America, parents, teachers, and librarians, Robie courageously fought decades of book bans to ensure that children had access to all books, including her books about sexual health. She made sure that children saw themselves in her work. Her highly visible public role as an advocate for freedom of expression as guaranteed in the First Amendment prompted more than one person to ask why she continued to write books that stirred up so much controversy. Her answer was thought-provoking and important:

“How can we hold back writing about powerful feelings, or not include certain information children crave and have the right to know, simply because we are afraid?”

Unite Against Book Bans will continue fighting fearlessly to ensure that Robie’s books—and all others that have been the targets of censorship—are available to children who need them. She would be very proud to be part of this ongoing work, and Candlewick is proud to help make it possible.

To add your own gift in memory of Robie H. Harris, or to donate in honor or memory of another intellectual freedom hero or heroine, visit the Unite Against Book Bans donation page.


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For more information about the intersection of children’s literature and censorship, please visit the Children’s Rights to Read initiative, led by Unite partner organization the International Literacy Association (ILA). The Children’s Rights to Read initiative, founded on ten fundamental rights every child deserves, was developed to ensure that every child, everywhere, has access to the education, opportunities, and resources needed to read.