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NYPL Continues Its Books For All: Teen Banned Book Club with “The Downstairs Girl”

Book for All

Readers across the country now have unlimited access to the young-adult bestseller, The Downstairs Girl,” as part of The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) Teen Banned Book Club. Set in Gilded Age Atlanta, Stacey Lee's award-winning novel tells the story of 17-year-old Jo Kuan, who gets into hot water when her anonymous advice column soars.

The third Teen Banned Book Club selection in NYPL's Books for All campaign, “The Downstairs Girl” will be freely available across the U.S. through April 30, 2024. Anyone over the age of 13 can download the title, whether or not they have a NYPL card, without wait times through the library’s free e-reader app, SimplyE.

The Books for All campaign, the longest and largest banned books campaign in NYPL history, extends across the country and throughout the school year and focuses heavily on teen readers in recognition of the fact that the majority of books targeted for bans and challenges are books for young people. The campaign launched in October 2023 during Banned Books Week in response to the alarming rise of book bans and challenges throughout the country, which have significantly impacted young adults, and to underscore the vital role that public libraries play in our democracy. NYPL partnered with the Unite Against Book Bans campaign and the American Library Association to get the word out about Books for All across the country.

Lee shared her enthusiasm to be part of the campaign in a video to library patrons. NYPL’s Teen Reading Ambassadors will conduct a virtual author talk with the author on April 25 at 3:00 p.m. ET, where they will discuss the book, censorship, and why it's crucial for young people to have the opportunity to see themselves represented in the books they read.

Learn more about the campaign, find downloadable toolkits, and more at Unite Against Book Bans.


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