Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

October 4, 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

PEN America Panel: Resisting Censorship with Brad Meltzer, Camryn Garrett, & Debi Goldberg


October 4, 2023
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
+ Google Map


Books & Books presents…



Resisting Censorship: The Children’s & Young Adult Book Banning Crisis


Camryn Garrett’s Full Disclosure

(Knopf Books for Young Readers, $18.99)

Wednesday, October 4th, 8:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


About the Event:

Resisting Censorship: The Children’s & Young Adult Book Banning Crisis

LGBTQ-themed books are under profound attack in the United States. They are challenged in droves and are decreed off-limits by school boards, legislators, and prison authorities.

In PEN’s report “Banned in the USA,” PEN found that within a six-month period, 26% of unique titles banned have LGBTQ+ characters or themes. Join PEN Miami/South Florida and Books & Books for a vital conversation with authors Brad Meltzer and Camryn Garrett, both of whom have had their books pulled from library shelves, to discuss the movement to ban books by and about LGBTQ people, particularly books aimed at younger audiences, and how to resist the censorship taking over our schools and libraries.

Check out Camryn Garrett’s latest book, Full Disclosure, here.

***Please note: This event will take place at the Books & Books in Coral Gables at 265 Aragon Ave. Tickets are FREE and books will be available for purchase at the event.


About the Book:

“An unflinchingly honest, eye-opening, heartful story that’s sure to keep readers talking.” –Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give and On the Come Up

“Romantic, funny, hopeful, and unflinchingly real.” –Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda

The uplifting story of an HIV-positive teen, falling in love and learning to live her truth.

Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on. . . .

About the Panelists:

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lightning Rod, The Escape Artist, and eleven other bestselling thrillers. He also writes non-fiction books like The Nazi Conspiracy, about a secret plot to kill FDR, Stalin, and Winston Churchill at the height of WWII – and the Ordinary People Change the World kids book series, which he does with Chris Eliopoulos and inspired the Emmy-nominated TV show on PBS KIDS, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. His newest kids’ books are I am Dolly Parton and I am I.M. Pei. He is also the #1 bestselling author of the critically acclaimed comic books Identity Crisis and Justice League of America and is the co-creator of the TV series Jack & Bobby. A University of Michigan and Columbia Law School graduate, he lives in Florida with his wife and three children.

Camryn Garrett was born and raised in New York. In 2019, she was named one of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 and a Glamour College Woman of the Year. Her first novel, Full Disclosure, received rave reviews from outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, the Today Show, and The Guardian, which called it “warm, funny and thoughtfully sex-positive, an impressive debut from a writer still in her teens.” Her second novel, Off the Record, received three starred reviews. Her third novel, Friday I’m in Love, was an IndieNext Pick and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Her debut middle-grade novel, The Forgotten Summer of Seneca, will be published by Abrams in 2025. Her work has been translated into 9 languages. Camryn is also interested in filmmaking and has written and directed several short films. You can find her on Twitter @dancingofpens, tweeting from a laptop named Stevie.

Debi Goldberg is the Digital Director at PEN America where she is leveraging the power of digital communications to advance the organization’s mission and engage constituents. She most recently served as the director of marketing and communications at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the largest Jewish denomination in North America with nearly 850 congregations. She ushered the URJ into the digital age by building out enterprise-level email marketing, brands, websites, social media, and public relations systems. Prior to her time at the URJ, Goldberg was the director of communications for Taglit-Birthright Israel, where she was responsible for overseeing the organization’s website, marketing, branding, advertising, and public relations in North America.

From 1994 through early 2001, she worked in a variety of positions in national Democratic politics and campaigns including the popular-vote winning Gore 2000 campaign. During that time, Goldberg also worked in President Clinton’s second term (1997-2000) as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Liaison.

She holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Southern California, and she received her BA in psychology and business administration from UCLA.