(Candlewick, 2021)

What happens when freedom of expression comes under threat? In frank and wide-ranging interviews, Leonard probes the experience of thirteen leading authors of books for young people.

A 2022 Notable Book of the National Council for the Social Studies

“Each conversation is frank and utterly engrossing. Familiarity with the banned books discussed is not necessary to be absorbed in the discussions, which will certainly send readers to seek out the titles. Librarians and lovers of youth literature will feel like they are a part of conversations between old friends and gain new understanding into the value of their everyday work.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

“Conversations exploring the writers’ childhoods and creative lives evolve gracefully into discussions of censorship experiences. . . Many interviews highlight the crucial role of librarians in fighting for public access to books. . . this is a thoughtful examination of the barriers young people may face when seeking ‘polemical’ reading material, with high crossover appeal.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Essential reading for all of those who treasure free speech.”
Booklist (starred review)

“‘You Can’t Say That’ . . . offers an antidote to the censors, elevating the voices of 13 authors whose books for kids have been challenged. Marcus probes not just what made these works controversial, but also the life paths that led the writers to pursue their subjects, and how they reacted to campaigns to muzzle their work — all of which are sure to interest their young fans, as well as students of free
speech.” —Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN AMERICA CENTER, in The New York Times Book Review

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