Simon & Schuster to Launch BOOKS BELONG Initiative in Response to Ongoing Book Bans

NEW YORK, September 20—Simon & Schuster will expand its efforts against book bans and challenges with the introduction of a new multi-platform education and resources program, BOOKS BELONG. This program will highlight the merits of books that have been subject to bans and challenges, and will provide educators, parents, librarians and students with tools and resources to preserve and strengthen our right to read.

Launching in October in conjunction with national Banned Books Week 2023, the initiative includes a new resource website, Books Belong, which will host reading group guides and videos, book lists, giveaways, exclusive author and expert content, and links to additional resources, including those from Unite Against Book Bans and PEN America. Supporters of the right to read will find resources for them to take action when faced with a challenge in their community, as well as guidance on how to easily incorporate banned and challenged books into classroom, library, and family reading time.

The program will be supported by ongoing social media promotion, dedicated consumer and B2B emails, and integration in Simon & Schuster’s corporate and title advertising and marketing. 

“Books Belong everywhere: whether fiction or nonfiction, books help us to see ourselves and others in the world. They must be available to everyone so that readers may connect to the stories that speak to them, to learn more deeply about themselves, and about other people and cultures,” said Michelle Leo, Vice President, Education & Library Marketing, Simon & Schuster.  “Books Belong will support readers and communities in the fight against book bans by sharing knowledge and resources that will enable them to make informed decisions about the books they choose to read.”

Protecting the freedom to read the books of our choice has never been more urgent or more critical. Simon & Schuster stands against book banning in all its forms and supports authors, librarians, educators, booksellers and readers who work to defend and expand access to books for all.

“Having the freedom to read and the freedom to choose is one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me.” –Judy Blume

“It doesn’t always feel like you’re banning the book itself. Sometimes it feels like you’re banning the people who those books are about, that you’re saying that those lives are lives that should only exist in the shadows.” —Jason Reynolds


About Simon & Schuster:

Simon & Schuster is a global leader in general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Adams Media, Avid Reader Press, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. For more information visit our website at

Susannah Lawrence, Corporate Communications