On Monday, June 19, at 7 pm, join us for a Banned Book Club conversation with special guests Kim Hyun Sook and Ryan Estrada, authors of the acclaimed graphic novel Banned Book Club. The novel shares Hyun Sook’s experience as a member of a real-life, underground banned book club during South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protestors.

RSVP for this FREE event via Eventbrite.

Banned Book Club was recently banned in Clay County District Schools in Green Cove Springs, Florida for “Indoctrination- anarchists, anti-government & anti-police. Social justice, extreme violence. Molotov Cocktails. Specifically promotes other deselected titles!”

At this session, we’ll learn more about Hyun Sook’s experiences, her creative collaboration with Estrada, and the recent banning of their book. Ryan will also talk about his new book Occulted, which explores co-author Amy Rose’s experience growing up in the Heaven’s Gate cult and how clandestinely reading the books that were banned in her community helped her escape the compound’s tragic fate. We’ll also discuss what advocacy steps we can take to support readers, students, librarians, and teachers through these challenging times.

Banned Book Club provides a safe, open, in-person space to gather and explore books experiencing bans and challenges in public U.S. schools and libraries.

Banned Book Club events are FREE. Teens and adults are welcome. No purchase is necessary.


In BANNED BOOK CLUB, Kim Hyun Sook shares a dramatic true story of political division, fear-mongering, anti-intellectualism, the death of democratic institutions, and the relentless rebellion of reading.

When Kim Hyun Sook started college in 1983 she was ready for her world to open up. After acing her exams and sort-of convincing her traditional mother that it was a good idea for a woman to go to college, she looked forward to soaking up the ideas of Western Literature far from the drudgery she was promised at her family’s restaurant. But literature class would prove to be just the start of a massive turning point, still focused on reading but with life-or-death stakes she never could have imagined.

This was during South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protestors. In this charged political climate, with Molotov cocktails flying and fellow students disappearing for hours and returning with bruises, Hyun Sook sought refuge in the comfort of books. When the handsome young editor of the school newspaper invited her to his reading group, she expected to pop into the cafeteria to talk about Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Scarlet Letter. Instead she found herself hiding in a basement as the youngest member of an underground banned book club. And as Hyun Sook soon discovered, in a totalitarian regime, the delights of discovering great works of illicit literature are quickly overshadowed by fear and violence as the walls close in.


Booksweet will donate 10% of the profits from Banned Book Club reads to the PEN America as part of our annual Banned Books Week celebrations in October. Learn more about how PEN America is working to fuel advocates with the research, visibility, and networks they need to support our freedom to read.

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See you there, readers!