Friends For Levine Querido

Friends For Levine Querido
September 2023
06:00 AM CDT
September 2023
12:15 AM CDT
GOAL $90,000.00
120.4% REACHED!

About Our Auction

We will be updating this auction daily and will continue to take donations throughout the event. Donation form:

Please check back daily!

Opening bid subject to change. Thank you so much for you interest!

IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE ALL children can find themselves in the pages of a book.

It is this desire that has deeply motivated us to begin our grassroots efforts as Friends For Levine Querido.

It's a challenging time for publishing and even more so for a small independent publishing house. We have already seen the contractions among the “big five” publishing houses. And now, in the face of those challenges, Levine Querido is vulnerable.

Levine Querido publishes the work of individuals from underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds. Since fall of 2020, LQ books have received over 150 starred reviews and highest honors such as the Newbery Award, National Book Award Longlist, Sydney Taylor Book Award, Stonewall Book Award, Michael L. Printz Honor Award, Pura Belpré Honor, and the American Indian Youth Literature Award.

These are also the very books facing organized and impactful book-banning efforts across the nation.

Ultimately, the deepest impact is on all children who deserve to see themselves and others in the diverse, real world we live in. Levine Querido’s books are vitally important, providing mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors for our youth. We need them. They need us.

We need you to join us. As a force for good. As a force for free speech. For the freedom to read. For access to outstanding stories.

About Friends For Levine Querido

The auction is a response to book bans and government laws that make it legal to censor and ban books by LGBTQ + BIPOC authors. This latest surge of book bans targets the gains we’ve made in recent years for visibility of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices. We’ve seen data from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and the American Library Association that shows a correlation between increase in representation for marginalized voices and a 40% rise in book challenges.

As representation has grown, so has the backlash. Political extremists are touting phrases like “go woke, go broke.” They are serious about shutting down companies like ours and undoing our efforts to shine a light on marginalized stories.


The auction goes live for 10 days starting Labor Day weekend. Bidding starts on Sunday, September 3, 6 am CST and ends September 13, 11:45 PM with extended last-minute bidding.


The answer is simple yet complicated.

1. Book bans have led many gatekeepers toward self-censorship. We call these “shadowbans” because while specific LQ books may be officially banned, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Many gatekeepers — from librarians to booksellers to teachers — won't wait for the official ban and simply won't order in the first place. Carrying books that shed light on the experiences of BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ creators, they fear, might lead to them being attacked as "woke" or worse. People are afraid to lose their jobs.

2. These bans directly affect LQ’s bottom line. LQ consistently shines in the institutional market, with a long list of awards and accolades that includes the Newbery, the Printz, the Pura Belpré, the Stonewall, the Sydney Taylor, the National Book Award long list, and many more. Yet this year, LQ’s institutional sales — sales to schools, libraries, and education departments — have dropped over 1/3 from last year. That’s an enormous drop for a small team like ours.

3. We want to be a light in this darkness. To do so, LQ needs a transfusion of cash in order to bridge this temporary and difficult moment in the life of our company. Your donation helps secure a future for LQ for many years to come.


Author Debbi Lakritz:
Author Liza Wiemer:

After listening to The Book of Life Podcast interview that host Heidi Rabinowitz had with LQ founder, Arthur Levine, ( Liza and Debbi decided to take action. This auction is the result.

Thank you SO much to all our donors and bidders and to everyone helping us spread the word about this auction.

Special thanks to the entire staff at Levine Querido, especially Antonio Gonzalez Cerna and Kerry Taylor.
Thank you, Heidi Rabinowitz for all your hard work and to Susan Kusel for your input.

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