Sep 22, 2022 - News

Texas bans more books than any other state

Illustration of a book as the bottom of a padlock.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's Banned Books Week and a new report from writers' group PEN America shows Texas has banned more books than any other state.

  • The PEN America report found that 1,648 individual book titles were banned nationwide in 2,532 decisions from July 2021 to June 2022.
  • Texas' total number of bans during that period was 801 in 22 school districts, far outpacing No. 2 Florida, which banned 566 books in 21 districts.

Catch up quick: Pressure from Republican leaders, activist groups and some parents have pushed school districts to review or remove books they've deemed inappropriate in Texas and across the country.

Zoom in: The report mentions bans in 32 states, including the 22 districts in Texas.

  • The analysis includes suburban Leander ISD, where district officials banned at least 11 books from classrooms, including "The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel" and "V for Vendetta."
  • Plus, Fredericksburg ISD saw 42 instances of books banned in libraries and classrooms or in instances where a title was removed during an investigation to determine whether or not to restrict it.
  • North East ISD, near San Antonio, had the most bans with 435, followed by Granbury ISD with 133.

Yes, but: The analysis details only bans reported to PEN America or challenges that made the news.

Details: Some of the banned books were on our high school English reading lists, including classics "Of Mice and Men" and "The Bluest Eye," the latter ranking eighth among the most-challenged books in 2021.

Of note: While the publicity surrounding book bans has led to an increase in sales, some authors fear their books won't be read by students who can solely access library books.


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