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.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found

Austinpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more