Texas bans more books than any other state
Nothing makes us want to read a book more than learning it's banned.
- The PEN America report found that 1,648 book titles were banned nationwide in 2,532 decisions from July 2021 to June 2022.
Why it matters: Most of the listed books are about LGBTQ issues or people of color. PEN America calls the limits "deeply undemocratic."
- Plus, reading is great and should be encouraged, not discouraged, especially among kids who are reading for fun at the lowest levels since 1984.
Zoom in: The report mentions bans in 32 states, including 22 school districts in Texas.
- North East ISD, near San Antonio, had the most bans with 435, followed by Granbury ISD with 133.
- Birdville, Denton, Frisco, Keller, Prosper and Richardson schools were also listed.
Yes, but: The analysis details only bans reported to PEN America or challenges that made the news.
- The report doesn't include notable bans in the Southlake Carroll school district or Keller's most recent controversy over banning the Bible.
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.
- Students in Denton petitioned after school officials pulled "All Boys Aren't Blue," an often challenged memoir about growing up as a gay Black male.
- Granbury ISD posted a list of books that were returned to libraries after review, but "This Book Is Gay," "We Are the Ants" and "Out of Darkness," a novel about segregation in East Texas, were still removed.
Of note: While the publicity surrounding book bans has led to an increase in sales, some authors fear their books still won't be read by students who can access only library books.
💭 Our thought bubble: We hope these bans lead to more people reading more books that lead to more discussions about potentially uncomfortable topics.
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