Activist state

Texas bans more books than any other state

Illustration: Aida Amer/Axios

This is Banned Books Week and one new report from the PEN America writers group shows that 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 rulings from July 2021 to June 2022.
  • The total number of bans in Texas during this period was 801 in 22 school districts, far exceeding No. 2 Florida, which banned 566 books in 21 districts.

Catch up fast: Pressure from Republican leaders, activist groups and some parents has caused school districts to review or remove books they deemed inappropriate in Texas and across the country.

Enlarge: The report mentions bans in 32 states, including all 22 districts of Texas.

  • The analysis includes the suburb of Leander ISD, where district officials have banned at least 11 books from classrooms, including “The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel” and “V for Vendetta.”
  • Additionally, Fredericksburg ISD saw 42 cases of books being banned from libraries and classrooms or 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 only details 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 difficult books in 2021.

To note : While publicity around the book bans has led to increased sales, some authors fear their books will not be read by students who can only access library books.


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