Just last week, a Pennsylvania school district made international headlines when they announced the removal of several volumes of the adorable and educational I am… series by Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos from classrooms and libraries. This included the book I am Rosa Parks, among others. Thankfully, that decision was quickly reversed. But efforts to ban books dealing with race and LGBTQ+ themes have accelerated in the last few years.
Just last month, Chelsea School District’s Board of Education voted to keep Toni Morrison’s 1970 classic, The Bluest Eye, on the library shelves, despite the very vocal protests of one particular group.
Banned Books Week (9/26-10/2) is an opportunity to shine light on the continuing efforts to suppress certain ideas and perspectives. Together, we can push back by embracing the voices that some would like to silence.
What can you do?
- Spend some time with the ten most-challenged books of 2020. When you buy any of the most-challenged books of 2020 from Booksweet through 10/2/21, we will donate 20% of that sale to the ACLU.
- Learn more about how the ACLU defends banned books.
- Learn more about frequently challenged books in the US.
- Advocate for literary freedom when books are challenged in your neighborhood. We stand beside you in this work.
- Ensure that freedom of literature and freedom of ideas is flowing freely in every neighborhood by supporting the American Library Association’s Build America’s Libraries Act in the House and Senate. This proposed legislation that would provide $5 billion for library construction and modernization in low-income and underrepresented communities. Learn more.
Keep fighting the good fight, readers!