Rising numbers of books have been banned in American schools

12 April 2022

In the period 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, some 1,145 book titles were banned in American schools, according to PEN America, an authors, and free speech advocacy, group.

In total, for the nine-month period represented, the Index lists 1,586 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,145 unique book titles. This encompasses different types of bans, including removals of books from school libraries, prohibitions in classrooms, or both, as well as books banned from circulation during investigations resulting from challenges from parents, educators, administrators, board members, or responses to laws passed by legislatures.

Titles featuring LGBTQIA+ characters, and people of colour, are among many of the books that have become the subject of bans. PEN America notes that while challenges or objections to books made available to school students are within the rights of parents, the number of titles that have been challenged “expanded rapidly” during the nine month reporting period.