There are efforts to change how decisions are made about which books libraries should stock and which section they belong in. Some advocate using a national rating system like the one used for movies.
Scholastic faced backlash for putting books dealing with race, gender and sexuality in their own optional category for middle school book fairs. It's now apologizing and working to reverse course.
Scholastic created a separate fair category for diverse books, which it says is to help schools navigate the complexities of book bans. Librarians accused the company of caving to censorship.
The number of bans and restrictions in the U.S. rose 33% in the last school year, according the the report. Florida had more bans than any other state.
Most of the scrutinized books were written by or contained subject matter about people of color or members of the LGBTQ+ community, according to research by the American Library Association.
Across the country, books and lessons that represent different families and identities are increasingly the target of conservative pushback — even when they're for the youngest of learners. Educators and free-speech advocates say the books and lessons caught up in these bans often simply acknowledge the existence of different identities. That's crucial, experts say, to help young children develop empathy and an understanding of themselves — especially for children whose families include people of color or LGBTQ+ relatives. Of the bans targeting picture books, about three-quarters are books that address LGBTQ+ themes and roughly half mention race, PEN America says.
After a parent's complaint, a school district in Utah banned the Bible from middle and elementary schools for containing "vulgarity or violence" inappropriate for the age group.
Journalists from nine North Carolina newsrooms learned that over the past two years, people have brought at least 189 book challenges across the state's 115 public school districts. The reporting was timed to coincide with Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of the importance of public records, open government, and transparency.