Sales on the up, bans on the riseChildren of all ages in schools all around the country are affected, and interventions by groups seeking to remove books from young people’s reach are impacting access to content on key topics. While the state with the most bans was Texas, with more than 800 titles banned in school classrooms and libraries over a 12-month period, overall the number of book ban attempts on unique titles in the first eight months of 2022 was higher than in all of 2021, and efforts to ban books are most prevalent in educational institutions. More than 60 percent of challenges made to books happened in schools or school libraries, begging the question – which books are being banned, and why?
Censorship attempts were made for a number of reasons, with individuals and institutions taking issue with books tackling certain topics. Two topics in particular were deemed problematic – the books most likely to be banned were those dealing with LGBTQ+ themes or featuring prominent characters of color. The majority of banned titles were in the young adult category, aimed at those aged 13 to 17 years old. This makes teens the group most affected by the restriction of books in educational environments – but who are the people seeking to have these books removed?