As PEN America celebrates our 100th anniversary defending the freedom to read and write, book bans and restrictions are on the rise in classrooms and libraries across the country. We invite readers, authors, educators, librarians, and everyone who opposes censorship in America to get involved during Banned Books Week 2022 (Sept. 18-24). Learn more about PEN America’s groundbreaking research, this year’s events, and how you can help us #FreeTheBooks!
In-Person Banned Books Week Events
Virtual Banned Books Week Events
Hear From Banned Authors
Banned in the USA Q&A: Varian Johnson asks if book bans are meant to ‘keep a certain population of our country down’
Take Action: #FreeTheBooks
In classrooms, school districts, and libraries across the country, the freedom to read is under assault by restrictions and bans on books. PEN America needs your help to #FreeTheBooks
Follow Along with PEN America's Live Book Ban Index
PEN America tracks book bans in libraries and classrooms across America in our Index of School Book Bans, updated weekly.
Right to Read in American Prisons Project
Over the course of the past year, PEN America’s Right to Read in American Prisons Project focused on ways prisons and jails across the country restricted access to literature and educational materials through book censorship and state book ban lists. During PEN America’s recognition of Banned Books Week, we are excited to share several essays written by incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and allied people on the crucial role of books in their lives.
Read Banned Books
In this reading list, we chose to spotlight 78 of the most banned books across America. Every book on this list has been banned over 4 times in schools and libraries. And everywhere, it is the books that have long fought for a place on the shelf that are being targeted. Books by authors of color, by LGBTQ+ authors, by women. Books about racism, sexuality, gender, history. Read banned books, and fight for the right to read