PEN AMERICA NEEDS YOUR HELP.
In classrooms, school districts, and libraries across the country, the freedom to read is under assault by restrictions and bans on books.
Book bans are a problem throughout the country, even as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis falsely calls them a “hoax.” The 2023 update to our book ban research series Banned in the USA found more than 4,000 instances of individual books being banned since the fall of 2021. This school year alone, 874 unique titles were affected.
Join us to #FreeTheBooks by taking action and making your voice heard.
WE CLIMB THIS HILL TOGETHER
Amanda Gorman’s book of the poem, The Hill We Climb, was recently removed from elementary school shelves in Miami Lakes, FL, based on the complaint of a single individual who claims the poem “is not educational and have indirectly hate messages.” Also, the ABC’s of Black History by Rio Cortez, Love to Langston by Tony Medina, and Cuban Kids by George Ancona were also removed from school shelves. Tell Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent and the administrators at the Bob Graham Educational Center that Amanda’s inaugural poem most certainly belongs on all school shelves.
PEN America, Penguin Random House, and a diverse group of authors have joined with parents and students from Escambia County, Florida, to file a federal lawsuit challenging removals and restrictions of books from school libraries that violate their rights to free speech and equal protection under the law.
- Join PEN America in telling Escambia County, Florida to put books back on shelves.
- Add your name to the growing band of activists working and striving to protect the written word.
- Stay informed of new threats and learn how you can help fight censorship by signing up for PEN America’s newsletter about educational censorship.
- Become a member of PEN America and join a dedicated community readers, writers, and free speech defenders.
FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS
Are you a student whose school or library has proposed or already removed or restricted access to books?
- Report book bans in your community, and get in touch with our experts.
- Our tip sheet, How to Fight Book Bans, has steps you can take to organize readers, writers, and educators in your community and fight back against bans, gag orders, and restrictions.
- Learn more about our Free Expression Advocacy Institutes, PEN America’s signature educational and training programs which are designed to provide students with innovative opportunities to learn about and take action on free expression issues in the United States and worldwide.
- Help other learn about book bans by sharing our book bans FAQ.
- Learn how to plan a peaceful protest.
Are you an author whose book has been restricted, banned, or threatened for removal?
- Start with our tip sheet for authors, So, Your Book Has Been Challenged.
- Stay in touch with PEN America and other writers who believe in the power of free speech by becoming a professional member today.
Are you a librarian facing threats, harassment, or pressure to remove books from your shelves?
- Start with our tip sheet for librarians, which is intended to equip librarians with strategies to navigate online abuse.
DONATIONS FROM ACTIVISTS LIKE YOU PROVIDE THE ESSENTIAL RESOURCES WE NEED TO DEFEND THE FREEDOM TO WRITE WORLDWIDE. PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION IN SUPPORT OF THIS VITAL WORK. THANK YOU.
- Download this sign and post a photo of yourself holding it with the hashtag #FreeTheBooks to show you cherish the right to read.
- Follow PEN America on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for updates on the latest news in attempts to restrict the freedom to read.
Banned in the USA: State Laws Supercharge Book Suppression in Schools
Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools
America’s Censored Classrooms
Literature Locked Up: How Prison Book Restriction Policies Constitute the Nation’s Largest Book Ban
The Reading List
Freedom to Read Student Ambassadors Town Hall – May 2023TueMay 232023
Freedom to Read Student Ambassadors Town Hall – July 2023ThuJuly 132023
2023 Pride Picnic with Next Gen PEN AmericaFriJune 162023
READ THE LATEST
PEN America Files Lawsuit Against Florida School District Over Unconstitutional Book BansMay 17, 2023
Outdoor Art Installation 5/11 and 5/13 in NYC Draws Attention to Crisis of Book Bans in Public SchoolsMay 4, 2023
The 11 Most Banned Books of the Start of the 2022-2023 School YearApril 20, 2023
Report A Book Ban
Stay In Touch
PEN America is hard at work fighting the the educational gag orders, book bans, and “transparency” bills that threaten free expression and academic freedom in the classroom. Sign up to receive email updates about PEN America’s vital work on these issues, including reports, legislative roundups, media coverage, and advocacy alerts.