PEN America is teaming up with critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and global pop icon P!nk to give away 2,000 banned books at her concerts in Florida and draw attention to the book banning crisis across the country.
According to PEN America’s latest report, Banned in the USA: The Mounting Pressure to Censor, book bans increased 33% in the 2022-23 school year.
The report highlights the disproportionate number of bans occurring in Florida — where 40 percent of all book bans took place in the 2022-23 school year — and shows how state legislation and coordinated pressure campaigns from local groups and individuals have driven mass restrictions on access to literature.
Censorship has swept the United States in the past two years, with nearly 6,000 book bans since PEN America began tracking them in 2021. Dozens of states have passed or debated laws that restrict the freedom to read, leaving teachers and librarians feeling pressure to limit children’s access to information.
Shop PEN America
Get P!nk’s “I read banned books” sweater or wear original designs by banned authors to show your support for the freedom to read.
5 Things You Can Do to Fight Book Bans
Write Your Representatives
We believe in the freedom to read. We believe that teachers and librarians deserve respect, and children deserve to learn about their world. Do you?
See our open letter supporting the freedom to read and send a letter to your representatives.
Support Organizations That Defend Readers and Writers
PEN America is tracking book bans across the country, successfully advocating against censorship, and challenging book banners in court.
Buy or Check Out a Banned Book
Support free access to books by showing your interest in challenged titles. If you check out a book from a library or buy the book, it helps demonstrate to libraries and publishers that the book is valuable to readers.
Speak Out About Book Bans
Stand up for the right to read, even before challenges begin in your community. And bring your friends! Here are a few ways you can speak out.
- Attend a School or Library Board Meeting.
Not sure what to say at a school board meeting? Check out our tips on what to say at school board meetings and our sample letter to share with a school or library.
- Join the Next Generation of Book Defenders.
PEN America’s Free Expression Institutes train the next generation to fight book bans in their communities. High school and college students can sign up for our free, online courses to learn more about how to defend the freedom to read.
- Find a Group – or Form Your Own.
Look for groups in your community that are fighting book bans, like our partners the Florida Freedom to Read Project or Annie’s Foundation. Find a group at Fightforthefirst.com.
- Speak Publicly About Books.
Books change lives. Show how a book made a difference in your life with a letter to a local or school newspaper, send a postcard to an author or librarian, or share your story on social media with the hashtag #FreeTheBooks.