October 5, 2023
Let Freedom Read!
Banned Books Week is October 1 – 7, 2023
Whether it’s Toni Morrison’s Beloved that opened your heart in high school English class or Michelle Alexander’s New Jim Crow that powered a generation of people to fight against mass incarceration, so many of us have been transformed by a book that’s currently on a banned book list.
But it’s more than books. These bans represent a larger swath of chilling authoritarian-style policies that are affecting communities across the country, seeking to divide us along lines of difference, particularly race, and sexuality.
According to PEN America, in the 2022–23 school year, there have been 3,362 instances of book bans in US public school classrooms and libraries. These bans removed student access to 1,557 unique book titles–the works of more than 1,480 authors, illustrators, and translators. Authors whose books are targeted are most frequently female, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ individuals.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Here are some ideas to fight back against book bans!
The freedom to read is under attack — let’s do something about it!
On October 7, 2023, we’re asking everyone to take at least one action to help defend books from censorship and to stand up for the library staff, educators, writers, publishers, and booksellers who make them available!
Show us how you’re taking action on social media by using the hashtags #LetFreedomReadDay and #BannedBooksWeek!
And don’t forget: Censorship won’t stop just because Banned Books Week does — you can take action any day of the year! Save this email for future reference.
If you have 5 minutes:
Call a decision-maker
If you have 15 minutes
Do you want to help others access banned books? You can donate the books you purchase to:
Spread the Word
Download the two-page 2022 Infographic
13 Most Banned Books
When we all work together for justice so much is possible.