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Banned Books: Florida Surpassed Texas As Having The Most Books Pulled From Shelves

Thursday, PEN America released its latest nationwide documentation of school book bans, compiling bans for the full 2022-2023 school year. The key takeaway is that book bans spiked 33 % over the last school year.
The report includes this analysis:
    • Book bans are not happening solely in traditionally conservative states or counties. Examining states with book bans against recent voting patterns, 19 of these 33 states (58 percent) voted Republican during the 2020 presidential election, while 14 states (42 percent) voted Democratic.
    • However, Republican-leaning states had more districts banning books than Democratic-leaning states; 50 districts out of 153 (33 percent) are in states that voted Democratic in the 2020 presidential election, while 103 districts are in states that voted Republican. These 103 districts account for 88 percent of all book ban cases in the 2022–23 school year.
Here are other top-line findings:
*Florida surpassed Texas as having the most books pulled from shelves. Laws and tactics that emerged in the Sunshine State are also being replicated elsewhere
*PEN America recorded 1,406 book ban cases in Florida, followed by 625 bans in Texas, 333 bans in Missouri, 281 bans in Utah, and 186 book bans in Pennsylvania.
*Nearly half of all book bans (48 percent) during the 2022-23 school year deal with violence or physical abuse, including books that include sexual assault; 30 percent include characters of color and themes of race and racism; 30 percent represent LGBTQ+ identities; and six percent include a transgender character

*Over 75 percent of the books banned are young adult books, middle grade books, chapter books, or picture books — in other words, books specifically written and selected for younger audiences.

*Of the 3,362 books banned this year, 1,263 were banned from classrooms and school libraries, compared to only 333 books in this category last year. This represents an increase of nearly 400 percent compared to last school year.

Read the complete report

Source: PEN