Within recent years, banned books have become a hot topic in the United States media because its constantly getting banned in conservative states. The topics inside these narratives are race, gender, sexuality, and American history.
While Texas, Florida, and Tennessee remain in the top spots for the most books banned (as of February 2023), a few states have popped up as the leaders in the 2022-2023 school year. South Carolina, Utah, Missouri, and Pennsylvania have joined the list for most books banned this year alone.
Here are the top three:
Texas: over 801
Some studies show that when long lists of books are being evaluated, books that contain issues such as mental health, death and grief, abuse or violence are also being pulled.
So, why are book bans increasing?
Movements and Hot Issues
In recent years, certain issues and hot topics have been popping up in the media. Movements that address race have accelerated the topic into the public eye. The topic of sexuality has also increased the national and global awareness. Due to these issues becoming more popular and controversial among the U.S. population, certain legislatures have banned books related to these subjects.
Lately, parents and guardians have become more passionate in school legislation. Consequently, this has caused more books, especially those containing sexual themes or content that is deemed pornographic, to be investigated or pulled from school districts. Therefore, more public outcry and pressure could explain more legislation banning books.
Popular Banned Books
In 2022, there were over a thousand demands over book issues according to the ALA. Of these, some of the most popular banned books were The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, Looking for Alaska by John Green, and Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe. All three books contain some kind of controversial or sensitive topic — such as violence, SA, racism or sexuality.
Out of all of the states in the U.S., Texas, Florida, and Tennessee have been at the top of the list for most banned books. South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Utah have joined them in the 2022-2023 school year. The topic of book banning has steadily risen in recent years, and will likely continue, especially in these top states.
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