One of the biggest bookish news stories this week is about a Tennessee school district’s ban on the Holocaust graphic novel series Maus. People across the world are already fighting back by pushing the series to the top of bestseller lists and sending the novels to the Tennesee county. Unsurprisingly, McMinn County’s success in banning a book has prompted book bans all over the country.
Katy Independent School District in Texas has moved to ban various books dealing with sex, LGBTQIA+ identities, and race. Realistically, they are banning coming-of-age stories from the children and teens who are coming of age. This is taking a toll on students who feel they do not have the support to discuss topics like sexuality and gender at home. One student of the county said, “I’ve struggled with my own identity as a queer person, it’s been really, really important to me that I have access to these books.”
Naturally, citizens are fighting back at what parents are referring to as “sexualizing children” and “reverse racism.” Texas school librarians have gotten together on social media to push back against these unprecedented bans. While banning books is not new, The American Library Association reported a 67% increase in attempts to ban books between September 2020 and September 2021. Carolyn Foote, an ex-librarian in Austin, is helping lead the #FReadom movement, which points out that reading is a voluntary experience and that no one has the right to censor content that is interesting to others.
In an effort to fight these bans, the ALA has a list of resources for you to help bring these banned books back to bookshelves. In addition, many kids and teens have taken to creating Banned Book Clubs, book clubs that exclusively read banned content. Clearly, banning books is not as successful as people hope it is. Maus has returned to the top of Amazon’s bestsellers list, and it is only a matter of time before the content in Texas is promoted by booksellers and publishers.
To read about how Bookstr celebrates banned books, click here.
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