Report on banned books in scools for 2022

The year 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of PEN America, an organization that "stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible."

In April 2022, PEN released the report "Banned in the USA: Rising School Book Bans Threaten Free Expression and Students' First Amendment Rights."

PEN has long championed human rights and free speech, and this first report highlights that "Book bans in public schools have recurred throughout American history, and have long been an issue of concern to PEN America, as a literary and free expression advocacy organization. Over the past nine months, the scope of such censorship has expanded rapidly. In response, PEN America has collated an Index of School Book Bans, offering a snapshot of the trend. The Index documents decisions to ban books in school libraries and classrooms in the United States from July 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022."

An update to the report was recently released, covering March 2022 until the end of the year. A snapshot of the findings concludes:

• "From July 2021 to June 2022, PEN America's Index of School Book Bans lists 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,648 unique book titles.
• The 1,648 titles are by 1,261 different authors, 290 illustrators, and 18 translators, impacting the literary, scholarly, and creative work of 1,553 people altogether."

The report focuses on the following questions:

"What Types of Book Bans Are Taking Place in Schools?

What Types of Content Are Being Banned?

Who Is Behind Book Bans? The Role of Groups"

Where Are Book Bans Happening?

The report concludes, "Book challenges impede free expression rights, which must be the bedrock of public schools in an open, inclusive, and democratic society. These bans pose a dangerous precedent to those in and out of schools, intersecting with other movements to block or curtail the advances in civil rights for historically marginalized people.

Against the backdrop of other efforts to roll back civil liberties and erode democratic norms, the dynamics surrounding school book bans are a canary in the coal mine for the future of American democracy, public education, and free expression. We should heed this warning."

The initial report and the update contain maps, charts, videos, and other images, in addition to the specific finding of the research project. The research also focuses on legislative changes, school district policies, preemptive bans, silent bans, informal efforts, and other restrictions. Nadine Farid Johnson and Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D researched and compiled the report

Here is a list of the most banned titles.