According to PEN America, Texas has banned more books from public libraries and public schools than any other state in the country. The books that have been targeted are those related to LGBTQ authors or stories, race issues, and abortion.
The report made by PEN and published on Monday says that Texas has banned 801 books across 22 districts and 174 titles have been banned at least twice between July 2021 and June 2022. PEN America defines a ban as any action taken against a book based on its content after challenges from parents or lawmakers. The report shows that 41% of the banned books have LGBTQ themes, protagonists or prominent secondary characters and that 40% have a protagonist or a prominent secondary character of color. 75% of the banned material is fiction, 24% is non-fiction and 1% is poetry.
The most frequent books removed are “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe; “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison; “Roe v. Wade: A Woman’s Choice?” by Susan Dudley Gold; “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Pérez; and “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson.
According to PEN, there are around 50 groups operating at the national, state, or local levels to campaign and mobilize around what they view as the dangers of books. Of the national groups, Moms for Liberty, formed in 2021, has spread most broadly, with over 200 local chapters identified on their website.