American Library Association revealed that the number of book challenges in 2022 was nearly twice the then-record total from 2021 and by far the most since the ALA had begun keeping data 20 years ago. Credit: Flickr

In May 10, 1933, the German Student Union organized a nationwide day of book burning to incinerate all books deemed incompatible with Nazi ideology, including titles by Jewish, half-Jewish, communist, socialist, anarchist, liberal, pacifist and sexologist authors. This history has never been more relevant than during the current Banned Book Week, an annual event sponsored by dozens of organizations committed to the free access of information, from the American Library Association to the National Council of Teachers of English. 

This is no ordinary Banned Book Week. In the past, Americans typically lamented scattered examples of small-town libraries and prudish school boards banning books like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Those numbers now feel quaint. Between July 2022 and July 2023, according to a startling new report by PEN America, 3,362 instances of book banning took place in U.S. […]

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