All Students Deserve the Freedom to Read

Attacks on books are attacks on people. And on our children. Join us to protect the right of all students, no matter where they live, to access information and materials, including age-appropriate books.

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  • 4x increase in bans in 2021-22 vs. previous school year*
  • 40% of bans are related to proposed/enacted legislation or political pressure*
  • 1,600 books banned in 33 states last school year*

*PEN America estimates


Books are a powerful tool for understanding our similarities and our differences and learning our shared stories of confronting injustice. All students deserve the freedom to read stories as diverse and complex as the society we live in.

Yet, some politicians hope that by censoring diverse ideas, stories, and people, they can keep us divided and distracted from their failures to give our students everything they need to thrive.

When politicians ban books, they take away some students’ ability to see themselves and they hurt all students’ freedom to imagine a better future. Consider that of the 1,600 books banned in the 2022-23 school year:

  • 37% feature characters of color or themes of race and racism
  • 36% feature LGBTQ+ characters or themes
  • 34% include topics on health and wellbeing for students

Join educators across the country in our effort to ensure that all students need look no further than the shelves of their own school and classroom libraries to find books that reflect and honor their experiences or that offer insight into someone else’s world.

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MORE Actions You Can Take

  1. Read diverse books!

    Take NEA’s Read Across America Diverse Book Challenge and create opportunities in your community for parents and students to understand and support the value of diverse books for all.

  2. Be a voice for the Freedom to Read

    Learn how to talk about censorship, raise community awareness, and enlist the support of others to put an end to book bans and safeguard democratic freedoms.

  3. Pledge Your Support

    Add your name for free and open access to books for everyone.

  4. Register to Vote and Check Your Registration

    Check out our voter registration tools. The best way to make sure students have the freedom to read is to make our voices heard at the ballot box.