Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #BannedBooks

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🧵How did PEN America defend and celebrate #FreeExpression this week?

On Wednesday, we urged school officials in Nixa, #Missouri, to retain Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus and two other books that were flagged by as "sexually explicit."…
We also sat down with Art Spiegelman, who reflected on the history of fascism and the idea that #Maus was being attacked for sexual content: "I was offended just like they were, but I was offended by describing a naked corpse as a nude woman."… (2/x)
Ahead of a June 20 school board meeting in Nixa, Missouri, we encouraged everyone who opposes censorship to tell school officials that Maus belongs in schools.

Use this form to send your own letter:… (3/x) #BannedBooks #FreeTheBooks
Read 7 tweets
Attacking books as “pornography” has become a common tactic for book banners from Ron DeSantis to #Moms4Liberty.

Now a new version of the famous Holocaust diary is being called ‘Anne Frank pornography’ and getting banned from schools, writes @AndrewLapin.…
Published in 2017 with the endorsement of the Basel-based Anne Frank Foundation, the illustrated Anne Frank's Diary was "a bid to preserve interest in the Holocaust by future generations," reported
@JewishJournal.… (2/x) #History #BannedBooks Image
Describing why he authored the book during a Q&A in Paris, writer Ari Folman, who was born to Holocaust survivors, said, “I’m worried we’re coming to an era where there won’t be Holocaust survivors on Earth, no living witnesses to tell the story." #History #BannedBooks (3/x)
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As more schools target ‘Maus,’ Art Spiegelman’s fears are deepening, reports @ThePlumLineGS

Read free: #BannedBooks #Censorship 🧵
As they target 'pornography' or 'woke indoctrination,' "Right-wing culture warriors pushing restrictions on classroom instruction sometimes defend these measures by insisting... they avoid targeting historically or intellectually significant material," writes @ThePlumLineGS (2/x)
"A new fracas involving a school board in Missouri will test this premise... it indicates that those seeking to censor books seem oddly unconstrained by the principle that they are supposed to avoid restricting important, challenging historical material." #Maus #BannedBooks (3/x)
Read 13 tweets
"WHAT'S AT STAKE when we talk about book bans is student learning and well-being," writes PEN America's @jonfreadom in @USATODAY. "Semantic gymnastics about what is or isn’t a ban is an effort to deny and distract from the problem." #BannedBooks #Reading…
"To avoid charges of #censorship, school administrators, government officials and groups like Moms for Liberty have taken to calling the results of their efforts 'quarantine' or 'curation' – anything but 'ban.'

This debate is not new." (2/x)
"Writing about book banning for The First Amendment Encyclopedia in 2009, Susan Webb explained, 'Opponents of publications sometimes use the tactic of restricting access rather than calling for the physical removal of books.'" (3/x)
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PEN America: White House Announcement of Anti-Book Ban Coordinator Treats Crisis with Deserved Seriousness…
(2/x) In response to President Biden’s announcement that he will appoint an anti-book ban coordinator, PEN America’s Washington Managing Director Nadine Farid Johnson issued the following statement: “The growing movement to ban books—especially books focused on the experiences...
".... of people of color and the LGBTQ+ community—represents a threat not just to the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, but to the well-being of students, who deserve to see themselves represented in works of literature and nonfiction...." (3/x)
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"The parent... (said) she 'is not for eliminating or censoring any books' while saying that Gorman’s book and several others*... shouldn’t be available to students at all. We’d bring up George Orwell... but then people might want to ban his work as well."…
*The other books challenged along with The Hill We Climb by @TheAmandaGorman were:

“Countries in the News: Cuba” by Kieran Walsh
“Cuban Kids” by George Ancona
“Love to Langston” by @PoetTonyMedina
“The ABCs of Black History” by @OhReallyRio
"Love to Langston (by @PoetTonyMedina) is a tribute to the life of one of America’s greatest literary figures... His books and his poems are central to the American literary canon," writes @bumpyjonasdc… #BannedBooks #Censorship
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"How do 11 people think they have the right to tell all students what they are allowed to read?" asks @JoyAnnReid.

ICYMI: An analysis by The Washington Post found that "a majority of book challenges can be attributed to a very small number of people—11 to be exact."

These repeat challengers are often assisted by conservative book banning groups like Moms for Liberty.…
PEN America's April 2023 #BannedInTheUSA report documented "an escalation of book bans and censorship in classrooms and school libraries across the United States," with book bans most prevalent in Texas, Florida, Missouri, Utah, and South Carolina.

➡️… Image
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DeSantis: “The whole book ban thing is a hoax.”

Reality: "DeSantis is vastly playing down the extent to which individual school districts & libraries... have removed books... Florida ranks 2nd, as the state with the most bans, according to PEN America."…
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says reports of book banning in Florida are a "hoax" and that only "pornographic and inappropriate" materials have been removed from Florida classrooms.

His claims are false. #BannedBooks #NotAHoax…
In the 2021-22 school year PEN America documented 565 books banned in Florida schools. Some were banned permanently, others temporarily pending investigations. The result is the same: Students can’t access books. You can see how we define a book ban here.…
Read 9 tweets
🧵A K-8 school in Miami-Dade County recently removed @TheAmandaGorman's The Hill We Climb from elementary school library shelves. They say it’s not been banned, but… Image
... When you restrict or diminish access to a book, that’s a ban.

Moving the book to middle school shelves means elementary students can’t or won’t get it.

Their access has diminished. (2/x)
The Hill We Climb was widely praised and read at a Presidential Inauguration.

It was moved to middle schools along with @OhReallyRio's The ABC’s of Black History.

This cannot be separated from the wider movement to restrict books by Black authors and about Black history. (3/x)
Read 11 tweets
🧵PEN America Files Lawsuit against Florida School District over Unconstitutional Book Bans

Lawsuit joined by @penguinrandom, parents, and authors asserts that Escambia County School Board unlawfully removes or restricts access to books about race, racism, and LGBTQ identities. Image
Our lawsuit alleges Escambia County has set out to exclude certain ideas from their school libraries by removing or restricting books, some of which have been on the shelves for years—even decades. Read more here:… Image
According to the lawsuit, the school board’s removal and restriction of access to books discussing race, racism, and LGBTQ identities, against the recommendations of the district review committee charged with evaluating book challenges, violates the First Amendment. Image
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DeSantis called reports of book bans in #Florida “a hoax in service of trying to pollute and sexualize our children.”

Teachers in fear of felony charges carrying up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine would beg to differ. #FreeTheBooks #Education…
“Jean Faulk, a 65-year-old world history teacher… had carefully curated her classroom library over the years, and the task of combing through several hundred volumes seemed insurmountable. So later that day she stripped her shelves… only dictionaries and encyclopedias remained”
“In Jacksonville, a third-grade teacher penned an op-ed describing how one of her students, an avid reader, had cried after learning he couldn’t access the classroom library.” #FreedomToRead #Florida
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At the Extremism’s Impact On Public Education forum, hosted by @indivisibletx24, I talked about the money, ideology, cannonballs into the deep end, and ripples that come from it. (1.1) #WhiteChrisitanNationalism #publiceducation #bannedbooks
At the Extremism’s Impact On Public Education forum, hosted by @indivisibletx24, this clip is where I delved into the cannonball and specific ripples. (1.2) #WhiteChrisitanNationalism #publiceducation #bannedbooks
At the Extremism’s Impact On Public Education forum, hosted by @indivisibletx24, it’s Patriot Mobile time. With a lot of money. Going after school boards. (2.1) #WhiteChrisitanNationalism #publiceducation #bannedbooks
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🧵 In light of the national book banning trends, I’ve been researching student engagement with controversial literature. For some context, last spring, I faced an emotionally taxing curriculum challenge over a book I taught in my AP Literature course.
I decided to use my summer grad courses to research, write, and reflect upon my experience to help others. Here are a few interesting findings.
Reading controversial literature helps students engage in civic dialogue.
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In January, a Tennessee school district issued a report on 31 texts from its K-5 English language arts curriculum that had been challenged as being obscene, “critical race theory,” or inappropriate for elementary-age children.

Ultimately, only one title was removed.
Complaints targeted books in all five grades, and just over one-third of the criticisms came from parents who have elementary-age children in the district. The remaining complaints came from community members whose students are older or have no children in the district at all. A graphic showing 31 texts ...
One of the most common criticisms was that the material exposed students to difficult topics too young, or were otherwise age-inappropriate. #EdChat #k12 #EduTwitter #TeacherTwitter "To some extend, age-a...
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Daily Bookmarks to GAVNet 02/28/2022…
Higher levels of biodiversity appear to reduce extinction risk in birds…
#biodiversity, #BirdExtinction, #RiskReduction
The Single Most Important Question In The World Right Now…
#RussiaUkraine, #internationalRelations, #GlobalBrinkmanship
Read 13 tweets
The Krause List being used to ban books across the USA was created by Texas Republican State Rep Matt Krause.

The @BookRiot associate editor went through the 850 books on the list and "found some interesting and unsettling things."

"Perhaps the most disturbing trend I saw in this list is the challenging of books that teach students their rights.

Of all the things to teach in school or for kids to have access to, this is one of the most important."

#BANNED #BannedBooks… Image
"Not only is every book on human sexuality disallowed, from The Baby Tree to teen books about STIs, but also anything that mentions teen pregnancy, including YA novels. About 5% of the books banned have to do with pregnancy."… Image
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Authors! Book bans are surging across the country. This surge is not random. It has in part been driven by organized online forums and even some political campaigns. If your book has been challenged, here’s a thread on what you can do. #bannedbooks #freadom #booktwitter
Consult these two guides from @ncacensorship on defending LGBTQ stories ( and responding to book challenges as an educator (
Speak out! Your voice matters. Check out this powerful essay by Carmen Maria Machado who signed PEN America’s letter to the Leander school district w/ other authors whose works were targeted for removal, demanding the Texas district reinstate their books.
Read 7 tweets

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