Book challenges and censorship laws have exploded this year in parts of the US, wiping hundreds of titles off school library shelves. Overwhelmingly, books written by LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors and featuring characters with similar identities make up the most frequently challenged and banned titles. Hysteria and misinformation about transgender people and history standards which refuse to shy away from the role of racism in shaping the nation have been two of the major drivers in this latest wave of book bans.
This age-old pattern in book censorship is nothing new, but the blatantly partisan slant and legislative muscle behind the bans certainly is. “Combatting indoctrination” is often given as the motive, but restricting young readers’ access to materials and viewpoints so aggressively is itself a mechanism for indoctrination.
As publishers, we are dedicated to denouncing censorship and protecting freedom of expression. Below, you’ll find a list of some of our more commonly banned books. For more information and resources on tracking and combatting book bans, please visit Penguin Random House’s Banned Books Resources Hub or the Penguin Young Reader Censorship Resources Site.