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Texas leads the nation in banned books, according to report

Report shows 801 banned book bans in the state
Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 14:03:09-04

A report from PEN America states that Texas accounted for 801 book bans, which is more than any other state in 2021-22 school year.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the united states and worldwide, according to their website.

In the report, PEN America said 1,648 different books were banned during the 2021-2022 school year. The most-banned topics included LGBTQ+ content, sexual content and discussions about race.

Local transgender advocate Charlie Apple said one of the banned books called, "All Boys Aren’t Blue" by George M. Johnson is a book Apple relates with.

Apple said there were themes in the book about coming-of-age, which kids going through similar experiences could relate to.

“Being able to both see my identity reflected and challenged and then reflected once again was beautiful and a very good experience," Apple said.

Johnson, one of the most banned authors in America, spoke to CBS News about the campaign to remove the book from libraries.

"Many of the books being challenged are for teens, teens aged 14-18, they are using the word children because they want it to seem like these books that have heavy topics are being given to 5 year olds or 7 year olds, and that is simply not the case," Johnson said.

Authors, including Johnson, are encouraging libraries and bookstores to make it easier for teens to read banned books.

Charlie said banning books for kids in grades K-12 leaves them with a narrow view of what the world looks like.

“And on the other hand, we have a bunch of youth who has never seen themselves reflected in the world. But restricting books at the high school and down level, is going to pull those students back," said Apple.