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What’s behind the national surge in book bans?

USAToday: “…It’s impossible to know how many book-ban attempts have been inspired by, which adds new reviews weekly […The site launched in 2022 to showcase a book-rating system that has also been used by right-wing political activist group Moms for Liberty.] But in one researcher’s national database tallying more than 3,000 challenges to library books during 2022-23, a USA TODAY analysis found at least 1,900 were for titles that appear on  According to PEN America, a non-profit organization that champions freedom of speech, the nation’s 11 most-challenged books are also all found on BookLooks.  And it’s not just individual book challenges citing BookLooks. In Virginia, one school district has adopted the site as an official reference tool for vetting its library books. In Texas, a legislator pushed to pass a new law requiring book dealers to rate and recall books by referencing an “unsuitable booklist” sourced mostly from BookLooks.  Yet all these examples likely represent only a sliver of the impact BookLooks has had on the national surge in book-banning efforts in the past two years. Last school year saw an unprecedented 3,362 instances of books being banned, restricted or access-limited, up 33% from the 2021-2022 school year, according to PEN America.”

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