Challenging School Book Challenges


The National Coalition Against Censorship has decried an “organized political attack on books in schools [that] threatens the education of America’s children.”

The NCAC statement released on Wednesday attracted a coalition of more than 600 signatories – among them, 50 bookstores, 17 publishers and over 450 individual authors, teachers and librarians – all denouncing, “ongoing attempts to purge schools of books” as part of “a partisan political battle fought in school board meetings and state legislatures.”

Statement supporters included the American Civil Liberties Union, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Macmillan, Abrams, the American Library Association, PEN America and the Authors Guild.

Challenging School Book Challenges

The National Coalition Against Censorship was formed by activists affiliated with the ACLU in response to the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Miller v. California, which narrowed First Amendment protections for sexual expression and opened the door to obscenity prosecutions.

Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp similarly expressed his concern in a statement issued before Thanksgiving, notes Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer.

According to Karp, the list of “Simon & Schuster titles facing bans and challenges has grown by 46% in recent months.” He added that these actions pose, “an existential threat to the livelihood of our authors and our ability to publish free from censorious attack.”

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Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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