Books are for all of us.

Freedom to Read

Whatever our color, background, or zip code, we want our children to have an education that imparts honesty about who we are, integrity in how we treat others, and freedom to pursue our dreams. Certain politicians have denied some children the resources they need for a high-quality education by purposefully mischaracterizing and stoking fears about what is taught in schools and calling for book bans. Censoring books written by mostly Black, brown, and LGBTQ authors denies students the ability to see themselves and understand our similarities and our differences.

Must-Watch Videos

A Future that Includes All of Us

Marley Dias — activist, author, and NEA’s Read Across America Ambassador — speaks about why we need to ensure there are more books where kids see themselves as protagonists in their own stories.

How Do Book Bans Impact Students?

Author and 2020-2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds and Read Across America Ambassador Marley Dias discuss censorship in schools and why students need freedom to learn.
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The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf

What your child reads sets the path for their own self-worth as well as how they see others. Grace Lin is a children’s book author/illustrator whose book, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,” received the Newbery Book Honor. She shows how the books that are not on your child’s bookshelf are just as important as those that are.

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As certain politicians stoke fear in an attempt to deny children the resources they need for a high-quality education based on what they look like, their gender identities or where they live, book bans are becoming increasingly common even though the public overwhelmingly opposes these tactics. Communities from Texas to Colorado to New Jersey and beyond are taking pro-active measures to protect students’ freedom to read. Find how local communities are working with guidance from the American Library Association to ensuring our students can thrive.



NEA Resources stories:

  • The Freedom to Read and Learn
    As a librarian, [Erika] Long has the foundational knowledge, pedagogy, and training to ensure the book titles in her library collection are best suited for students. But when books are removed or banned, Long says, “Students lose a full sense of history, and for educators, it creates a situation where they’re expected to teach a one-sided history.”

More from NEA:

  • Member Monday: Jacqueline Davis, Indiana
    “Because on the shelves of these rooms (our libraries) lie answers, hope, and connection. Take these books away, and you’re taking away the conversations our children are longing to have about life’s hardest questions.”
  • Member Monday: Gwyneth Jones, Maryland
    “Some of the books being targeted have been on library shelves for 20 years or more. When I heard that one school district banned the graphic novel Maus, I came in the next day and put the book up on a big display saying it was banned everywhere, but not here.”

Take Action

Support the Freedom to Read

Join us in making all students have to look no further than the shelves of their own school libraries to find age-appropriate books that show they are reflected and respected.

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School Board Activism

Tips on working with school boards and making your advocacy for students the best it can be, including a step-by-step guide to getting a resolution passed in your school district.

View the Guide

Read Across America

Among books being used to stoke division and thus being banned are more than two dozen recommended by NEA’s Read Across America.

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New Research

The Power of Inclusive Education — Ethnic studies and a culturally responsive and racially inclusive curriculum benefits all students and is the most effective educational approach.

View the Report