An analysis of 872 challenges to 444 books in more than 100 school districts in the U.S. conducted by the Washington Post revealed books featuring LGBTQ characters, themes and stories are banned the most, while nearly half of all books that were challenged were eventually returned to library shelves.
Compared with all targeted titles, those about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lives were 30 percent more likely to be yanked, while those by and about people of color, or those about race and racism were 20 percent likelier to survive challenges, the Post found.
Librarians who spoke to the newspaper were heartened, in many cases, by the high rate of return of challenged books to their shelves, but they also detailed how much time and effort was required to defend them.
The fight to protect access to books comes amid a book banning boom in the U.S., with an alarming increase in attempts to censor books in K-12 schools, universities and public libraries. Many of these efforts seek to pull books with LGBTQ characters or themes and are part of a broader, Republican-led movement to chisel away at the rights and status of LGBTQ Americans.