header titled: Censorship Resources for Teachers, Librarians, and Communities

Penguin Young Readers stands against censorship in all forms. We believe in teachers, educators, and librarians and trust their expertise on what books to share with young readers in their classrooms and libraries. We believe that every reader deserves to see themselves in a book.

Below are some action items that Penguin Young Readers is taking along with some resources for teachers and librarians on what to do when a book is challenged in their community, along with tips they can give parents/caregivers.


We are committed to advocating for our authors and supporting equitable access to books through ongoing partnerships with and donations to a wide range of associations and nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting free expression and the right to read. We continually promote our titles by LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC creators to teachers and librarians in every state through advertising, events, and conferences in addition to creating a our frequently challenged resources database that feature reviews, awards, and educator materials for educators and librarians to use when combatting book challenges. We also have expanded our partnership with PEN America, an organization that champions the freedom to write and protects free expression, in addition to donating to and partnering with organizations like NCAC, EveryLibrary, NCTE, ALA, and #Freadom Fighters. This work is ongoing so please check back for updates and new resources.

NEW: Penguin Random House has joined forces with PEN America, our authors, and the parents of Escambia County, FL to champion free expression and defend books in court. Find out more here.



If a book is challenged in your community, get invovled. Below are some starting point action items and they may vary depending on your community. Book Riot has a more robust toolkit for everyone that we recommend checking out.


  • Talk to teachers and librarians in your community about it.

  • Attend school and library board meetings.

  • Contact your local, state, or federal representatives. Learn more about how to speak to your reps around this issue here.

  • Show support for teachers, librarians, and book creators.

  • Talk with your friends, family, and neighbors and post on social media.

  • Vote


  • Be aware of what's in your collection & curriculum policies

  • Report challenges to censorship orgs and publishers

  • Have conversations with adminstrators, parents, and young readers

  • Be active in promoting your school or library supports intellectual freedom


Whether you are a author, citizen, student, parent, teacher, or librarian, we'd love to hear from you. If you are experiencing a challenge of a book, please report it to NCAC, ALA, or NCTE first. They can provide assistance. We'd also love to hear from you so we can better keep track of what books and authors are being challenged.


If you're not sure what to say, here is a template of how you can speak to your local, state, federal representative. A friendly reminder to please be as respectul as possible to the staff taking your call or email. You can also find more tips on what to say at school or library board meetings here.

Dear (Name):

(Book/Author) has recently been challenged in our [district/school/library/community]. A parent has the right to choose what books their children read; they do not have the right to decide what other children/teens read. Teachers and librarians are well trained in child/teen guidance and book selection. I trust them as they determine what books are appropriate for their classroom or library. I recognize that there may be community pressure to ban specific books. This should be a concern to all parents and citizens. Banning a book violates children’s/teen’s right to read, a provision granted them under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Censorship sends a powerful and negative message to young readers: It teaches them that a few loud voices can disrupt the rights of all. It implies a lack of trust in their ability to digest new ideas. It infers that their opinions don’t matter. Is conformity worth more than true learning? Knowledge protects children and prepares them to live and thrive in a complicated world. A lack of knowledge leaves them unprotected and unprepared to face life’s greatest challenges.

The American Library Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Association of American Publishers, American Society of Journalists and Authors, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of for Teachers of English, and Library of Congress Center for the Book are just a few of the organizations that support and promote the right to read, and freedom of thought. I urge you to get to know these organizations.

I am writing to urge your support as we strive to protect all children’s/teen’s constitutional rights. This protection is the greatest gifts we can grant young readers as they journey through life.



A recent report by PEN American on the rise in book bans found that of the 1,145 books challenged in the last 9 months:

  • 467 titles (41%) included protagonists or prominent secondary characters who were people of color

  • 247 titles (22%) directly address issues of race and racism

  • 379 titles (33%) explicitly address LGBTQ+ themes, or have protagonists or prominent secondary characters who are LGBTQ+

Books by and about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) characters/creators and the LGBTQIA+ community are being targeted by censorship groups. Queer and Trans Kids are Your Kids. Black, Asian, Native, and Latinx/Hispanic Stories are Your Kids Stories. Below are booklists where you can discover hundreds of books to bring into the classroom, library, or your own home bookshelf. Buy them, request them from your library, support them, read them.

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