Public libraries have a key role to play in fighting growing national trends in book bans. The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced that it tracked an “unprecedented” number of challenges to library, school, and university materials in 2021, and the books being challenged often focus on race, LGBTQ+ issues, religion, and history.   

Beginning May 23, NYC’s public libraries challenge you to defend the right to read banned books—by reading banned books. Our expert librarians selected 10 banned or challenged books, which we believe are not only enjoyable, but can help develop greater understanding and empathy: the very tools needed to fight ignorance and hate.