The Kids’ Right to Read Project is a collaboration of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). The Kids’ Right to Read Project offers support, education, and advocacy to people facing book challenges or bans and engages local activists in promoting the freedom to read.

In the past couple of years, KRRP has confronted challenges and bans involving over 250 titles in 28 states.

The Kids’ Right to Read Project provides:

  • Advice and assistance to students, teachers, and others opposing book-banning in schools and communities nationwide
  • Educational materials to promote community awareness about the right to read, including printed and online resources on the First Amendment in Schools and a Book Censorship Toolkit
  • Support for local activism by reaching out to students, teachers, booksellers, librarians, journalists, and other community members
  • Access to a nationwide network of advocates and activists involved in promoting and defending the right to read
  • A clearinghouse of information for students, journalists, scholars and others, created by tracking book censorship incidents across the country. Click here to view the full Kids’ Right to Read Project Report.

How the project fights book censorship:

In Louisville, KY, a principal removed Beloved by Toni Morrison from AP English classes when students were 30 pages from the end of the novel, and class discussions were terminated, because some parents complained about the book’s racial and sexual content.

In Grand Rapids, MI, school officials planned to razor out the play, TopDog/UnderDog by Suzan Lori-Parks, and any other “objectionable” material in an anthology in the AP curriculum.

In Baxley, GA, the school board banned Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Native Son by Richard Wright, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley despite parents’ and teachers’ approval after a local church minister challenged the books.

In cases like these, we contact local reporters, teachers, booksellers, librarians, and others involved in the controversy, write letters to the school board or local newspaper in support of the books, provide educational materials and talking points to local activists, and track cases online. We also respond to student research inquiries about banned books and censorship in schools.

Local community involvement is essential to the work of the Kids’ Right to Read Project. We work directly with teachers, librarians and booksellers to provide resources and support for their advocacy for the right to read.

In addition, we conduct interview with authors whose books have been challenged or banned, and we respond to student research inquiries about banned books and censorship in schools. We have worked with authors Brent Hartinger, Ellen Wittlinger, Carolyn Mackler, Susan Patron, Diana Abu-Jaber, Chris Crutcher, John Green, Julia Alvarez, Lauren Myracle, Rachel Vail, and Judy Blume.

Challenges: December 2006 – December 2008