WeAreTeachers Staff

If you’ve tuned in to teacher Instagram or Twitter today, you might have noticed educators and librarians posting the banned books that have made a difference in their lives, using the hashtags #freadom and #txlege. They’re doing it to protest a recent investigation in the Texas state legislature in which districts were asked to review a list of more than 850 books, many of which deal with race, gender, and sexuality, and share how many copies of each book they own and where they store the books, among other questions.

The investigation comes after the recently passed “critical race theory law,” which limits how Texas educators discuss race in public schools. Many of the challenged books, however, are longtime classics that teachers have used for decades. Others are newer books that teachers say deserve a spot on classroom shelves.

Here’s just a sampling of some of the books educators are defending, and their reasons for doing so.

New Kid and Class Act pushed me to think outside my experiences and perceptions.”

New Kid and Class Act

—shared by @mrssawyersreads

Refugee helped me realize that hope transcends time and home of origin.”

Refugee

—shared by @the_amoxtli

Baseball in April was the first time I saw a reflection of myself, a Mexican-American teenager, in a book.”

Baseball in April

—shared by @cillabrarian

Separate Is Never Equal makes history accessible to young readers.”

Separate Is Never Equal

—shared by @welovetolearn

The Bridge Home shows us the desire for survival, security, belonging, and family is universal.”

The Bridge Home

—shared by @LuPodmore

The 57 Bus helped me gain a better understanding of the gender spectrum.”

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

—shared by @tahaneyj

Buried Beneath the Baobob Tree drives home the point that religious zealotry is dangerous.”

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

—shared by baldlibrarian

You can see the full list of the books being challenged in Texas here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts—the recent action in Texas is just one of many large-scale book challenges happening right now. Are you seeing book bannings happening in your area? How does your school respond to them? Have you participated in the #freadom campaign? Please share in the comments.

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