© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Your Call

The conservative groups & dark money behind the movement to ban books

On this edition of Your Call, we discuss the conservative movement to ban books. Over 2,500 books have been banned in the past year, primarily those with content that explore LGBT themes, sexuality, or issues of racism, according to PEN America.

Conservative groups such as Moms for Liberty, Parents Defending Education, and No Left Turn in Education are the primary organizers of this movement, and have ties to wealthy Republican donors like the Koch Brothers, according to a report from True North Research.

Laurie Halse Anderson's young adult novel Speak was one of the first to explore the aftermath and emotional repercussions of sexual assault for a teenager. It has appeared on the American Library Associations Top 100 Banned and Challenged Books since its publication in 1999.

We'll speak with the author about the importance of teaching these subjects to the next generation of readers, and what it will take to push back against the conservative movement censoring these issues in the classroom.


Laurie Halse Anderson, author of many books, including Speak, Shout, and Chains

Nadine Farid Johnson, Washington director of PEN America

Web Resources:

NPR: Their book is banned from dozens of districts, but has helped countless young readers

PEN America: Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools

Mother Jones: The Most Powerful Moms in America Are the New Face of the Republican Party

The Guardian: US conservatives linked to rich donors wage campaign to ban books from schools

Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.