Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Heartstopper among latest Florida banned books

On Friday, the Florida Freedom to Read Project reported that during the week of March 24, Florida school district Clay County removed over 50 additional books from school libraries within its jurisdiction, including titles ranging from the first three volumes of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

“Remember that school district DeSantis spoke about freedom at yesterday (@oneclayschools),” Florida Freedom to Read Project tweeted. “Well, they just added another 50+ books to their list of removed books that are out until they complete the challenge, review and appeal process. The total now is 355 since July 1, 2022.”

The Florida Freedom to Read Project is an organization that has been tracking the censorship and book banning attempts in the state of Florida. Its overall mission is “to support our public school districts with fulfilling their duty under the law to keep every decision student-centered, especially as they face the ‘Parents’ Rights’ movement.”

“Our vision is to bring together parent-led groups from across the state of Florida and unite our voices to protect every student’s right to access information and ideas.”

In response to Heartstopper being included in this most recent ban, creator Alice Oseman took to Instagram stories to address the issue and larger trend spreading across the United States and UK.

“Racism, homophobia and transphobia are thriving under the guise of ‘concern for children.’ This is not just a US issue either,” Oseman wrote. “We’re seeing the exact same ‘concern’ here in the UK.”

She also shared a statement from FFTRP with the caption: “Indoctrination happens when you remove access to ideas.” has been reporting on books that have been banned in the US, whether in classrooms, libraries, or both. Its Index “lists bans on 1,145 titles by 874 different authors, 198 illustrators, and 9 translators, impacting the literary, scholarly, and creative work of 1,081 people altogether. The Index lists book bans that have occurred in 86 school districts in 26 states. These districts represent 2,899 schools with a combined enrollment of over 2 million students.”

We’ve seen plenty of hysteria around books discussing LGBTQ+ themes — like Mike Curato’s Flamer — and those that discuss issues of race, but it doesn’t seem like that will be slowing down any time soon.