Tennessee takes a stand against banned books


The Nashville Public Library protests banned books with a bright yellow library card with a special message: ‘I’ve read banned books.’

The limited edition cards are part of the Library’s Freedom Read campaign to celebrate the “Right to Read.” »

Tennessee has been in troubled waters lately when it comes to book bans.

In January, the school board in McMinn County voted unanimously to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus” from the eighth-grade curriculum. The reason: the novel included inappropriate language, illustrations, and a Holocaust theme.

In February, the Williamson County School Board banned “Walk Two Moons,” an acclaimed 1994 novel, due to conservative parent group Moms for Liberty suggesting the ban.

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On April 28, the Tennessee House and Senate passed legislation that gives Tennessee control over books offered in schools. This gives school boards the power to veto and change curriculum decisions.

During a debate on the legislation last week, Republican State Rep. Jerry Sexton replied, “I have no idea, but I would burn them” to a question from a fellow Democrat about what he would do with books banned from libraries.

The Nashville Library provides access to over 2 million books and materials, including books that have been banned and challenged for possible banning in cities across the United States

“This campaign is our way of bringing our community together in our shared freedom to read, which is essential to maintaining our democracy,” Kent Oliver, director of the Nashville Public Library, said in a press release sent to USA TODAY.

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Oliver hopes to distribute 5,000 of these limited-edition cards to Davidson County residents. Nashville residents can redeem their library cards for new editions during the month of May.

The Nashville Public Library website features a list of books that have been banned or challenged locally and nationally.

Here are some of the books:

  • “The Hatred You Give” door Angie Thomas
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” by Jill Twiss.
  • “Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You” by Jason, Reynolds
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  • “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck


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