What Are Book Résumés?

Book résumés are free resources that help teachers, librarians, parents, and community advocates support access when others demand that books are censored. These book résumés are provided in an easy-to-print PDF format so they can be shared with administrators, book review committees, and elected officials. They can also be passed out at board meetings and used to inform the public.

What is in a book résumé?

Each book résumé contains a synopsis, reviews, awards, accolades, and links to resources and relevant media. These are the types of resources that professionally-trained librarians and educators use when they select books. A book résumé may also include information about how the title has been successfully retained in schools and public libraries where it has been challenged.

Who Creates book résumés?

Unite Against Book Bans partners with the publishing community to create and maintain book résumés of frequently challenged and censored books.

who do i contact If I see An error or have a question about a particular book résumé?

Please refer to the contact information on the individual book résumé.

Why are book résumés needed?

The current deluge of demands to censor books mostly targets titles by and about Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+). These voices have been historically underrepresented in print and on library shelves. Attacks on professional educators and librarians are coinciding with efforts to suppress these stories. While everyone has the right to object to a book and request its reconsideration, current activities threaten our right to read and our freedom to receive and share ideas without restriction—a freedom essential to democracy. All those involved with the world of books have a role in defending our freedom to read, including authors, publishers, librarians, teachers, booksellers, readers, students, and parents. Resources like book résumés and the Unite Against Book Bans Toolkit can help.

How can i use book résumés?

Many of the people seeking to censor library materials mischaracterize books with cherry-picked excerpts intended to provoke outrage and create a false impression of what they’re about. Book résumés provide necessary context from those who have read the books in their entirety. They demonstrate the educational value and significance these titles have. Book résumés can be shared at board meetings as a counterpoint to the toxic messaging that books with certain viewpoints and ideas are dangerous or that librarians and teachers are trying to harm youth by providing access to books. Book résumés can also aid book review committees tasked with determining whether a book meets the school or library’s selection criteria.

what can I do if i need more help or a title i’m looking for isn’t listed?

You can report censorship to receive support from the Office for Intellectual Freedom and Unite Against Book Bans. Data on how frequently titles are targeted for censorship will be shared with publishers to help guide the creation of book résumés on a rolling basis. Even if you don’t need support, it is important to report censorship attempts. This information is vital to developing the best resources to protect against book challenges before they happen. All reports are confidential.

How frequently are book résumés added to the site?

New book résumés and updates to existing book résumés will be added approximately every 4-8 weeks.

Is there information on a book’s suggested age or grade range?

If the publisher assigns an age and grade range to a book, then that information is included in each book résumé. A publisher’s suggested age range covers the variety of readers that publisher envisions using the book, whether for instruction, independent reading, family sharing, group study, or in other ways. A grade range is also provided by the School Library Journal, if available. Ultimately, educators have the best sense of the appropriate age range for the diverse learners with which they work, and they understand that these ranges vary depending on a book’s intended use.

What else can i do to help?

You can join the Unite Against Book Bans campaign. You can attend local library, school board, and governance meetings, especially if there has been talk of limiting access to books. Speak out against censorship, and make sure local officials know you support the library, librarians, educators, and access to books of all kinds. Other ways to take action can be found on the main Unite Against Book Bans site.

Where can i find more information about book censorship?