Book challengers and banners like to use shock tactics to get their way. Pulling an isolated scene out of context, flashing a single panel from a graphic novel or even just highlighting a single passage are often the swiftest, surest way to get a book removed. Most of these people readily admit that they have never read the book they find so offensive and dangerous. It was on a list of bad books they saw on the internet and that’s good enough for them. Consideration of the book as a whole is not in their playbook. People who object to book bans can be hard pressed to know how to respond to these inflammatory objections.

Parents Defending Schools and Libraries now provides wholistic information on book titles. In partnership with the Virginia Library Association and the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, the PDSAL website now hosts book resumes for many of the most challenged books in America. The book resumes feature plot summaries, reviews from authoritative sources, awards and honors received, and responses to challenges. While reading a book in its entirety is always the best way to form an opinion, these book resumes provide a broader perspective on a work that can inform a response to a challenge.

Currently, hosts 64 individual book resumes developed by professional librarians. New resumes are added continually. These are freely available to anyone. If you are facing a book challenge, please let us know and use these resources to respond. We can alert other concerned parents in your area and support your efforts to defend the right to read.