This week (Sept 24th – Sept 30th) is Banned Books Week, where we celebrate our right to read. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recently reported a 17% increase in the number of book censorship complaints it received in 2016!
It is quite unbelievable to read that 5 of the books on the Top 10 Challenged list for 2016 were actually banned from the location where the challenge took place!
So what were some of these titles? Any guesses?
The number 1 most challenged book last year was This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki.
“This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.“ (www.ala.org)
Drama written by Raina Telgemeier gets the number 2 spot on the list.
“Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.” (www.ala.org)
And for 3rd place George by Alex Gino.
“Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.” (www.ala.org)
John Green’s book Looking for Alaska, Jessica Herthel’s I Am Jazz also made the list, as did Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.
It’s worth bearing in mind that this list is based on challenges that have been reported and that 82 – 97% of challenges, categorized as silent challenges, remain unreported!
For details of more of the top 10 books challenged in 2016, take a look here: