Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International, that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books, and highlights persecuted individuals.
According to ALA, these are last year’s most challenged/banned books:
“George,” by Alex Gino
This children’s novel made the list because it features a transgender character, according to the ALA.
“A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” by Jill Twiss, illustrated by E. G. Keller
The American Library Association reports LGBTQIA+ content, political and religious viewpoints are among the reasons why this book was challenged.
“Captain Underpants” series, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
This book made the list because it includes a same-sex couple, which those calling for the ban perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, the ALA said.
“The Hate U Give,” by Angie Thomas
Thomas’ debut novel, written as a reaction to the police shooting of Oscar Grant, includes drug use, profanity and sexual references, which are reasons it was challenged. It was also deemed “anti-cop,” according to the ALA.
“Drama,” written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
This graphic novel is on the list because it features LGBTQIA+ characters and themes.
“Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher
A novel turned Netflix series centers around teen suicide, which is the reason the ALA said it made the list.
“This One Summer,” by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
A coming-of-age story is illustrated in this graphic novel and was banned or challenged because of certain illustrations and because it includes profanity and sexual references.
“Skippyjon Jones” series, written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
A Siamese cat takes center stage in this children’s picture book. It made the list due to its depiction of cultural stereotypes, the ALA said.
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
This novel was challenged or banned due to its inclusion of profanity, sexual references and its religious viewpoint.
“This Day in June,” by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
This picture book illustrates a Pride parade, and its inclusion of LGBTQIA+ content is the reason it was challenged or banned.
“Two Boys Kissing,” by David Levithan
If the title isn’t obvious, the young adult novel explores gay teens journey to love and acceptance. It was challenged due to its LGBTQIA+ content.
I can’t even begin to express how crazy I think this list is. Naturally because of the main reason against banning the majority of them in the first place: inclusion or prominent feature of LGBTQUIA+/QUILTBAG+ content. Why this is still an issue in this day and age astounds me. Truly.
I could understand if a book was made for very young children and features highly sexual situations or something like that– REGARDLESS of sexual or romantic preference. I still don’t think it should be BANNED, merely supervised or perhaps held off until a child is older to be introduced to. (And NO, featuring a gay couple isn’t a “sexual topic” or “sexual situation” folks. If that were true, then every single book about straight people would have to be labeled a “sexual book” too, since the fact that it has straight people in it MUST MEAN THERE’S STRAIGHT SEX INVOLVED. At least, that’s the logic these people are basing their judgment off of. =A= People see QUILTBAG+ individuals as nothing other than their sexual preference and it’s appalling, really. They’re PEOPLE, just like anyone else. Having one, two, or a group of them featured in a book should NOT be reason enough to ban or challenge it. That’s my very firm take on it.)
Have you read any of these books within the last year (or ever)? What did you think of them? Do you agree that they should be banned or find the accusations thrown at them preposterous? Comment below! I’d love to hear your take on it (even if it differs from mine).