Last Year’s Most Challenged Books: Celebrating Banned Books Week 2019


 

Today marks the end of Banned Books Week 2019 (9/22 to 9/28). This week is set aside each year to emphasize the right to read, giving an opportunity for various advocates (like book stores, publishers, and your public library) to advocate for everyone’s right to chose what they want to read and view. “Since it was launched in 1982, Banned Books Week has been shining a light on censorship, and the fight for free expression is as urgent as ever. In recent years, attacks on the right to read have become bolder, as legislatures have introduced bills that would eliminate crucial safeguards for the right to read books that some people find offensive” (American Booksellers Association). While this type of advocacy doesn’t only last one week and continues year-round, this week is a special time to celebrate particular works that have been challenged frequently over the years. What does it mean to have a work challenged or banned? “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials” (ALA.org).

According to the American Library Association, here are the 11 most challenged books of 2018:

  1. George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character
  2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints
  3. Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop,” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references
  5. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes
  6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
    Reasons: banned, challenged, and restricted for addressing teen suicide
  7. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations
  8. Skippyjon Jones series written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
    Reason: challenged for depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture
  9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: banned and challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint
  10. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
    Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content
  11. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
    Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

Click here to see the most challenged books from previous years!

 

Have you read anything considered controversial lately? Let us know in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading, and keep the light on!

-George, FTPL

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