At the close of National Library Week, let’s talk about banned and challenged books. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to 416 books in 2017. These challenges came from, patrons, parents, administrators, librarians, teachers, and more. Books are generally challenged for containing violence, strong language, sexually explicit content, LGBT content, among other reasons. Below are the 10 most challenged books of 2017. To learn more, please visit ALA’s Banned Books website.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, art by Ellen Forney
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier, color by Gurihiru
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi, as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant’s son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.
George by Alex Gino
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
“A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers. Much more than the “facts of life” or “the birds and the bees,” Sex Is a Funny Word opens up conversations between young people and their caregivers in a way that allows adults to convey their values and beliefs while providing information about boundaries, safety, and joy. The eagerly anticipated follow up to Lambda-nominated What Makes a Baby, from sex educator Cory Silverberg and artist Fiona Smyth, Sex Is a Funny Word reimagines “sex talk” for the twenty-first century.”– Provided by publisher.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer Atticus, has just started school; but her carefree days come to an end when a black man in town is accused of raping a white woman, and her father is the only man willing to defend him.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole
At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches. Based on a true story.
I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, pictures by Shelagh McNicholas
Presents the story of a transgender child who traces her early awareness that she is a girl in spite of male anatomy and the acceptance she finds through a wise doctor who explains her natural transgender status.
Note: All descriptions are from the SHARE catalog and all book covers are from Google Images.