I Am Jazz

I Am A Banned Book

This is a really sweet picture book about a child looking for love and acceptance in her world, and to her true self. I think that message is at the heart of many children’s books that I come across as a children’s librarian, and lover of books! It can be rather difficult to accept who you are when the world around you wants to fit you into their box of “normalcy”.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

A Matter of Context: Challenged Books

With the recent publication of ALA’s Top 10 Challenged Books list, we saw some recurring titles, as well as new entries. Returning to the list is, Looking for Alaska by John Green, often challenged for its offensive language, sexually explicit scenes, and claims that it is generally unsuited for the age group. Since its publication in 2005, and despite its popularity with critics and readers, plus a laundry list of accolades (i.e. Winner, 2006 Michael L. Printz Award, 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, A Kirkus Best Book of 2005, and many more), the novel continues its reign as one of the most popular banned books.

Ban Ignorance Not Books Tshirt

Freedom to Read at Marion High School

In Kentucky, readers rejoice. At tonight’s open reconsideration committee meeting, Emily Veatch defended the right for her students to read Looking for Alaska by John Green. She was supported by librarians all over the country and right there in Lebanon. Marion County Public Librarians attended the meeting with buttons, t-shirts, and signs opposing the censorship of this book in the entire high school. And they succeeded!

2015 Top Ten Most Challenged Books

2015 Top Ten Most Challenged Books

During National Library Week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom publishes the list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books. We collect information from two sources: newspapers and reports submitted by individuals. All challenges are compiled into a database. Reports of challenges culled from newspapers across the country are compiled in the bimonthly Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom and compiled in the Banned Books Week Resource Guide. Challenges reported to the ALA by individuals are kept confidential. The Top Ten Most Challenged Books is not a national roundup of book challenges as all challenges are not reported to the ALA. Rather, it is a snapshot of the reports received by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Our goal is not to focus on the numbers, but to educate the masses that attempts to ban books is happening within our country, and the themes that are suggested by those challenges. As citizens, librarians, parents, we all should safeguard the right to read freely and to choose for ourselves and allow others to do the same.