Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016

Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016

The list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 is here. This year’s list explores a range of genres (young adult, fiction, memoir) and formats (novels, graphic novels, picture books), but they have one thing in common: each book was threatened with removal from spaces where diverse ideas and perspectives should be welcomed.

The annual list is compiled by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF); OIF calculates the Top Ten by documenting public media articles of challenges, and censorship reports submitted through the office’s reporting form.

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!