Jonathan Evison’s Lawn Boy is number two on the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021 list. The coming of age novel has received top marks from critics and readers, but also some challenges as well in schools and libraries. Evison won an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association for “books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
Angie Thomas is the author of the highly acclaimed book The Hate U Give (THUG). Angie Thomas’ birthday is today, so we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate her work.
Hurston wrote “What White Publishers Won’t Print” in 1950. Seventy years later, #PublishingPaidMe exposed what we now know as the disparity of publishers’ pay advances to Black writers compared to White writers. There is a historical notion that Black books won’t appeal to a broad audience that has long been discredited through the success of many Black books. Hurston’s use of African-American Vernacular (AAV), her portrayal of black women, and Black cultural traditions were used to center Black lives in her stories. Because the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 are primarily of diverse people and topics, it is imperative to continue supporting and making opportunities equitable for Black writers.
The theme for Student Press Freedom Day 2021 is Journalism Against the Odds. According to the Student Press Law Center, “in the face of phenomenal news coverage, student journalists have produced despite being faced with incredible challenges of a year consumed by not only a global pandemic but widespread racial justice protests.” Student Press Freedom Day 2021 is on Feb. 26; there are several ways to support the day
There’s been a marked increase in challenges of children’s books that combat racism and immigrant bias. With social media and citizen journalism, there have been many instances of police brutality that have been recorded in the past couple of years. With this, challenges of children’s books addressing police brutality and racism have risen.
Although there is no one way to support emerging BIPOC librarians, we can all agree: It is transformative when you exercise the opportunity to do so. If you want to support social justice and intellectual freedom education, the “Be the Change” Book Bundle is for you. Revenues from the “Be the Change” eBook Bundle will go to ALA general fund initiatives, including the Spectrum Scholarship Program.