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.
If number of challenges are a marker of the serious themes of a book, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is worthy of close attention as one of the top ten most challenged books of all time. The novel features a teenager born with disabilities including encephalitis, who has grown up on a reservation in Spokane, Washington. Fourteen-year-old Arnold, or “Junior” is a cartoonist and book worm with a fiercely protective best friend, Rowdy. Soon after they start freshman year, Junior transfers from a school on the “rez” to one in a small white town, 22 miles away. Although his parents support his decision, everyone else on the rez sees him as a traitor. Throughout the book, Junior struggles with questions about community and identity. He is determined to improve himself and overcome poverty despite the challenges of birth and race. Cartoons and dark humor illuminate the serious themes of the book in a way that even the most reluctant readers can connect with and enjoy.
The authors of challenged book Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice discuss censorship, how racism affects children’s health, and how anti-racist literature benefits society.
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recently released the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020. Here are some reactions and responses from authors, librarians, and readers.
Today is National Library Workers Day! Library workers are crucial in defending everyone’s right to access information. Here are five stories of amazing librarians who stood up against censorship.
In 2020, more than 273 books were challenged or banned. Demands to remove books addressing racism and racial justice or those that shared the stories of Black, Indigenous, or people of color grew in number. At the same time, books addressing themes and issues of concern for LGBTQIA+ people continued to dominate the list.
This post includes the top 10 most challenged books of 2020, and a description of challenges that were reported in the news in 2020, available in the compiled booklet Field Report 2020: Banned & Challenged Books on the ALA Store.
During National Library Week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom discusses the past year’s trends. Of the 566 books that were targeted in 2019, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books.
Attempts at censorship in children’s publishing are nothing new. However, the rising popularity of organizations like We Need Diverse Books, which strives to represent all types of people in book publishing, strikes conservatives such as Joy Pullman, executive editor of The Federalist, as indoctrination. As the American Library Association prepares to celebrate Banned Books Week this month, learn more about why children need diverse books more than ever.
By: guest contributor Alex Gino. “Censorship of my writing is both so upsetting and unsurprising that it can be hard to talk about.”
Banned books are an important and radical way to continue that growth and development. When a book is banned or challenged, it shines a light on issues that our society would rather be kept in the dark.