Join Banned Books Week and Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds on Monday, August 2, at 4:00 p.m. EDT for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter!
Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the wildly popular Gossip Girl series and its spinoffs, celebrates her birthday on June 27. The series ranks 22nd on ALA’s Most Banned/Challenged Books between 2000 and 2009.
When I was researching more about Lucy and Kincaid’s other works, I was struck by the number of criticisms that labeled her work as “angry”. Considering her childhood trauma and that many of her works contain autobiographical elements, it is not surprising that her characters are angry, or experience passionate feelings. That is true of many coming of age stories or memoirs.
Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books by Pat R. Scales features 33 books for youth that have been challenged since 2015. The book is a great primer for those looking to learn more about challenges to children’s literature. The book also includes a lot of further reading materials and backmatter that is a great jumping off point for researchers to learn more about issues of censorship.
May 26 is Raina Telgemeier’s birthday! If you are a youth librarian like me, then you know who Raina is — without a doubt. If not….well she is the most popular graphic novel creator known to young ladies across America.
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.
We are used to seeing censorship attempts for heavy, controversial topics: drugs, LGBTQ+ themes, sexual content, religion, death, ect. But the Junie B. Jones series is aimed at young readers. She’s a kindergartener, worried about riding the bus on her first day of school and getting up to hilarious, albeit a bit questionable, antics. To what, exactly, are people objecting in these books?
A challenge to the book Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff, a picture book about a transgender child, led to the Murray School District in Murray Utah temporarily suspending their equity book bundle program. The equity book bundle program is a program to help provide teachers with more diverse titles, particularly racially diverse titles, to add to their curriculum. Call Me Max is not part of the equity book bundle program, which has led to many questioning why the school district made the decision to put the program on hold in light of the challenge.
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 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.