Bold, rainbow-colored words take up the back cover of Alex Gino’s George: “Be Who You Are.”
Despite its messages of acceptance and anti-bullying, the children’s memoir ranked No. 4 on the American Library Association’s list of Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016.
Librarians and booksellers create displays with cover art facing out in an effort to lure readers to a title they might not otherwise find … What is it about David Levithan’s novel that its cover gets called out and challenged but others with kissing, gay and straight, don’t? Is it the fact that ‘Two Boys Kissing’ is an extraordinary, stunning, award-winning bestselling novel?
Some students were restricted from exploring ‘the Great Perhaps.’ John Green’s ‘Looking for Alaska’ ranked No. 6 on the American Library Association’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016.
Although the back cover of ‘Big Hard Sex Criminals’ boasts in shiny letters ‘for mature readers, duh,’ this graphic novel is listed as No. 7 on the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016 list.
In ‘Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread,’ Chuck Palahniuk supplies 21 short stories and one novella that ‘disturbs and delights in equal measure,’ according to the publisher. It’s the ‘disturbing’ parts that some library patrons thought no one should read.
One of the censorship reports that OIF received about the ‘Little Bill’ series in 2016 noted the book was challenged because of “offensive language.” But the real reasoning goes much deeper than that. For the first time, one of the Top Ten Challenged Books titles was challenged solely because of the author.
Published in 2013, ‘Eleanor & Park’ is a young adult novel of first love, acceptance, and self-image. For the first time, this New York Times bestseller is listed on ALA’s Top Ten Challenged Books list, clocking in at No. 10.
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.
OIF’s Kristin Pekoll offers one solution to gun violence and hate groups: read more by authors who are different from you.