Tweet from Alex Gino: Hey Last Week Tonight, congratulations on coming in second on this dubious honor. #LeaderOfTheBanned

Responses from Authors of the Top 11 Most Challenged Books

On Monday, the American Library Association released the Top 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018 in the State of America’s Libraries Report. The reasons for challenging the titles ranged from LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, to “anti-cop” and profanity. Here are some responses from authors on their books being on the Top 11 Most Challenged Books list.

To Kill a Mockingbird cover art

Banned Book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is America’s ‘Best-Loved’ Novel

Part of the reason that the novel is so well loved, I think, is because it challenged so many of us to think about difficult issues. Whether we continue to teach Mockingbird or choose to move on to another, more modern book, one important lesson from Mockingbird will live on – we will continue to read, and love, our banned books.

The Hate U Give and All American Boys Challenged by Charleston County Police

The Hate U Give and All American Boys Challenged by Charleston County Police

Addressing the issue as a community allows for open and effective communication and gives students the opportunity to understand and ask questions about what is likely a confusing topic for them. Many of these students have probably already either experienced firsthand or have heard about an incident of police violence, and like it or not, they are already actively paying attention to and attempting to understand the important issues our nation is facing and their role in such situations. It is important for educators—  ALL educators – to guide them through that process.

logo from the Great America Read, attribution to PBS

Great American Read’s List of 100 “Best-loved” Novels Includes More Than 20 Banned Authors

My hope is that the Great American Read series and accompanying library programming across the country may draw in some of those Americans who did not read a book last year. Perhaps they will even read one of the banned books on the list and gain an appreciation for the importance of the right to read and intellectual freedom. Either way, I am thrilled to see so many banned and challenged books on a list of America’s favorite reads. My fellow readers, keep reading books that challenge the status quo and make you consider multiple perspectives.