In a powerful memoir and manifesto, George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue has made waves since the book’s publication in 2020. With its accolades keeping pace with the number of states Johnson’s book has been challenged in, All Boys Aren’t Blue is a captivating, personal narrative told for those who have been erased—and continue to face erasure.
I read Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner out loud to my 5 year old son during the summer of 2020. More than any chapter book I’ve ever read to him, Winnie-the-Pooh wholly captivated his attention. He actually sat next to me to listen to the stories about Pooh Bear and his friends, even on the pages where there were no pictures. It was a delightful reading experience. If ever I were to bet on a book that could not possibly be challenged or banned, it would be Winnie-the-Pooh.
And I would lose that bet.
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.
The free webinar “Banned Books Uncensored: Health, Sex & Growing Up!” on Thursday will explore why these topics are challenged and ways to defend these titles.
Imagine you’re an author, in the middle of writing an international bestselling YA book series about vampires, when you find out that that same book series has been banned from one school district. Banned in its entirety. But wait. You’re not finished with the series yet. Is this school district really banning books…before they are even published?
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.
Happy birthday to Tim Federle, author, broadway performer, and board member of the National Council Against Censorship, who was born in California on March 24, 1980.
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.
However, as with any banned book, it’s these books that make us uncomfortable, that cause us to dig deep and think about ourselves and about the people around us feel, that are most important to be widely available.
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.