“I want a president” is a famous poem in some circles. It is a sacrosanct work in others, an emblem of an angry generation reeling from the AIDS epidemic, environmental degradation and trickle-down economics. Written by Zoe Leonard in 1992, it describes the desire for a different kind of world than the one she inhabits, and it was partly inspired by Eileen Myles’ write-in campaign for president 1991-1992 election. Myles is herself also an artist and published poet, winning a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012.
The reasons people challenge books, in schools and in libraries, are numerous. Regardless, a surprising number of Americans, when faced with the right reason, are actually pro book banning. This is reflected in a recent YouGov.com poll, which asked what kinds of content in books should be banned, and in what settings.
Bold, rainbow-colored words take up the back cover of Alex Gino’s George: “Be Who You Are.”
Lesbian. Gay. Bi-sexual. Transsexual. Queer. If there is one topic of contention in the United States, it has been the topic of homosexuality. There are even opinions if the letter Q should be added or deleted from the acronym LGBT(Q). This topic, especially in young adult literature, has evolved with the times. LGBT is becoming more mainstream, and with this advancement more young adult books are being published that not only are thematically about LGBT content, but many novels have characters that are gay, even if the premise of the book isn’t about the topic.