Banned Books Week 2021: Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

Banned Books Week logoBanned Books Week is September 26th through October 2nd.  It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. 

Every year the Office for Intellectual Freedom, a part of the American Library Association, compiles a list of the 10 most challenged books of the previous year.  The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2020. Of the 273 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books: 

  1. George by Alex Gino DB82273 
    It was challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community” 
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds DB98926 and BR23102 
    It was banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people 
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely  DB83370 
    It was banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now” 
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson DB49958 and BRN27713 
    It was banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity 
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie DB65403 and BR21549 
    It was banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author 
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin DB100015 
    It was challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views 
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee DB77672BR12850 and LT10965 
    It was banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience 
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck DB48515, BRN19107 and LT4820 
    It was banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students 
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison DB49914BR12618 and LT5895 
    It was banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse 
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas DB101117BR21874 and YA LT Tho 
    It was challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message 

Banned Books Week 2021:  Books Unite Us

Books Unite Us logoBanned Books Week is September 26th through October 2nd.  It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

From The Banned Books Week Coalition:

The Banned Books Week Coalition is proud to announce that Jason Reynolds has been named the inaugural Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week 2021. The New York Times bestselling author will headline the annual celebration of the right to read

Reynolds is the author of more than a dozen books for young people, including:

  •  All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely) DB83370
  • Ghost (book 1 of the Track series) DB85921
  • Long Way Down  DB89688
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks  DB97796
  • Stamped (with Ibram X. Kendi)  DB98926

 A multiple National Book Award finalist, Reynolds has also received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and several Coretta Scott King Award honors. He is currently serving a two-year term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress.

As an advocate for storytelling and an outspoken critic of censorship, Reynolds is the perfect person to headline Banned Books Week 2021, which has the theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” For young people in particular, books offer both shared and differently lived experiences that help them develop empathy and understand themselves and their world. In turn, censorship isolates us from each other by narrowing our view of the world.

“I’m excited about being the inaugural Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week,” says Reynolds. “More importantly, I’m excited about this year’s theme, which is so simple, yet so powerful. What does it mean when we say, ‘Books unite us?’ It means that books are the tethers that connect us culturally. Stories ground us in our humanity; they convince us that we’re not actually that different and that the things that are actually different about us should be celebrated because they are what make up this tapestry of life.”

For more about author Jason Reynolds and Banned Books Week check out https://bannedbooksweek.org

 

Library Chat Podcast: September 2021

In September’s Library Chat library staff discuss Banned Books Week and more.  We also discuss two podcasts focusing on banned books.

Library Chat Podcasts:  September 2021

Library Chat Booklist:  September 2021

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

  1. George by Alex Gino DB82273 
    It was challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community” 
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds DB98926 and BR23102 
    It was banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people 
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely  DB83370 
    It was banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now” 
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson DB49958 and BRN27713 
    It was banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity 
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie DB65403 and BR21549 
    It was banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author 
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin DB100015 
    It was challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views 
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee DB77672BR12850 and LT10965 
    It was banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience 
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck DB48515, BRN19107 and LT4820 
    It was banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students 
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison DB49914BR12618 and LT5895 
    It was banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse 
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas DB101117BR21874 and YA LT Tho 
    It was challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

Every year the Office for Intellectual Freedom, a part of the American Library Association, compiles a list of the 10 most challenged books of the previous year. 

It’s Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week Logo from American Library Association.  "Censorship is a deadend.  Find your freedom to read."Banned Books Week is September 27th through October 3rd.  It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.  Every year the Office for Intellectual Freedom, a part of the American Library Association, compiles a list of the 10 most challenged books of the that year.  The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 377 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2019. Of the 566 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. George by Alex Gino DB82273
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin  DB78523
  3. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller print/braille book
  4. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
  5. Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
  6. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas  DB85028 and print/braille book
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood DB24695 and BR11911
  8. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  9. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling 7 books in the series, in all formats
  10. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole DB92109 and print/braille book

For more information visit bannedbooksweek.org and ala.org/advocacy/bbooks

Banned Books Week

bbw16-question-bubbleWhich banned book character would you want to have lunch with?

Banned Books Week, September 25th – October 1st, brings together the entire book community—libraries, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types —in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider controversial and unpopular.  First observed in 1982, Banned Books Week reminds Americans not to take the freedom to read for granted.

 

Banned Books Week – September 25 – October 1st

bbw16-bubble-2If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?

Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community—libraries, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types —in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.  First observed in 1982, Banned Books Week reminds Americans not to take the freedom to read for granted.