Banned Books Week

Here’s the Bannedbooks.org list for 2016. Far from being worthy of suppression, It looks like they reflect varied aspects of contemporary life.

Earlier lists included books  that the ban seekers almost certainly never read. (Grapes of Wrath, Joyce’s Ulysses). One can only hope based on the number of illustrated books, that the censors actually read them. I doubt it. That “disgusting and all around offensive” comment for Make Something Up could apply to White House pronouncements and news conferences. Also, I really hope that the challenges were not based on the non-Anglo names of the authors and illustrators.

The only one that maybe shouldn’t have seen print was Little Bill, but we can’t judge books on the moral stature of the author. In that case we’d ban Mein Kampf. Other people may choose not to read these works, but don’t interfere with my right to do so.

  • This One Summer, written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
  • Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint
  • George written by Alex Gino Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”
  • I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints
  • Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content
  • Looking for Alaska written by John Green Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”
  • Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit
  • Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk Reasons: challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”
  • Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and  illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author
  • Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell Reason: challenged for offensive language

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