Last week was Banned Book Week. That’s not exactly a cause for celebration, but it’s definitely something we need to pay attention to. I was surprised to learn how many YA books are still being banned from schools and libraries, and how many of those banned books are books that focus on diversity. I thought by now we’d be past all that but apparently we are not. It’s distressing that the current positive emphasis on diversity in YA literature is being undermined by a backlash against many of those same books. We should be promoting these books and encouraging more of them, not banning them. But knowledge is power, so here are some links that will help you find out more about what is being banned and why.
- You may be surprised to find out Which Books Are Really Being Banned and that requests for censorship are coming primarily from parents, not teachers and clergy.
- Did you know that Where The Wild Things Are, Captain Underpants, and The Great Gatsby have all been banned in the past? That’s disturbing enough but Sherman Alexie’s widely acclaimed The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, tops the list of books that were banned in 2014. Among the many reasons for keeping this book out of the hands of teens—“depictions of bullying.”
- Here’s a case study that explains how The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian ended up being banned.
- And here’s another case study about why Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s acclaimed autobiographical graphic novel about growing up during the Iranian Revolution, was banned from classrooms in Chicago.
- This has gotten me pretty psyched to go forth and read some banned books. If you are too, check out these authors’ favorite dangerous books.