These Are the Most Challenged Books, According to the A.L.A.


Eight of the 10 most challenged books final 12 months had been based mostly on L.G.B.T.Q. topics or narratives, the American Library Association stated in its annual rating of books that had been banned or protested in faculties and public libraries.

One of them parodied Marlon Bundo, Vice President Mike Pence’s rabbit. Another informed a narrative a few marriage between two males. Other books on the 2019 list were stories about children and transgender identity.

“This year, we saw the continuation of a trend of a rising number of challenges to L.G.B.T.Q. books,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, executive director of the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, which compiles the list.

“Our concern is the fact that many of the books are age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate books intended for young people, but they are being challenged because they allegedly advance a political agenda or sexualize children,” she said. According to the association, the challenges came from parents, legislators and religious leaders.

“Libraries are community institutions, intended to serve diverse communities,” Ms. Caldwell-Stone added. “That includes all kinds of individuals and families.”

The Office for Intellectual Freedom said that in 2019, there were 377 attempts to remove books or materials from libraries, schools and universities. Most of the challenges came from patrons, followed by administrators, political and religious groups, librarians, teachers, elected officials and students.

The challenges — sometimes made in a written request, sometimes made via public protest — are not always successful, Ms. Caldwell-Stone said.

“But the fact that the requests are being made is deeply concerning,” she added. “We find that young people in particular need to find themselves reflected in the books they read. And serving those needs does not take away anything from those people with other viewpoints.”

Of the 566 books involved, these were the 10 most frequently challenged.

By Alex Gino

The library association said some school administrators removed the book because it included a transgender child, and because they believed that the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.” Some who objected to “George” said schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; opponents also cited its sexual references and a viewpoint described as at odds with “traditional family structure.”

Written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller

The library association said the book was challenged over its L.G.B.T.Q. content and political viewpoints (“designed to pollute the morals of its readers”) as well as for not including a content warning. In one instance, a person defaced a copy of the book, writing: “Girl bunnies marry boy bunnies. This is the way it has always been.”

Written by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth

This sex-education comic book was challenged, banned and relocated for L.G.B.T.Q. content; for discussing gender identity; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate.”

Written by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

In an interview, Mr. Haack said the “sweeping, epic, romantic adventure that features two men as the leads,” as a genre, was practically nonexistent in children’s books.

“I was hoping to fill that void,” he said. “When kids only see a certain way of being, only white protagonists or straight romances, in the media they consume, then that is the template for what is normal for them.”

Written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

“We are not surprised to see ‘I Am Jazz’ return to the top 10 list of banned books in America,” Ms. Herthel said. “The increased visibility of young trans people combined with the unprecedented political attacks on the L.G.B.T.Q. community makes the book an easy target.”

Written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier

The series was challenged over its magic and witchcraft references, for its curses and spells and for characters who use “nefarious means” to attain goals.

Written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole



Source link Nytimes.com

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