Believe it or not, books are still being banned and challenged even in 2020! Public and school libraries must often contend with books in their collections being challenged by the community or other ogranizations. Every year we celebrate Banned Books Week to bring attention to the harms of censorship. This year we've taken our activities virtual but that doesn't make the situation any less important. Check out the bracket below to particpate in our Battle of the Banned Books and pick your favorite banned book from the list of the most challenged books of 2019. You can vote on our Instagram stories or right here on this page! Voting will be open for 48 hours before the next round starts.
George by Alex Gino
Plot: When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.
George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40948486-george)
Reason for Challenge: Contains language and references that are inappropriate for young readers.
Drama by Raina Telgmeier
Plot: Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13436373-drama)
Reason for Challenge: Sexually explicit, having subject matter too advanced for elementary students, homosexuality
Becoming Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kulkin
Plot: Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18166920-beyond-magenta)
Reason for Challenge: LGBTQIA+ content
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Plot: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now . . . (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38447.The_Handmaid_s_Tale)
Reason for Challenge: Profanity, vulgar and sexual overtones
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
Plot: Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever... (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39319227-a-day-in-the-life-of-marlon-bundo)
Reason for Challenge: LGBTQIA+ themes, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Plot: From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18763344-i-am-jazz)
Reason for Challenge: LGBTQIA+ content, having a transgender character
Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg
Plot: A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identies, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers. Much more than the "facts of life" or “the birds and the bees," Sex Is a Funny Word opens up conversations between young people and their caregivers in a way that allows adults to convey their values and beliefs while providing information about boundaries, safety, and joy. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22889878-sex-is-a-funny-word)
Reason for Challenge: LGBTQIA+ content, explorations of sexual identity, drawings deemed explicit
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack
Plot: In this modern fairy tale, a noble prince and a brave knight come together to defeat a terrible monster and in the process find true love in a most unexpected place. (https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/34204247)
Reason for Challenge: LGBTQIA+ content, gay marriage, comflicting with a religious viewpoint
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