Libraries fight book-banning attempts


10 MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS

• “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher, because it discusses suicide.

• “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality.

• “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier, because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”

• “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”

• “George” by Alex Gino, because it includes a transgender child.

• “Sex is a Funny Word” by Cory Silverberg, because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”

• “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, because of violence and its use of racial slurs.

• “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.

• “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, because it features a same-sex relationship.

• “I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, because it addresses gender identity.

Source: American Library Association. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 416 challenges to library, school, and university materials in 2017.

Laurie Hamame | Oberlin News-Tribune

The lobby of the Oberlin Public Library has been taken over by a display of banned books. Inside, corpses of murdered books fill glass urns and a skeleton lies in a coffin full of challenged reads. The library’s annual “A-Wake for Books” falls during Banned Book Week and celebrates the right to free speech and the right to read. Librarian Kelly Molesky said books are still getting challenged and banned to this day, including in Oberlin. People have crossed out words in books using permanent marker, have covered pictures in fashion magazines, and have hidden graphic novels behind chairs and other books. Parents have even told librarians not to let their children check out certain materials, which is why Molesky posted a disclaimer at the check-out area: “Children with library cards may check out any library material. It is the parent’s responsibility to monitor the content.” Parents are the decision-makers in what books children are checking out, she said. Something will be offensive to someone in every book, she said, so “we should be able to read anything, no matter what.”

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10 MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS

• “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher, because it discusses suicide.

• “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality.

• “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier, because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”

• “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”

• “George” by Alex Gino, because it includes a transgender child.

• “Sex is a Funny Word” by Cory Silverberg, because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”

• “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, because of violence and its use of racial slurs.

• “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.

• “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, because it features a same-sex relationship.

• “I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, because it addresses gender identity.

Source: American Library Association. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 416 challenges to library, school, and university materials in 2017.