Banned Books Week (September 27 - October 3, 2020) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.
*Note: these items have been neither challenged nor restricted at AFL.
Young Adult Banned Books
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Takes an honest look at the lives, loves, and struggles of transgender teens. 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.
Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
Challenged for offensive language
Juvenile Banned Books
Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg
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. The eagerly anticipated follow up to Lambda-nominated What Makes a Baby, from sex educator Cory Silverberg and artist Fiona Smyth, Sex Is a Funny Word reimagines "sex talk" for the twenty-first century."
Challenged/banned for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.
Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches
Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content
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