Words Have Power: Read a Banned Book

Words have power and access to diverse ideas makes all of us more powerful. Yet, every year there are hundreds of attempts to remove books from bookstores, libraries, and schools.

Celebrate the freedom to read by reading your favorite banned book during Banned Books Week, September 24 - 30. Take a picture with your favorite banned book and tag us on Instagram @aclibrary or Twitter @aclib.

Think Books Aren't Banned? Think Again.

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association, ala.org/bbooks/NLW-Top10

Here’s the top ten challenged books of 2016. We have several titles in our collection. Check our catalog for availability. 

The American Library Association’s Top 10 Challenged Books of 2016:  

  1. This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
  1. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
    Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
  1. George, by Alex Gino
    Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”
  1. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.
  1. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Included on the National Book Award longlist and designated a Stonewall Honor Book, this young adult novel was challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.
  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    This 2006 Printz Award winner is a young adult novel that was challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation.”
  1. Big Hard Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Considered to be sexually explicit by library staff and administrators, this compilation of adult comic books by two prolific award-winning artists was banned and challenged.
  1. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread, by Chuck Palahniuk
    This collection of adult short stories, which received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, was challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”
  1. Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    This children’s book series was challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.
  1. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
    One of seven New York Times Notable Children’s Books and a Printz Honor recipient, this young adult novel was challenged for offensive language.

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