Banned Books Week: Books Unite Us

It’s Banned Books Week, that wonderful time of year that we celebrate all the wonderful books that have been challenged, banned, or censored.

The ALA tracked 156 challenges last year; here are the top 10 most challenged books of 2020.

Congrats to author Jason Reynolds, who managed to have two books on the list this year (#2 and #3). I discovered his writing when his middle grade book Ghost made the Great American Read’s top 100 list. I absolutely loved that series and I can’t wait to read more from him. He’s also just a really cool person and I love hearing him talk about writing.

We’ve actually had a recent local kerfuffle that you may have seen making the national news…a college writing course at a local high school was using a book (for five years) that had some more mature writing prompts involving sex and drug use. Though these specific prompts had never been assigned, and parents had to sign a waiver acknowledging adult themes in the class, the book was pulled after some parents complained. The town’s mayor then publicly accused the school board of child pornography and demanded they resign. The county prosecutor had to state that there was no basis for the child pornography claims; no one from the school board has resigned. I have no idea if the book was actually a useful tool for the students, but all the pearl-clutching is pretty embarrassing.

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