Banned Books Week
September 24 - September 30, 2017
Banned Books Week, celebrated annually, promotes and highlights the value of free and open access to information and the freedom to read Everyone in the entire book community - librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers - is brought together in the shared support o f the freedom to seek and express ideas.
To continue to raise awareness about the harms of censorship and the freedom to read, the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom publishes an annual list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books; and young adult books are not immune.
Here are some young adult books that have been challenged over the years (click on book jacket to check collection availability):
This One Summer
Rose and her parents have been going to Awago Beach since she was a little girl. It's her summer getaway, her refuge. Her friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and Rose and Windy have gotten tangled up in a tragedy-in-the-making in the small town of Awago Beach.
Reasons for Challenge: inclusion of LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew. But how can she do a good job when she doesn't know much about carpentry? Not to mention the onstage and offstage drama causes major craziness!
Reasons for Challenge: inclusion of LGBT characters, deemed sexually explicit and considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
Two Boys Kissing
Based on true events, this is the story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32 hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record.
Reasons for Challenge: use of cover image of two boys kissing, considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.
Looking for Alaska
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.
Reasons for Challenge: inclusion of sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to "sexual experimentation."
Eleanor & Park
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.
Reasons for Challenge: use of offensive language.
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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.
Reasons for Challenge: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, sex education, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language and "depictions of bullying."
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
In a thought-provoking coming-of-age novel, Charlie struggles to cope with a complex world of high school as he deals with the confusions of sex and love, the temptations of drugs, and the pain of losing a close friend and a favorite aunt.
Reasons for Challenge: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.
Thirteen Reasons Why
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
Reasons for Challenge: drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.
The Hunger Games
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
Reasons for Challenge: anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitive, offensive language, occult/satanic, violent.
What My Mother Doesn't Know
Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.
Reasons for Challenge: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.