LGBT books top 2016 banned book list in US
You know you must have done something good if your books rank on the top banned book list in the US. In this case, a lot of LGBT books were cited in this list for 2016.
In its annual report, the American Library Association (ALA) reported the top books that were challenged or banned the most across the country last year.
The common thing about the top 5 books? All of them had LGBT-themed content.
Banned book list: Against different voices
According to the ALA, a “challenge” means that a request was made by a person or group asking for the removal of a book from a library or from the school curriculum.
However, the ALA said a simple request isn’t enough for a book to be banned: “Most threats are unsuccessful thanks to the teachers, librarians, authors and even kids who rise up against censorship in libraries.”
“Each request to remove a book eliminates the voices of storytellers and dismisses the needs of readers who find themselves in those pages,” the group said in a statement.
Likewise, James LaRue, director of the US Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF), told Quartz that a lot more books were reported for last year.
OIF, which is part of the ALA, records “challenge” against books and for 2016, there were 323 attempts. This was 50
more challenges as compared to the previous year.
LaRue reported that because their database only captures self-reporting, the could be more challenges than what is reported.
Banned book list: LGBT books at top
According to the ALA, the top five books on the list have LGBT characters and/or content.
For example, for This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, the report stated it was challenged “because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.”
For Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier, the book was challenged “because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.”
George, which was written by Alex Gino, was challenged “because it includes a transgender child,” and the sexual content “was not appropriate at elementary levels.”
For I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings (with illustrations by Shelagh McNicholas), it was challenged “because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.”
Last, the book Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan was challenged “because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.”