The American Library Association has unveiled the most banned and challenged books of 2016.
Their annual report shows that the top 10 from last year were all challenged for sexual themes, and that the top five were all challenged because of their LGBT-themed content.
Mariko Tamaki’s book This One Summer, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, is seated at number one on the list and was challenged for having LGBT+ characters, drug use, profanity, and sexually explicit themes.
At number two is Raina Telgemeier’s Drama, because of its LGBT+ characters and “offensive political viewpoint”, and at number three is Alex Gino’s George, challenged over the inclusion of a trans child and because the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”.
Making the list again this year for their LGBT+ themes are Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jenning’s I Am Jazz, for portraying a trans child, and David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing, for having two boys kissing on the front cover.
According to the ALA website, a challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials from a school curriculum or library based on the objections of a person or group, however most of these requests are unsuccessful.
The ALA said in a statement: “Each request to remove a book eliminates the voices of storytellers, and dismisses the needs of readers who find themselves in those pages.
“Most threats are unsuccessful thanks to the teachers, librarians, authors and even kids who rise up against censorship in libraries – and their words have power.”
You can see the full top ten most challenged books of 2016 in America here.
Words Jonathan Shaw