Banned Book Week

Let’s talk banned books.  Why are books banned? For a number of reasons. The content, the language, the themes and even because the author has done something horrible. Let’s talk about the ten books that are being challenged this week.

There are three children’s books on this list. Shall we take a look?

The first on our list is: Little Bill Series written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood

This book series is being challenged because of the criminal allegations against the author. As we have all read, Bill Cosby is being investigated and prosecuted for sex crimes.  Horrible.

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Our second Children’s book is: I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas.

This picture book memoir is being challenged and removed from libraries because it portrays a transgender child, questionable language, sex education and offensive viewpoints. God, forbid there should be a book that a part of our population can relate to.  Damn you book writers for being inclusive (<—-extreme sarcasm on my part here.)

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Last on our list of Challenged Children’s Books for Banned Book Week is George by Alex Gino.

This book not only won a Stonewall Award but it also won the Lambda Literary Award. This book was banned from libraries because it includes a transgender child because they felt that the sexuality was not appropriate for elementary school children. You know because there are no transgender children in elementary school, they just magically become teenagers ten minutes after they are born. <—note sarcasm.

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We have five Young Adult (YA) books on our list, let’s start with.  Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Why it’s being challenged:  For offensive language.  Yes, this novel that is one of seven of the NYTimes notable children’s books and a Printz Honor recipient is being challenged for cuss words.  If you ask me, that is stupid.

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Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska won the 2006 Printz Award but was still challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene.  Because this particular scene may entice teenagers to experiment with sex.  What did teenagers do before John Green wrote this book? OMG, they experimented with sex.

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And the stupidity continues:

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan is included on the long list for the National Book Award, but that doesn’t stop it from being challenged because of the cover photo of two boys kissing. I wonder where they came up with that idea? It is considered to include sexually explicit and LGBT sexual content.

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Our family friend’s daughter Raina Telgemeier wrote and illustrated a graphic novel called Drama.

Drama, won the Stonewall Honor Award for Graphic novels, but this was of no account to parents, librarians and their administrators, because they are trying to get this book banned. Why? Because it includes LGBT characters, its considered sexually explicit and has offensive political views. Seriously? People need to get a grip on reality.

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The last book in the Young Adult genre on our list is This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. Again the LGBT characters were an issue with parents, and librarians in addition to mentions of drug use, profanity and being sexually explicit with mature themes. Apparently, the parents didn’t care that it won both the Printz award and the Caldecott Honor award.

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Even Adult books aren’t safe from being challenged, restricted, removed and banned. Check out the two books below that are deemed inapproprate for adults.

Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk

While this book of adult short stories has received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, it is being challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness and for being disgusting and all around offensiveness. You know because “adult short stories” shouldn’t be read by adults.

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And lastly:  Big Hard Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Illustrated by Chip Zdarsky.

Library staff and administrators have deemed this book sexually explicit. Doesn’t the name of the book kind of imply that? This adult comic book was written by two prolific award-winning authors is being challenged and has been banned.

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I thank God every day that in my country, women, and girls are allowed and expected to learn how to read. We aren’t told what we can read, although people have tried.  Exercise your right, read a banned book, do it for all the people who are not allowed  to read, are told what they can and can’t read and for the writers who write inclusive, dynamic and thought-provoking literature, oh and the smut, we occasionally just need a good 200 pages of steamy smut. hehe

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