As Book Bans Target LGBTQ+ Writers and Writers of Color, Here’s What Banned Books We’re Reading – Ms. Magazine
Talk (and action) around what books kids and young people should be able to read and when has been on the rise the last couple of years. Attempts at banning books in schools and libraries are occurring at a furious rate.
I’ve been a librarian for 15+ years now and challenges and bans of books are actually not new. Every year the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom keeps track of the country’s most banned books for the year. They offer support and guidance for librarians dealing with challenges, but many challenges go unreported. Book challenges and removals are a grim reality that librarians, especially school and public librarians, deal with on a surprisingly regular basis.
Most challenges—usually between 350-500 annually—are due to “sexually explicit” material, “offensive language” or that a book is deemed “unsuited for age group.” Up next are violence and queer content, followed by Satanic or occult themes (is it 1983?), religious viewpoints and “anti-family” content. Newer reasons include “anti-police” and “CRT” (insert Inigo Montoya meme here, sigh). Last fall alone, there were an “unprecedented” 330 challenges, according to preliminary reports from the ALA.
My unsolicited opinion? As a parent and a librarian, I understand having concerns about what my kid was reading (he’s 24 now), but leave the books alone and just decide for, or better yet with, your own kid. Don’t take away my kid’s chance to read something that I will allow just because you wouldn’t allow it for your kid. The banning and removal of most of the books on these lists are just an extension of the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy anyway.