Banned Books Week

This week the literary world celebrates Banned Book week and remembers that the right to free speech and difference of opinion should never be taken for granted. Nowadays hardly any books are actually banned in the English speaking world but quite a few are challenged regularly, usually by parents on the grounds of age-appropriateness. However, a number of books and comic books are still censored for their content. You might be surprised to find that Australia has its own list of banned books although the bans have been lifted now. Did you know that ‘American Psycho’ is still technically banned in Queensland with sales of the book restricted to those over 18?  Some of the books available in our libraries are banned in other parts of the world. A list of banned books and the governments that ban them can be found on Wikipedia and is an interesting read.

American Library Association has released a list of ten most challenged books of 2017:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (Reason: Suicide)
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Reasons: Profanity, Sexually Explicit)
  3. Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (Reason: LGBT Content)
  4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Reasons: Sexual Violence, Religious Themes, “May Lead to Terrorism”)
  5. George, by Alex Gino (Reason: LGBT Content)
  6. Sex is a Funny Word, written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth (Reason: Sex Education)
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (Reasons: Violence, Racial Slurs)
  8. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (Reasons: Drug Use, Profanity, “Pervasively Vulgar”)
  9. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole (Reason: LGBT Content)
  10. I Am Jazz, written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas (Reason: Gender Identity)