As part of the report, the ALA maintains a list of the top 10 banned books – compiled from various sources, including news stories and voluntary reports sent to the Office of Intellectual Freedom – which they say are “incomplete.” In fact, they say that about 90% of the book’s challenges have not been reported and have not received media attention.
In addition, ALA cannot track what they call “silent censorship.”” When people pick it up on their own to make sure the books can’t be found in the library – hide them in a drawer, throw them away or just take them off the shelf. This often leads to the listing of books in the library catalog but they are never found.
This year, Gender queer Maya Kobabe tops the list of ALA’s 10 most challenging books. Originally published in 2019, the book will be republished in May. The ALA said the memoir, in comic form and described Kobab’s gender identity as non-binary and queer, was “banned, challenged and restricted to LGBTQIA + content because it was considered sexually explicit.” ” Many of the books banned and challenged in 2021 are related to LGBTQ + topics and are mostly written by black or LGBTQ + authors.
For the past two years, George (Recently Retired Melissa) Alex Gino at the top of the list; It is not on this year’s list.
The ALA noted that its recent polls show that a majority of voters – on both sides of the aisle – oppose efforts to remove books from their local public libraries.
“This survey demonstrates that, indeed, we are hearing a loud voice from the local minority,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, who has been responsible for increasing numbers for political group-related campaigns and movements. In fact, seeing elected officials challenge the book is a relatively new thing for ALA, he added.
Earlier this year, NPR revealed how these school issues were at the forefront and at the center of local elections.
To counter the campaign to challenge the book, ALA is launching a nationwide initiative aimed at empowering readers to fight censorship.
“Most libraries and schools have policies that say people must be concerned about books. And we support that. It’s part of the First Amendment, the right to appeal to the government,” Caldwell-Stone said. “But there must be a process involved. They should try to verify their claims about the book, to read the whole thing, to determine whose information the books are serving.”
The 10 most challenging books of 2021
Here are the books that are tracked as the most challenging in ALA 2021:
1. Gender queerBy Maia Kobabe – LGBTQIA + Content is banned, challenged and restricted because it contains sexually explicit images
2. Lawn boy, By Jonathan Evison – LGBTQIA + content is banned and challenged and because it was considered sexual
3. Not all boys are blue, By George M. Johnson – LGBTQIA + Content, Prohibited and Challenged for Pornography and Because It Was Considered Sexual
4. Out of the darkness, By Ashley Hope Perez – Restricted to depictions of prohibition, challenge, and abuse and because it was considered sexually explicit
5. The Hate You Give, By Angie Thomas – Prohibited and challenged for obscenity, violence and because it was supposed to send an anti-police message and a social agenda
6. Absolutely real diary of a part-time IndianBy Sherman Alexei – Forbidden and Challenged for Obscenity, Sexual Mention and the Use of Derogatory Words
7. Me and Earl and the dead girl, By Jesse Andrews – Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and derogatory to women.
8. Blue eyes, By Tony Morrison – banned and challenged because it portrayed child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
9. This book is gay, By Juno Dawson – Prohibited, Challenged, Migrated and Restricted for Providing Sex Education and LGBTQIA + Content
10. Beyond the magenta, By LBTQIA + Content banned and challenged by Susan Kuklin and because it was considered sexual