This year’s Banned Books Week is officially September 21-27, but we Seattle-ites have been celebrating banned and challenged books all month long. Some of our favorite books happen to be frequently challenged titles (funny how that happens, isn’t it?), and we love a good opportunity to celebrate both freedom of speech and a great story. See below for some of the banned/challenged books we’re sharing in our Children’s Book department as well as the reasons they were banned. (Also check out the American Library Association website for more frequently banned titles by decade.)
- And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group.
- In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit.
- Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey. Reasons: Offensive language, anti-family content, violence, unsuited for age group.
- Bone (series) by Jeff Smith. Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence.
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. Reasons: unsuited to age group, violence.
- The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials trilogy) by Philip Pullman. Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence.
- ttyl by Lauren Myracle. Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group.
- Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher. Reasons: homosexuality and offensive language.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.
BANNED BOOKS WEEK!
1: the glass display cases as you come in from the lobby. When you peer in, there’s covers and info on selected banned books. Masterminded by our admirable and courageous adult services librarian.
2: front desk display with current and past ALA booklets.
3: an article from 1943 about a display of Nazi-banned books that one of the reference staff found while going through microfilm. I keep it hanging by my desk.
We’ve got our Banned Books Week display up a little early this week. This is a picture of the one in the Main Library and there are also displays going up in the Science Library and The Curriculum Materials Library in Aderhold.
As you can see in the second picture, each book has a brief description of its plot/content, its publication date, and whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. The tag also tells you where, when, and why it was banned or challenged. We’ve included books banned around the world, historically and presently.
The CML in Aderhold will have an extra display consisting specifically of children’s books that have been banned or challenged.
So stop by and pick up a book someone, somewhere thought you shouldn’t be allowed to read.
I did a thing.
Ok, it was more like: I had an idea and then A LOT of people helped me make it happen. TEAMWORK!