The ALA has released its annual list of the most challneged books of the previous year, and as is common in recent years, several graphic novels are on this list. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jill Tamaki leads the list followed by Raina Telgemeier’s Drama. Neither appearance on the list will be much of a surprise to library challenge watchers.
The Tamaki tale, a sensitive story of two young two teen girl coming of age, has mature themes, because that’s how young teens come of age. It’s both a Caldecott and Printz honor book and, IMHO, one of the most beautifully dawn graphic novels of all time.
Drama has a plotline with a positive view of homosexuality, and many conservative communities object to it.
It’s all part of the ALA”s annual “state of the library” report, which also indicates that libraries are taking a stand at the frontline of the war against fake news, and also as islands of inclusion where all are welcome regardless of gender, religion or anything else.
Here’s the whole list of most challenged books, which also includes the Big Hard Sex Criminal collection of the popular title by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, and yes, this book deals frankly with adult themes, for sure. More info on the nature of the challenges here.
Libraries continue to face challenges of censorship to books and resources. Out of 323 challenges reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, the “Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2016” are:
1. “This One Summer,” written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
2. “Drama,” written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
3. “George,” written by Alex Gino
4. “I Am Jazz,” written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
5. “Two Boys Kissing,” written by David Levithan
6. “Looking for Alaska,” written by John Green
7. “Big Hard Sex Criminals,” written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
8. “Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread,” written by Chuck Palahniuk
9. Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
10. “Eleanor & Park,” written by Rainbow Rowell
Additional information regarding why books were challenged; access to a Top Ten List video announcement; and infographics regarding the 2016 Top Ten List of Most Challenged Books are available at bit.ly/soal-2017.
You’ll note that one of the most challenges books is by Bill Cosby, who’s been accused of being a serial rapist. Books are challenged on many levels.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.