Challenged Books: Available at the Gustavus Library!

Posted on April 6th, 2021 by

#1 Most Challenged Book of 2020: George by Alex Gino

Courtesy of the American Library Association

The American Library Association kicks off National Library Week (April 4-10) by announcing recent challenges to library, school, and university materials. The Library Bill of Rights states, “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” In that spirit, the Gustavus Library opposes censorship in all its forms.

Below are the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2020, along with the reasons cited for challenging them (from the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom), and where you can find them at the Gustavus library.

Today is also National Library Workers Day. Thanks to the library staff for your valuable contributions to making these books, and all of our resources, available!

Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2020

  1. George by Alex Gino – Gustavus Library Children’s Literature PZ7.G566 G46 2015
    Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds Gustavus Library Diversity Display E184.A1 R49 2020
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely – Gustavus Library Young Adult PZ7.5.R49 A44 2015
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – Gustavus Library Young Adult PZ7.A54385 S74 1999
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – Gustavus Library Course Reserves 2 hours PZ7.A382 A37 2007
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin – On order for the Gustavus Library
    Reasons: Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Gustavus Library General Collection PS3562.E353 T6 2010
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – Gustavus Library General Collection PS3537.T3234 O352 1993
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni MorrisonGustavus Library Diversity Display PS3563.O8749 B55 2007
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Gustavus Library Diversity Display PZ7.1.T448 H38 2017
    Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

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