Thursday, October 05, 2023

Banned Books Week 2023

Someday I won't find out about Banned Books Week too late.  Unfortunately, this is not that year.

Banned Books Week, as it turns out (and as I found out thanks to an ad on Facebook), is this week, October 1-7.  Which means it's more than halfway over at this point.

I usually like to try to read something banned during Banned Books Week, for obvious reasons, but it may be a little late this week to 

Every year, Banned Books Week highlights the most frequently banned books from the previous year.  Here are the 13 most frequently banned and challenged books of 2022:

  1. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
  2. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson
  3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  4. Flamer by Mike Curato
  5. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  7. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
  8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
  10. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  11. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  12. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  13. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson

The reason there are 13 books this year instead of just 10 is that there was a two-way tie for fifth place, and a four-way tie for tenth place.  The vast majority of the reasons for challenging the books is LGBTQIA+ content, with "claims" of sexually explicit content being the next most common reason.  (The "claims" language makes me wonder if it's really the case for all of them; they all say the same thing in that regard.)

I've read several of these books, many of them for past years' Banned Books Week, as some of these books are frequent fliers on this list.  I've read Looking for Alaska, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  I don't remember it, but Goodreads says I've read The Perks of Being a Wallflower too, and I may have also read The Bluest Eye (although maybe I only read Beloved).

I think I'm going to go through the list and put books I haven't read yet on the hold list at my library.  I may not have a chance to read them this week, but I always try to celebrate my right to read banned books by reading as many and as often as I can.

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