Earlier this week, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom released their annual list of the Top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2019. This marks the fifth year that Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novel Drama has made the list. The middle grade graphic novel faced challenges for LGBTQ+ content and for concerns that the book is against “family values/morals.”
Drama’s challenges are clear cases of identity censorship. Identity censorship happens when challenges are brought based on the personal identity of the author or the subject matter of a book. CBLDF has developed resources to help fight identity censorship, including a brand new toolkit on how to handle identity censorship when a case arises.
Raina Telgemeier’s Drama is an important coming of age story; one that offers LGBTQ+ representation in a heartfelt and meaningful way. Check out CBLDF’s resources on Drama and help ensure it remains available to everyone!
CBLDF Banned Books Case Studies look into what challenges specific comics have faced from censors and their history as banned books. Read the case study to learn why Drama has made the top 10 most frequently banned books five years in a row.
Using Graphic Novels in Education is an ongoing feature from CBLDF that is designed to allay confusion around the content of graphic novels and to help parents and teachers raise readers. This guide provides an overview look at Drama as well as teaching and discussion suggestions.
Adding Graphic Novels to Your Classroom is an ongoing feature from CBLDF that provides specific resources for librarians and educators who may need to justify and defend the inclusion of the book in library and classroom collections. Our resource on Drama also provides tips on what to do if Drama is challenged.
By targeting works like Drama because of the identities of those they represent, censors are sending the message that there is something wrong with those identities. Identity censorship affects us all. Everyone has the right to be themselves and everyone deserves to see their identities reflected in the world around them. That’s why it’s so important to take a stand.
Join the fight against identity censorship and keep important books like Drama on the shelves by becoming a CBLDF member. We’re standing up to bans of LGBTQ+ creators, books, and events all over the country, but we can’t do it without your help. Join during National Library Week and you’ll receive a bonus set of CBLDF pronoun pins. When signing up as a member, just add the buttons to your order and use the code “BUTTON10” to get your pins. Wear your pronoun and “Don’t Ban Me” pins with pride, and tell the world that you won’t let people’s identities be silenced.
Join CBLDF and share our resources with your community to help fight identity censorship. Use the hashtag #DontBanMe and spread the word that every voice should be heard no matter how the speaker identifies. Voice your support by checking out the CBLDF Don’t Ban Me collection on Teespring. Grab a t-shirt or a sticker and show that you’re willing to take a stand against identity censorship.