Banned Spotlight on ALA’s Top 10 Challenged Books

Banned books week is doing a series of articles spotlighting the ALA’s Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017 to lead up to this year’s Banned Books Week, September 23 – 29. In 2017, two comic books – Drama and Sex is a Funny Word – were three and six respectively on the top ten list. Three other books on the list are illustrated, two children’s books (Tango Makes Three and I am Jazz), as well as the popular YA book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Half of the top ten most challenged books contained narrative art, demonstrating the high rate of challenges that visual works contend with.

Banned Books Week Coordinator, Betsy Gomez, stopped by the CBLDF offices to talk about the spotlights.

“The theme of Banned Books Week 2018 is Banning Books Silences Stories — Speak Out! One way to speak out against censorship is to make sure people know about the attempts to ban books. So, we’re running a series of Banned Spotlights on centered on the American Library Associations Top Ten Challenged Books list for 2017. Each article examines a book on the list, summarizes the basic plot, and lists awards for the title. We also discuss the challenges the book has faced, providing detail about why it has been attacked and locations where it was challenged when possible.

“It’s important to know that book challenges happen everywhere, not just in politically conservative or liberal areas of the country — everywhere! And if we don’t speak out, keep people informed, and protect these stories — even those we don’t particularly care for — then all books are more likely to be challenged and ultimately banned.”

So check out for in-depth looks at last year’s most frequently contested books.

Don’t miss out on the vast selection of free resources has put together for educators, librarians, students, retailers, writers, and artists. Not only do they feature CBLDF publications, but there’s a ton of other great material there on banned and challenged works, free expression, handling a challenge, red flagging, and much much more.

Inspired by the Banned Spotlight? Plan a Banned Books Week Event! Get ideas for celebrating Banned Books Week from CBLDF or ALA. Or use the Banned Books Week Event Calendar to find events to attend around the country (and publicize your own)!

Help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by visiting the Rewards Zonemaking a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!