September 18-24 is Banned Books Week: Celebrate with the Cobb Public Library

Many parts of the country seem to be caught up in a book-burning frenzy. The New York Times reported in a recent article that “attempts to ban books are accelerating across the country at a rate not seen since tracking began more than 20 years ago, according to a new report from the American Library Association.”

School systems in many states ban books that accurately reflect the history of slavery and racism in America, and the lingering effects on our lives today, under the guise of attacks on critical race theory and the Project 1619. The Cobb County School District has banned the use of CRT and Project 1619 equipment in Cobb classrooms.

And books depicting the experiences of LGBTQ+ people have been pulled from library shelves in many jurisdictions across the country.

In this context, the American Library Association observes from September 18 to 24 the week of banned books.

The banned books week official website describes the goal of the week as follows:

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden increase in the number of book challenges in schools, bookstores and libraries. Usually held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all types – in common support for the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those that some consider unimportant. orthodox or unpopular.

Cobb Public Library observes Banned Books Week

Cobb Public Library posted the following about the library system’s celebration of the event:

We’re celebrating Banned Books Week all month with our Teen Scavenger Hunt! Scan every QR code hidden around the teen section on #SouthCobbLibrary to learn more about banned and contested books.

.Start at the children’s desk to collect your treasure hunt sheet. Find each QR code and fill in the treasure hunt form. Once you’ve found them all, turn in your scavenger hunt sheet to the kids’ office for a prize! This program is for teenagers in middle school and high school.

The Top 10 Banned Books of 2021

ALA intellectual freedom office (OIF) compiles lists of disputed books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.

Here are their results for 2021 (the 2022 list will be released in April 2023):

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
    Reasons: Banned, challenged and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to contain sexually explicit images
  2. lawn boy by Jonathan Evison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered sexually explicit
  3. Not all boys are blue by George M. Johnson
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and profanity and because it was considered sexually explicit
  4. out of darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
    Reasons: Banned, challenged and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered sexually explicit
  5. The hate you give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and violence and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and the indoctrination of a social agenda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of derogatory term
  7. Me and Earl and the dying girl by Jesse Andrews
    Reasons: Prohibited and contested because considered sexually explicit and degrading for women
  8. The bluest eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
  9. This book is gay by Juno Dawson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, moved and restricted for providing sex education and LGBTQIA+ content
  10. Beyond the magenta by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered sexually explicit.

Some graphs on censorship and the banning of books

Colin L. Johnson