Find out why authors, Ibram X. Kendi, Alex Gino and Anne Frank find their works banned on a regular basis.
Karen Liu of The County Library-Riverton Branch #3QuickPicks for Banned Books Week, which runs through Oct. 2. Check out her picks in real life or in the library's online catalog:
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. "In this version of Stamped, Jason Reynolds 'remixes' or reframes Ibram Kendi’s scholarly work Stamped from the Beginning, making it readable and accessible for middle grade and YA readers in a fast-paced, energetic, teen-friendly format. This book covers important historical figures and movements in United States history, providing us a lens to learn or unlearn many of the lessons we were taught in school. I highly recommend the audiobook version narrated by author Jason Reynolds! It’s like he’s having an engaging conversation with us, just what we want in non-fiction informational text, giving us a historical account of the origin and perpetuation of racism, in ideologies and institutions in our country. This book has been banned or challenged due to claims that the book contains 'selective storytelling incidents' and does not encompass racism against all people."
George by Alex Gino: "When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. This touching novel about an elementary school student named George gives us perspective of the life of a young transgender person, showing us daily life struggles of acceptance, bullying, even coming out to her mom. My own middle schooler and highschooler read this with me and we found George to be sweet, brave, and courageous. Ultimately, this is a heartwarming tale about learning to accept who you are. It tells other kids out there that they are not alone, and there are support networks available to them. George has been challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, for conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and for not reflecting 'the values of certain communities.'”
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: "A first-hand account of life in Nazi Germany, told from the perspective of a teen Jewish girl. This is the diary that Anne Frank kept while she, her family, and others were in hiding, in an apartment attic in Amsterdam. She details what those two years were like until they were found and taken to concentration camps. 'Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is still occasionally removed from shelves or reading lists today. The reasons are not because students may have nightmares from reading about the Frank family hiding in an attic, or being dragged into Nazi death camps, but because at one, brief point, 14-year-old Anne describes her maturing anatomy' (Scott, 2014). The book has been banned or challenged due to passages that have been considered 'sexually offensive,' as well as for the tragic nature of the book, which some feel might be 'depressing' for young readers."
Karen added: "American Journalist Scott Simon said, 'Banned books remind us of the power of the written word.' So celebrate our freedom to read and check out these and other challenged or banned books at The County Library or online at thecountylibrary.org.