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Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl invited us to share reading goals we would like to accomplish before the end of the year this week. I have so many of those, I can’t possibly accomplish them all. But since this is Banned Books Week, I decided to share a list of the 13 most challenged books in 2022 according to the American Library Association (there are a few ties). The charts below, also from the ALA, show that challenges or bans were brought against 2571 books last year, up 38% from 2021. Most horrifying, that’s a 1053% increase from 2020.
Most of the challenged books are written by racial or ethnic minorities and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community. We cannot silence the voices of people whose life experiences are different from ours. We need their stories so that we can make societal changes and gain empathy and understanding. Sure, parents have a right to monitor what their children read, but no one has the right to restrict what everyone can read. It’s that simple. I don’t know why we as a society are making this so difficult.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that banning books doesn’t affect you if you mostly read mainstream bestsellers. A couple of books by some very popular authors have gotten caught up in the wide net of book bans recently. If we continue as we are, it will affect all of us sooner or later.
So let’s get down to the actual list now. I haven’t read any of these but I have read other books by some of these authors and some have been on my to-read list for a while.
1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
4. Flamer by Mike Curato
5. (tie) Looking for Alaska by John Green (I’ve owned a copy of this for at least a decade but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet)
5. (tie) 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 Pérez
10. (tie) Crank by Ellen Hopkins
10. (tie) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
10. (tie) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
That’s the list! Have you read any of these? Did any of them surprise you? Link up every Tuesday at That Artsy Reader Girl!