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Reading List, Dates, and Themes
BBRC: Read the books being banned in schools and libraries across the country.
Monday February 20 -- Glenview Public Library Multipurpose Room @ 7 to 8:30 PM
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez (2019)
"Out of Darkness" follows the forbidden love story of a Mexican-American girl and a Black boy in the 1930s. The book was the subject of many parental complaints stemming from sexually explicit content, violence, and portrayal of racism experienced by the main characters. Over the 2021-2022 school year, it was yanked from classroom and school library bookshelves 24 times. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017)
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas, was released in 2017 and deals with the aftereffects of a Black girl who attends a predominantly white, elite private school. In the 2021-2022 school year, it was removed from school libraries or classrooms 17 times. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (2018)
A Black high school student who suffers a dangerous encounter with white police officers writes to the late Martin Luther King, Jr., asking him what he would do. Stone stated she began writing the 2017 book as a response to the deaths of Jordan Davis and Michael Brown. It received seven bans in schools in the past year. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
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April 26--Glenview Public Library Multipurpose Room @ 7 to 8:30 PM
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The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Matthieu (2014)
"The Truth About Alice" discusses slut-shaming among teenagers. Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. The work was part of six book bans in the previous school year.
Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison (2018)
Jonathan Evison received death threats over "The Lawn Boy" after it was published in 2018. Lawn Boy is an important, entertaining, and completely winning novel about social class distinctions, overcoming cultural discrimination and standing up for oneself. For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington State, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work - and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew - he knows that he's got to be the one to shake things up if he's ever going to change his life. But how? This book was part of 17 different book bans during the 2021-2022 school year. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (2018)
The novel follows a Black girl who believes she is ugly and would be more beautiful if she only had blue eyes. Its subject matter contains elements of child molestation, sexual assault, drunkenness, racism, and incest, all of which got it banned on 22 separate occasions throughout multiple school districts in the past school year. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
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June: Criminal Justice (Monday, June 26)
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (2019)
A Black teenage girl goes missing — and her disappearance is never investigated. The book is based on real-life missing Black girls who fail to receive attention from the media or police. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007)
Sherman Alexie's book was subjected to school bans 16 times during the 2021-2022 school year. It was first released in 2007 and has been controversial since then due to its subject matter, which deals with poverty, sexuality, bullying, alcohol usage, profanity, and the use of slurs. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (2017)
"All American Boys" talks about two Black boys navigating hurdles of police brutality and racism while growing up in poverty. Because of its explicit racial content and depiction of law enforcement, the book was subject to nine school bans during the 2021-2022 year. (Available on Libby)
Reading List GPL Catalog Link
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater (2017)
Dashka Slater's The 57 Bus, a riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment, tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
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August: Gender Identity (Monday, August 21)
Flamer by Mike Curato (2020)
This 2020 book from Mike Curato is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel based on his experience growing up as a gay Catholic boy, and struggling to suppress his feelings and act more masculine in front of other boys. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
The Book is Gay by Juno Dawson (2015)
This informative nonfiction book talks about being gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, intersex, asexual, queer, or even just curious. It includes stories, interviews, and more from kids, teens, and adults across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Dawson considers it a manual for life as an LGBTQ person. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (2015)
Kuklin's story chronicles six real-life trans teens and young adults. Kuklin interviewed each of them before, during, and after transition, and formed all of the interviews into one cohesive narrative. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe (2019)
Kobabe wrote the memoir about a journey through gender identity and sexuality. There are a few explicit illustrations depicting Kobabe's sexual discovery, and many parents and conservative media figures have complained about the book. This was the most banned book of the 2021-2022 school year. It was removed from school libraries and/or classroom bookshelves on 41 separate instances, according to PEN America. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan (2002)
The story follows the case of 18-year-old Asher Fields, who is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Lily Campanello. Although initially convinced of his innocence, his mother, Olivia McAfee, can’t help being reminded of the similarities between Asher and her abusive ex-husband, Asher’s father. Through the story’s characters, Mad Honey explores themes of violence and abuse in relationships as well as gender expression and identity.
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October: Death and Suicide (Wednesday, Oct. 25)
Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (2015)
Two high school friends, Earl and Greg, befriend a girl named Rachel who has acute myelogenous leukemia. With its depictions of death, drug use, and sexual content, the book was banned 14 times over the previous school year, which means that the book was removed from school libraries and classroom shelves on 14 separate occasions. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
Looking for Alaska by John Green (2006)
Author John Green is known for his young-adult novels, which have been well-received by critics and fans. "Looking for Alaska" is considered his most controversial — it has been banned 11 times in schools since 2021. Parents were concerned about the profanity and sexually explicit scenes in the book, which follows a group of friends dealing with the death of one of their own. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)
Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was first published in 1999. The book was considered somewhat controversial for how it portrayed sexuality, drug use, and suicidal content. It was part of book bans eight times during the 2021-2022 school year. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
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December : Sexual Topics (Monday, December)
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This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (2014)
Two teen girls start to get interested in boys and learn more about the adults around them. The book is challenged due to the topic of sexual awakening. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins (2006)
Ellen Hopkins is known for her gritty, realistic fiction, and her book "Tricks" is no different. It follows the paths of five teenagers and deals with drug usage, sexual identity, and sexually explicit content. Reading List GPL Catalog Link
Sold by Patricia McCormick (2008)
A girl from Nepal is sold into sexual slavery. A film based on the novel was released in 2014. Due to depictions of violent sexual content, the book was banned on seven different occasions in the 2021-2022 school year. (Available on Libby) Reading List GPL Catalog Link
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