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5 Books to Read for Banned Books Week

5 Books to Read for Banned Books Week

Happy Banned Books Week!

I’m excited to be celebrating Banned Books Week for the THIRD time on this blog. Click here to read my 2017 "Banned Books Week" post and here for my 2018 "Banned Books Week" post. This continues to be one of my best performing posts and one of my favorites to write. So I'm happy to be celebrating Banned Books Week again this year with 5 new books to consider reading. All 5 of these books appeared on 2018's TOP TEN list of most challenged books. In total, there were 483 books challenged last year. Banning books is not the answer, we need to read MORE and talk MORE about the themes in these books.

1. George by Alex Gino | Challenged for encouraging children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character

From the publisher:

George joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

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.

George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller | Challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints

From the publisher:

100 percent of Last Week Tonight's proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

HBO's Emmy winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a children's picture book about a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.

Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever...

With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming bunny book for kids explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this better Bundo book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.

3. Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey | Challenged for encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple

From the publisher:

There's something rotten in the state of Ohio, and it's smellier than a pile of putrid gym socks! Steer clear -- it's Sir Stinks-A-Lot!

George and Harold, and their doubles, Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold, have a good thing going. Two of them go to school, while the other two hide in the tree house and play video games all day -- then they switch! But when their malicious gym teacher, Mr. Meaner, creates a method of mind-control that turns their fellow students into attentive, obedient, perfect children, the future of all humanity will be in their hands!

4. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier | Challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes

Drama by Raina Telgemeier.jpg
Drama
By Raina Telgemeier

From the publisher: 

From Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of Smile and Sisters!

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department's stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

5. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki | Challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki.jpg
This One Summer
By Mariko Tamaki

From the publisher:

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. One of the local teens - just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy - is caught up in something bad... Something life threatening.

It's a summer of secrets, and sorrow, and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

This One Summer is a tremendously exciting new teen graphic novel from two creators with true literary clout. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of childhood - a story of renewal and revelation.

This title has Common Core connections.

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