I started Friday Fives back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to Friday Fives instead to have more room for topics.
Today’s topic was going to be something different but earlier this week ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom released the list of the top 10 most challenged books of 2021. The lists are based on media stories and voluntary reports sent to OIF from across the country. Last year had an unprecedented amount of attempts to ban books, with 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services, which resulted in 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons. In comparison, 156 challenges (lower than typical due to most libraries, schools, and universities being closed), 377 challenges were tracked in 2019, and 347 challenges were tracked in 2018. (If you want to go and look at the full list of challenged and/or banned books or see how previous years’ lists compare to this years’, click here).
Here are the top five books I want to read (and surprisingly haven’t read) from 2021 banned books. Please support these authors, check them out at your local library, and keep reading books. Keep reading new ideas and thinking because as hard as they try to challenge or ban or restrict these books, the ideas will still be there. And yes, I’m going to quote V for Vendetta, “Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea…and ideas are bulletproof.”
Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered sexually explicit
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
Reason: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
Happy Reading Darlings!