Feature & Giveaway: Banned Books Week

Feature & Giveaway: Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week takes place from September 24th – 30th is the annual event celebrating the freedom to read! Words Have Power – Read a Banned Book!

It should be no surprise that books are still being challenged and banned in our own country. LGBTQIA+ books are still the most challenged books, and the top 5 on the list for 2016 are all in this category. In this day in age we need these books more than ever. By now you should know that I am part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and reading these books as an adult, still has tremendous impact on my sense of self, and I can only imagine what my life would have been like as a teen if these books were available to me then.

I hope that you check out this post, share resources, and enter a giveaway for an ebook or paperback copy of one of the 10 most challenged books of 2016. This is open internationally if The Book Depository ships to you (max value $15). Just leave a comment about which banned book you will be reading this week or your thoughts on banned books! Giveaway closes on 9/30/17.

This week I will be reading the number one banned book, This One Summer, and the number five banned book, Two Boys Kissing. Be sure to tell me which books you will be reading to have a chance to win!

Thank you to the American Library Association for their resources and continued work to make sure the battle against censorship continues!


Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016

According to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

1. This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki – Goodreads | Amazon
This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.

2. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier – Goodreads | Amazon
Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.

3. George written by Alex Gino – Goodreads | Amazon
Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”

4. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas – Goodreads | Amazon
This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.

5. Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan – Goodreads | Amazon
Included on the National Book Award longlist and designated a Stonewall Honor Book, this young adult novel was challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.

6. Looking for Alaska written by John Green – Goodreads | Amazon
This 2006 Printz Award winner is a young adult novel that was challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation.”

7. Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky – Goodreads | Amazon
Considered to be sexually explicit by library staff and administrators, this compilation of adult comic books by two prolific award-winning artists was banned and challenged.

8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk – Goodreads | Amazon
This collection of adult short stories, which received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, was challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”

9. Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood – Goodreads
This children’s book series was challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.

10. Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell – Goodreads | Amazon
One of seven New York Times Notable Children’s Books and a Printz Honor recipient, this young adult novel was challenged for offensive language.



  1. Danielle Hammelef
    September 25, 2017

    I will be reading Looking for Alaska. I’m also reading We are Okay which is probably also on a banned list somewhere.

    • kelly
      September 25, 2017

      I am sure We Are Okay has been challenged! I hope you enjoy Looking for Alaska!

  2. wanderingsofabookbird
    September 25, 2017

    Thank you so much for the wonderful giveaway. I’l be reading one of my fave books this week: Harry Potter. I can’t believe it’s banned in so many places! <3
    Contact: @WordsThatStay1 on twitter

    • kelly
      September 25, 2017

      I love that some people don’t know that HP has been challenged a lot of the last 20 years! Happy Re-reading!

  3. Christy Jane (@diamondxgirl)
    September 25, 2017

    I’m going to join you in reading those two books because they’ve been on my TBR for too long!

    • kelly
      September 25, 2017

      YAY! I just bought That One Summer so I will have it on Wednesday! But I have Two Boys at home!

  4. Kelly
    September 25, 2017

    I loved Eleanor & Park! I gravitate toward any and all banned books.

    • kelly
      September 26, 2017

      Right?! Banning them just kind of makes you want to read them all!

  5. Lynne
    September 26, 2017

    I’ve read Eleanor & Park and Looking for Alaska and loved them both. I will be looking for That One Summer. And everyone knows that nothing makes a book more popular then banning it!!

  6. theresajs
    September 26, 2017

    My favorite week!!! When I hear a book is banned, I automatically want to read it!! Heck, that’s the only reason I read Harry Potter when it first came out as a local school was banning it!
    I just downloaded Eleanor & Park to listen to this week as it’s been on my tbr for ages, time to finally read it!
    (I’ve already read George and Two Boys Kissing – both great books!)
    thanks for doing this!!!

  7. bookfairie
    September 29, 2017

    This one summer! Read most of lisy!!

    • kelly
      September 29, 2017

      That’s is great! I need to read more on this list!

    • kelly
      October 3, 2017

      Congrats BookFaire! You are the random winner!

  8. H.Sandrine
    September 29, 2017

    OMG I was really shocked to see Harry Potter on the list of banned book O_O (Thanks for the chance !)

  9. Angie B
    September 29, 2017

    I think it’s sad how many of the original grimm fairytales have been banned because they were “too scary” or “too graphic” for kids

  10. Autumn
    September 30, 2017

    I reread The Golden Compass, which is one of my favorites!!!

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