Libraries, bookstores and schools are marking Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-30, as an opportunity to celebrate the power of words to open minds with new and diverse viewpoints, even those some people might find offensive.
During the week, thousands of libraries, bookstores, schools and theaters host events that focus on the dangers of censorship and celebrate the right to choose reading materials without restriction.
Each year, The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a top 10 list of most challenged books from its collected data regarding challenges to bring awareness of the threat to the freedom to read.
Several of the books in this year's list have LGBT themes. They include:
This One Summer, written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki: It was challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier: This book includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
I Am Jazz, written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas: It was challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education and offensive viewpoints.
George, written by Alex Gino: It was challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the "sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels."
Two Boys Kissing, written by David Levithan: It was challenged because of its cover of same-sex kissing and sexually explicit LGBT content.
Additional information regarding Banned Books Week, the Stand for the Banned Read-Out and other events is available at ALA.org/bbooks .