Banned Books Week 2021

Banned Books Week, September 26-October 2, 2021, is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Mason County District Library will have book displays and lists featuring titles frequently challenged by censorship attempts. This year’s theme is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” Sharing our stories brings us together. Open minds and open hearts can bridge barriers created by our differences. Librarians, authors, publishers, booksellers, journalists, and booklovers across the country are united in the effort to provide free access to books and ideas, even unpopular ones. Celebrate our Freedom to Read!

Currently the Mason County District Library is open for indoor service as well as Curbside Delivery of library materials such as books and DVDs, and services such as printing, faxing and copying 9:00 am to 6:00 pm weekdays and until 8:00 pm on Wednesdays, and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays at both locations in Ludington and Scottville. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Masks are required while indoors.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021

  1. George by Alex Gino. Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community.”
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote antipolice views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now.”
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, it was claimed to be biased against male students, and it included rape and profanity.
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of the author.
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin. Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote antipolice views.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience.
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes and their negative effect on students.
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse.
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Challenged for profanity, and because it was thought to promote an antipolice message.


Lisa Dains

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