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21 Diverse Books People Have Tried to Ban

Inspired by Banned Books Week, this list of inspiring books will open up your kids' experience to the diverse world around them.
on September 29, 2016
 

This week is Banned Books Week, an annual event put on by the American Library Association (ALA) to promote the continued challenges to the freedom to read. According to the ALA, this year the most challenged books include: Looking for Alaska by John Green, My Name Is Jazz by Jessica Herthel, and yes, the Bible. Books are included on these lists after people submit an official challenge through schools and public libraries. What I find most troubling is that of the top 10 most challenged books in 2015, nine included diverse content. The ALA defines diverse content as:

...non-white main and/or secondary characters; LGBT main and/or secondary characters; disabled main and/or secondary characters; issues about race or racism; LGBT issues; issues about religion, which encompass in this situation the Holocaust and terrorism; issues about disability and/or mental illness; non-Western settings, in which the West is North America and Europe.

This is troubling! Instead of embracing the rich cultures, history, and life experiences these books offer, we are sheltering and homogenizing our children’s experiences. This results in some children seeing only lives just like theirs represented. And other children who aren’t widely represented in books are given the message that there's something wrong or invalid about their lives. We can do better than this — we need a richly diverse bookshelf at home and in school and public libraries.

Here are 21 of my favorite diverse books that are frequently challenged but instead should be frequently read! You can learn more about Banned Books Week here.


Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell


Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden


Ball Don't Lie by Matt de la Pena


Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki


Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank


The Family Book by Todd Parr


Geography Club by Brent Hartinger


George by Alex Gino


The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman


Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman


A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich by Alice Childress


I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings


King & King by Linda de Haan


Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino


My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis


Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron


Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox


This Day in June by Gayle Pitman

What do you think of banning books? Tell us about it on Scholastic Parents Facebook page!

Featured Photo Credit: © Wavebreakmedia/Thinsktock
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Check out bloggers Amy Mascott and Allie McDonald's book, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading. Get expert advice and learn new strategies for your young readers.

 

 

 

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