It happens every year during late September, this recognition of certain books. Each year some new titles are added and others are pushed off. Do you know what the following books, all available at the Jackson Public Library, have in common?
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
These books are all on the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 list as compiled by the American Library Association (ALA). The reasons for their challenges are widely varied and make for interesting reading, as does the more general Banned Books FAQ. Why, you might ask, do we have these books in our collection? As a library, we condemn censorship and believe in free access to information. As the ALA succinctly states, these books “reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Reading—especially books that extend beyond our own experiences—expands our worldview. Censorship, on the other hand, divides us and creates barriers.” We hope you’ll stop by and find a book that piques your interest.