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Young Adult Literature

Information about the YA genre and CSULB's collection.

Banned and Challenged Books

"A book worth banning is a book worth reading"

Everyday books are still being challenged and removed from shelves, libraries, classrooms and reading lists across the USA. Challenged and removed books mean that somewhere a child can no longer access that book.  Challenged books nearly always include content about marginalized groups. Removal of these books remove a child's sense of inclusion and belonging.

This is a direct attack on our intellectual freedoms, and yes, kids have those rights too. 

Banned Books in the CSULB Library

See all of the books listed on ALA's top 100 lists currently available in the CSULB Library:

Ways to fight back

Facing Challenges (how can we respond?):

graph showing increasing unique titles challenged since 2000

pie chart showing percentages of who brings challenges, 28% patrons 24% parents, also pressure groups, boards, employees, govenment

bar graph showing what things get challenged, 76% Books, Graphic Novels, 5% displays, 4% access, 4% hate crimes, 3% programs

where censorship attemps take place, 54% libraries, 39% school libraries, 5% schools, 2% highher ed/other

Talking to Kids about Banned Books

Removing Books to Create Antiracist, Antibiased Collections

Wait!  What about removing books (especially older books) that we now know to be racist, sexist and/or homophobic? We don't want these books around but we don't want to be book banners!  We just need to be VERY careful in our reasons for removing a book.  Is our reasoning personal biases?  Is there a general belief that this book is harmful? Watch the slippery slope. Also consider books as historical research, representing thinking at a time in history, for older children's learning, vs. younger children.

Other Barriers to Access

Beyond banning:  What other barriers exist for access:

  • Held “pending investigation”
  • Purchasing
  • Location in collection
  • Need to ask
  • Hide from family/friends
  • Need to check out (fines?)

Author Dav Pilkey on Banning Books