For today’s Banned Books Week novels, we reveal two important books that young people of color can relate to.
It’s Banned Books Week, which is an event that brings awareness of the freedom to read. Most bans were because of complaints or outcries from parents and/or some educators, feeling that some of the books were unsuitable for teens or pre-teens.
For each day of Banned Books Week, we’ll be presenting two young adult books that are/have been banned from schools or communities due to its contents – or at the very least, challenged. For Tuesday’s books, these stories of people of color are just as important today as when they were first published.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Why it was banned/challenged: Associated with Mexican American studies, written by a Mexican-American
Why it should be read: Unfortunately, this book was challenged and attempted to be banned because the author is a Latina, and it’s from a Mexican-American’s perspective. These reasons do not fall into the usual factors that people often argue for banning a book.
The story itself is unique in the way it’s told. It’s not really a linear story, but a set of vignettes from the main character’s life as she experiences life in a small house on Mango Street in a no-go-great neighborhood in Chicago. So many people can relate to this, especially teens. This is a great way to help people understand the trials of others, including peers.
Order The House on Mango Street now.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Why it was banned/challenged: Strong language, violence, police brutality
Why it should be read: Considering the reality of today and the fact that the BLM movement is as strong as it has ever been, this novel cuts deep into the heart of the matter of racism and police brutality.
The novel was published almost exactly a year ago, so of course it hits very strongly for a lot of people. It might not be true, but the emotions are true and the anger is real. It’s definitely a challenging book, and it very much has both youth and adults relating in so many ways.
Order All American Boys now.