We focus on stories of boys kissing boys and a boy trying to overcome social awkwardness in Day 5 of Banned Books Week.
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. Friday’s two featured books are brilliant, beautiful, and poignant, with being challenged because of its cover, and the other because of everything else.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Why it was banned/challenged: Explicit content on cover, supposed explicit sexual content
Why it should be read: It’s more than the title suggests. It’s more than just the couple who are kissing, but also about those in observance who are facing gender identity issues and coming out and relationships. It’s an eye opener for both the LGBT community, but everyone else, too.
The person who made a complaint to ban the book didn’t even read it, but assumed the book contained more sexual content in it by doing a search on it. Unfortunately, the person didn’t attempt to read the actual book before making such a complaint. Reading this book has far more value for teens, especially those facing personal issues regarding relationships. Plus, it’s a really moving and wonderful story.
Order Two Boys Kissing.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Why it was banned/challenged: Sexually explicit, drugs/alcohol, language, unsuited for age group
Why it should be read: Perks is a seminal coming-of-age story about finding your tribe, testing new waters, and facing down the hard times, even when you’re not prepared.
This novel deals with an emotional teen boy whose life was forever altered when a family member betrays him in unthinkable ways. It’s something that adults can’t bring themselves to discuss and would rather shelter their kids from. But Charlie’s journey and the journeys of his friends leave readers more aware, more empathetic, and with a feeling of hope.