Bookshelf: Banned Books Week

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

September 29 2011 5:00 PM ET

Every year, for one week, the American Library Association observes Banned Books Week. This week, September 24 through October 1, is a week to “celebrate the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment,” according to the ALA, by highlighting books that have been banned by various communities in the U.S. Not surprisingly, books by or about LGBT folks have long been on that list. Among the most banned last year? And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, about two real male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who raise a baby penguin named Tango. It got the reception from Christian conservatives that Heather Has Two Mommies got 20 years ago. Also on the list: Twilight, Hunger Games, and feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich’s economic opus Nickel and Dimed. In honor of Banned Books Week, we looked back at five great but often banned LGBT books for kids of varying ages, with some help from the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.

 King & King (Tricycle Press, 2003) $11KING & KING X200 | ADVOCATE.COM
In this adorable fairy tale, authors Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland created a world where a young prince searches for love among the princesses looking for his soul mate. When he finally finds that person, it’s not a princess who becomes his bride, but instead he falls for another prince and takes him as his husband. The fairy tale ending so enraged critics that the book landed on the American Library Association's list of the 10 most challenged books for 2004.


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