More than half of the most difficult books in 2023 have an LGBTQ theme.

The American Library Association, a nonprofit organization that tracks efforts to ban books across the country, on Monday released a list detailing the 10 most challenging books of 2023. Seven of the books have LGBTQ themes, the organization said.

Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer, a graphic memoir chronicling the author's coming out as non-binary, topped the list. 3 years in a row. Other LGBTQ-themed titles on the list include All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson, This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, and The Framer by Mike Curato. “and so on.

In recent years, debates have raged in school districts and state legislatures across the country over what reading material is appropriate for children and teens. Efforts to restrict or recall books are being driven not only by Republican elected officials but also by conservative activist groups like Moms for Freedom.

Meanwhile, the American conservative movement has become increasingly united around efforts to suppress the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, including Florida's opposition to LGBTQ education in public schools. and broader efforts to prevent trans athletes from participating in school sports.

“Looking at the titles of the most controversial books last year, it's clear that pressure groups are targeting books about LGBTQIA+ people and people of color,” Emily Drabinsky, president of the American Library Association, added to the list. said in a statement issued.

“We are fighting for the freedom to choose what we want to read,” Drabinsky added. “Shining a light on the harmful work of these pressure groups is one of the actions we must take to protect the right to read.”

Last month, the American Library Association announced the number of books that will be challenged in U.S. libraries in 2023. 65% spike This is an increase over the previous year and the highest level the nonprofit has ever recorded.

In a report released March 14, the association said 4,240 individual book titles were targeted for removal from schools and public libraries. This is a dramatic increase from the previous high of 2,571 titles in 2022.

The most challenging books of 2023 (the top five all have LGBTQ themes) include Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, and Ellen Also included were “Tricks'' by Hopkins and “Me'' by Jesse Andrews. Earl and the Dying Girl,” Erica Moen and Matthew Nolan's “Let's Talk About It,” and Patricia McCormick's “Sold.”

Three of the titles on the list were not specifically flagged as having LGBTQ themes. The Library Association said “The Bluest Eye,'' widely considered a literary classic, received complaints because it contained depictions of rape and incest. It was also “alleged to be sexually explicit” and flagged as “EDI content,” an acronym that stands for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The list of challenged books was released Monday to kick off National Library Week, an event co-sponsored by the Library Association, which was founded in 1876.

The Library Association, which has been monitoring attempts to ban books since 1990, compiles data on challenges from two sources: reports from library professionals and news articles. The association said the 2023 data “represents only a snapshot of book censorship,” partly because many attempts to challenge books are not formally flagged or reported in the news media. He said that

“Each challenge and demand to censor these books is an attack on our freedom to read, our right to live the lives we choose, and our library as a community institution that reflects the rich diversity of this country. “It's an attack on people,” said Deborah Caldwell. Mr. Stone is the association's director of intellectual freedom.

“We risk losing all of this if we allow censorship,” she added.

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https://www.nbcnews.com/nbc-out/out-news/banned-books-lgbtq-library-association-rcna146236 More than half of the most difficult books in 2023 have an LGBTQ theme.

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