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Books & Authors, Diverse Voices

Banned Books Week

Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week is an annual event that takes place each September. It serves as a reminder that everyone has the right to read freely without barriers. Banned Books Week brings together individuals from various aspects of the book community.  This is expressed in this year’s theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Those of the book community are united in a shared belief that individuals have the right to access and share information and ideas, even if these ideas are considered unconventional.

 

Fiction

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A Anaya
Chronicles the story of an alienated New Mexico boy who seeks an answer to his questions about life in his relationship with Ultima, a magical healer.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations marked by wealth, slavery, war, coal mining, the Great Migration and the realities of 20th-century Harlem.

Lawn Boy: A Novel by Jonathan Evison
Faced by a life of menial prospects in the years after high school, Mike Munoz, a young Mexican-American, attempts over and over to change his life for the better and achieve the American dream, only to be stymied by social-class distinctions and cultural discrimination.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl in an America whose love for blonde, blue-eyed children can devastate all others, prays for her eyes to turn blue, so that she will be beautiful, people will notice her, and her world will be different.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
In 1969 in Kerala, India, Rahel and her twin brother, Estha, struggle to forge a childhood for themselves amid the destruction of their family life, as they discover that the entire world can be transformed in a single moment.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
In the Republic of Gilead, a new theocratic military dictatorship, Offred is one of a class of individuals kept as a concubine ("handmaid") for reproductive purposes by the ruling class. She relates the details of her grim life and the events that led up to her situation and the world she finds herself in.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Set in Afghanistan. Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara -- a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

 

Nonfiction

A Stolen Life : A Memoir by Jaycee Lee Dugard
This memoir of Jaycee Lee Dugard chronicles her kidnapping and the 18 years she was kept prisoner, then sexually and mentally abused. Jaycee was taken when she was 11 years old.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
An unusual memoir done in the form of a graphic novel by a cult favorite comic artist offers a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father, a historic preservation expert dedicated to restoring the family's Victorian home, funeral home director, high-school English teacher, and closeted homosexual.

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds
A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls
The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.

 

 

 

 

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