Across the country, many of the books banned or challenged center BIPOC and LGBTIA+ themes and characters. Reading can be resistance to censorship and support of diverse perspectives.
The number of challenged and banned books has been surging in the past four years. When the number of challenges to books quadrupled from 156 to 729 in 2021, the American Library Association (ALA) released a powerful statement on book censorship that sums up the unconstitutionality of book bans. And two years later, individuals and organizations are still calling for voices to be eliminated from education systems and extracted from libraries, in larger numbers than ever before.
We agree with what the ALA stated in 2021:
We stand opposed to censorship and any effort to coerce belief, suppress opinion, or punish those whose expression does not conform to what is deemed to be orthodox in history, politics, or belief. The unfettered exchange of ideas is essential to the preservation of a free and democratic society.
The good news is that readers have a voice in this matter. You can help oppose censorship by reading, discussing, and sharing banned books.
Across the country, many of the books banned or challenged center BIPOC and LGBTIA+ themes and characters, so it’s fitting that Banned Books Week overlaps with the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. Browse some more ideas from the ALA here.
Here is our recommendations list of banned books that reflect Hispanic heritages and experiences:
Products / Atria Books
Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.
This award-winning and bestselling classic memoir about a young Chicano gang member is now updated with a new Introduction and reading group guide.
Products / Riverhead Books
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Pulitzer Prize Winner)
Winner of both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the most talked about--and praised--smash hit of 2007 follows the adventures of a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd plagued by a family curse.
Products / Atria Books
The House of the Spirits
"The unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world's most gifted and imaginative storytellers. The House of the Spirits brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife, Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world.
Products / Vintage
The House on Mango Street
Originally published in 1985, and republished to coincide with the release of Cisneros' new book, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, this is the stunning debut noveld in a series of vignettes, it is the story of a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago.
Products / Graywolf Press
In the Dream House: A Memoir
A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties . "...full of repressed physical energy and the raw juice of annihilating female fury."--Louise Erdrich, The Millions .s .
Products / Monthly Review Press
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Tracing five centuries of exploitation in Latin America, a classic in the field, now in its twenty fifth year Since its U. S. debut a quarter-century ago, this brilliant text has set a new standard for historical scholarship of Latin America. It is also an outstanding political economy, a social and cultural narrative of the highest quality, and perhaps the finest description of primitive capital accumulation since Marx.
Other most challenged books featuring BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ characters:
Gender Queer: A Memoir
Products / Oni Press
Products / Algonquin Books
All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto
George M Johnson
Products / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Out of Darkness
Ashley Hope Pérez
Products / Carolrhoda Lab (R)
The Hate U Give: A Printz Honor Winner
Products / Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (National Book Award Winner)
Products / Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition)
Products / Harry N. Abrams
The Bluest Eye
Products / Vintage
This Book Is Gay (Revised)
Products / Sourcebooks Fire
Beyond Magenta: Transgender and Nonbinary Teens Speak Out
Products / Candlewick Press (MA)