Banned Books Week 2016: Diverse Content Banned More Often September 27, 2016

By Erica McKinley

There are many reasons why books are banned from classrooms and libraries across the nation. The most common objections are to sexually explicit content, offensive language, and violence. While these objections may seem unremarkable, especially given the fact that most are raised by the parents of students or patrons, there’s actually a lot more to the story.



According to the American Library Association (ALA), 52% of books challenged or banned over the past decade are diverse. This number is troubling on its own, but considering that only 10% of all books published focus on multicultural content, it’s downright alarming.



Most often, the objections raised are not directly to the diverse content itself. For example, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, a book that has appeared on the ALA’s top ten most frequently challenged books list twice in the past five years, is often called out for being sexually explicit and containing offensive language. But there are many other books that also contain sex and strong language that are not challenged. It seems the true objection might be to the racial content.


In some cases, the objections are more straightforward. Last year in Duval County, Florida, a group of parents tried to ban Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter, a children’s book that appears on the 2015 top ten list, from the public school curriculum. One of the main objections? It promotes a religion other than Christianity.


Homosexuality is another frank and direct reason given when challenging books containing LGBTQ content. Three of the books on the 2015 top ten list were challenged for this reason, and a fourth, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, though mainly challenged for violence and graphic imagery, also addresses sexual orientation as a major theme.

Though books are often challenged with the intent of protecting people (particularly children) from overexposure to mature topics, the reality is that preventing people, children or adults, from reading material that is diverse or challenging promotes ignorance and perpetuates intolerance. It is important for everyone to have access to a wide array of material by authors of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and religious faiths so that they can make informed decisions and engage in thoughtful and constructive dialog with one another.


New Hot Reads Summer 2016! August 18, 2016

Check out the new additions to Maryville’s Hot Reads Collection:


Title: All Summer Long, Author: Dorothea Benton FrankAll Summer Long, Dorothea Benton Frank

Title: Barkskins, Author: Annie ProulxBarkskins, Annie Proulx

Title: Bay of Sighs (The Guardians Trilogy #2), Author: Nora RobertsBay of Sighs, Nora Roberts

Title: Before the Fall, Author: Noah HawleyBefore the Fall, Noah Hawley

Title: Julian Fellowes's Belgravia, Author: Julian FellowesBelgravia, Julian Fellowes

Title: The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon Series #16), Author: Daniel SilvaThe Black Widow, Daniel Silva

Title: Bullseye (Michael Bennett Series #9), Author: James PattersonBullseye, James Patterson

Title: Dark Matter, Author: Blake CrouchDark Matter, Blake Crouch

Title: Dishonorable Intentions (Stone Barrington Series #38), Author: Stuart WoodsDishonorable Intentions, Stuart Woods

Title: Dragonmark (Dark-Hunter Series #20), Author: Sherrilyn KenyonDragonmark, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: The Emperor's Revenge (Oregon Files Series #11), Author: Clive CusslerThe Emperor’s Revenge, Clive Cussler

Title: End of Watch (Bill Hodges Series #3), Author: Stephen KingEnd of Watch, Stephen King

Title: Falling, Author: Jane GreenFalling, Jane Green

Title: First Comes Love, Author: Emily GiffinFirst Comes Love, Emily Giffin

Title: Foreign Agent (Scot Harvath Series #15), Author: Brad ThorForeign Agent, Brad Thor

Title: The Games: A Private Novel, Author: James PattersonThe Games, James Patterson

Title: The Girls, Author: Emma ClineThe Girls, Emma Cline

Title: Guilty Minds (Nick Heller Series #3), Author: Joseph FinderGuilty Minds, Joseph Finder

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II, Author: J. K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling

Title: Here's to Us, Author: Elin HilderbrandHere’s to Us, Elin Hilderbrand

Title: A Hero of France, Author: Alan FurstA Hero of France, Alan Furst

Title: Heroes of the Frontier, Author: Dave EggersHeroes of the Frontier, Dave Eggers

Title: I Almost Forgot about You, Author: Terry McMillanI Almost Forgot About You, Terry McMillan

Title: The House of Secrets, Author: Brad MeltzerThe House of Secrets, Brad Meltzer

Title: Killer Look (Signed Book) (Alexandra Cooper Series #18), Author: Linda FairsteinKiller Look, Linda Fairstein

Title: The Last Star (Fifth Wave Series #3), Author: Rick YanceyThe Last Star, Rick Yancey

Title: Life Debt: Aftermath (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Star Wars), Author: Chuck WendigLife Debt: Aftermath, Chuck Wendig

Title: Magic, Author: Danielle SteelMagic, Danielle Steel

Title: Nerve (Movie Tie-In), Author: Jeanne RyanNerve, Jeanne Ryan

Title: Smooth Operator, Author: Stuart WoodsSmooth Operator, Stuart Woods

Title: Sweet Tomorrows (Rose Harbor Series #5), Author: Debbie MacomberSweet Tomorrows, Debbie Macomber

Title: Truly Madly Guilty, Author: Liane MoriartyTruly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty

Title: The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club), Author: Colson WhiteheadUnderground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

Title: Vinegar Girl (Hogarth Shakespeare), Author: Anne TylerVinegar Girl, Anne Tyler

Title: The Woman in Cabin 10, Author: Ruth WareThe Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware



Title: But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past, Author: Chuck KlostermanBut What if We’re Wrong? Chuck Klosterman

Title: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, Author: Vishen LakhianiThe Code of the Extraordinary Mind, Vishen Lakhiani

Title: Freedom: My Book of Firsts, Author: Jaycee DugardFreedom, Jaycee Dugard

Title: Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, Author: Mary RoachGrunt, Mary Roach

Title: How to Ruin Everything: Essays, Author: George WatskyHow to Ruin Everything, George Watsky

Title: Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, Author: Jonah BergerInvisible Influence, Jonah Berger

Title: It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays, Author: Shane DawsonIt Gets Worse, Shane Dawson

Title: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (Signed Book), Author: Shauna NiequistPresent Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist

Title: The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction, Author: Neil GaimanThe View from the Cheap Seats, Neil Gaiman

Title: Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, Author: Debby IrvingWaking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, Debby Irving

Title: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Author: Nancy  IsenbergWhite Trash, Nancy Isenberg

Title: You'll Grow Out of It, Author: Jessi KleinYou’ll Grow Out of It, Jessi Klein

New Hot Reads May 2016! June 1, 2016


fpoThe Apartment, Danielle Steel

Title: The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel, Author: Elizabeth J. ChurchThe Atomic Weight of Love, Elizabeth Church

Title: Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Author: Curtis SittenfeldEligible, Curtis Sittenfeld

fpoEverybody’s Fool, Richard Russo

Title: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, Author: Chris CleaveEveryone Brave is Forgiven, Chris Cleave

fpoExtreme Prey, John Sandford

fpo15th Affair, James Patterson

Title: LaRose, Author: Louise ErdrichLarose, Louise Erdrich

fpoThe Last Mile, David Baldacci

Title: Maestra, Author: L. S. HiltonMaestra, L. S. Hilton

Title: Bloodline (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Star Wars), Author: Claudia GrayStar Wars: Bloodline, Claudia Gray

Title: Zero K, Author: Don DeLilloZero K, Don DeLillo


Title: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts, Author: Joshua HammerThe Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, Joshua Hammer

fpoFive Presidents, Clint Hill

fpoThe Gene, Siddhartha Mukherjee

fpoGrit, Angela Duckworth

fpoHamilton: The Revolution, Miranda Lin-Manuel

Title: Old Age: A Beginner's Guide, Author: Michael KinsleyOld Age, Michael Kinsley

fpoShoe Dog, Phil Knight

fpoTed Talks, Chris Anderson

Title: Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown, Author: Lezley McSpaddenTell the Truth & Shame the Devil, Lezley McSpadden

fpoValiant Ambition, Nathaniel Philbrick

New Hot Reads April 2016! May 2, 2016


fpoAs Time Goes By, Mary Higgins Clark

Title: The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #14), Author: J. R. WardThe Beast, J.R. Ward

Title: Brush of Wings, Author: Karen KingsburyBrush of Wings, Karen Kingsbury

Title: Family Jewels (Stone Barrington Series #37), Author: Stuart WoodsFamily Jewels, Stuart Woods

fpoFool Me Once, Harlan Coben

fpoThe 14th Colony, Steve Berry

Title: Journey to Munich (Maisie Dobbs Series #12), Author: Jacqueline WinspearJourney to Munich, Jacqueline Winspear

Milk and HoneyMilk and Honey, Rupi Kaur

fpoMiller’s Valley, Anna Quindlen

fpoMost Wanted, Lisa Scottoline

fpoThe Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Seeney

fpoThe Obsession, Nora Roberts

Title: One with You (Crossfire Series #5), Author: Sylvia DayOne With You, Sylvia Day

Title: The Other Side of Silence (Bernie Gunther Series #11), Author: Philip KerrThe Other Side of Silence, Philip Kerr

Title: Raven's Revenge: Tales of Dragonia, Author: Mark S. DeckerRaven’s Revenge, Mark S. Decker

fpoThe Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson


Title: Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, Author: Krista TippettBecoming Wise, Krista Tippett

Title: The Curse of Beauty: The Scandalous & Tragic Life of Audrey Munson, America's First Supermodel, Author: James BoneThe Curse of Beauty, James Bone

Title: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Author: Brené BrownDaring Greatly, Brené Brown

fpoFirst Women, Kate Andersen

fpoGirls and Sex, Peggy Orenstein

fpoLab Girl, Hope Jahren

Title: Lust & Wonder (Signed Book), Author: Augusten BurroughsLust and Wonder, Augusten Burroughs

fpoThe Rainbow Comes and Goes, Anderson Cooper

fpoThe Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington

fpoThe Third Wave, Steve Case

New Hot Reads March 2016! May 2, 2016


Title: Cometh the Hour (Clifton Chronicles Series #6), Author: Jeffrey ArcherCometh the Hour, Jeffrey Archer

Title: Dark Promises (Dark Series #29), Author: Christine FeehanDark Promises, Christine Feehan

Title: Deep Blue (Doc Ford Series #23), Author: Randy Wayne WhiteDeep Blue, Randy Wayne White

Title: Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson Series #9), Author: Patricia BriggsFire Touched, Patricia Briggs

Title: The Gangster (Isaac Bell Series #9), Author: Clive CusslerThe Gangster, Clive Cussler

Title: A Girl's Guide to Moving On (Signed Book), Author: Debbie MacomberA Girl’s Guide to Moving On, Debbie Macomber

Title: In the Land of Huge Things, Author: Hannah L BestIn the Land of Huge Things, Hannah Best

Title: Midnight Sun (Signed Book), Author: Jo NesboMidnight Sun, Jo Nesbo

Title: Off the Grid (Signed Book) (Joe Pickett Series #16), Author: C. J. BoxOff the Grid, C.J. Box

Title: Private Paris, Author: James PattersonPrivate Paris, James Patterson

Title: Property of a Noblewoman, Author: Danielle SteelProperty of a Noblewoman, Danielle Steel

Title: The Steel Kiss (Lincoln Rhyme Series #12), Author: Jeffery DeaverThe Steel Kiss, Jeffery Deaver

This Is Where It EndsThis is Where it Ends, Marieke Nijkamp

Title: The Waters of Eternal Youth (Guido Brunetti Series #25), Author: Donna LeonThe Waters of Eternal Youth, Donna Leon

Title: Wedding Cake Murder (B&N Exclusive Signed Edition) (Hannah Swensen Series #19), Author: Joanne FlukeWedding Cake Murder, Joanne Fluke

Title: The Widow, Author: Fiona BartonThe Widow, Fiona Barton



Title: All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, Author: Rebecca TraisterAll the Single Ladies, Rebecca Traister

Title: American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, Author: Nancy Jo SalesAmerican Girls, Nancy Jo Sales

Title: #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness, Author: Gary Vaynerchuk#AskGaryVee, Gary Vaynerchuk

Title: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Author: Matthew DesmondEvicted, Matthew Desmond

Title: A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, Author: Sue KleboldA Mother’s Reckoning, Sue Klebold

Title: Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror, Author: Michael V. HaydenPlaying to the Edge, Michael V. Hayden

fpoSeven Brief Lessons on Physics, Carlo Rovelli

Title: Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends, Author: Martin LindstromSmall Data, Martin Lindstrom

fpoSmarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg

Title: The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Author: Kim BarkerThe Taliban Shuffle, Kimberly Barker

New Hot Reads February 2016! February 25, 2016


Title: The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn Series #6), Author: Brandon SandersonThe Bands of Mourning, Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Bitter Season (Signed Book) (Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska Series #5), Author: Tami HoagThe Bitter Season, Tami Hoag

fpoBlue, Danielle Steel

fpoBreakdown, Jonathan Kellerman

fpoBrotherhood in Death, J.D. Robb

Title: Even Dogs in the Wild (Inspector John Rebus Series #20), Author: Ian RankinEven Dogs in the Wild, Ian Rankin

Title: Feverborn (Fever Series #8), Author: Karen Marie MoningFeverborn, Karen Marie Moning

fpoFind Her, Lisa Gardner

Title: A Little Life, Author: Hanya YanagiharaA Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara

fpoMorning Star, Pierce Brown

fpoNYPD Red 4, James Patterson

Title: Salt to the Sea, Author: Ruta SepetysSalt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys

STitle: Scandalous Behavior (Stone Barrington Series #36), Author: Stuart Woodscandalous Behavior, Stuart Woods

fpoThe Swans of Fifth Avenue, Melanie Benjamin

Title: Warriors of the Storm (Last Kingdom Series #9) (Saxon Tales Series), Author: Bernard CornwellWarriors of the Storm, Bernard Cornwell

fpoThe Wolves, Alex Berenson



fpoDark Money, Jane Mayer

fpoThe Finest Hours, Michael J. Tougias

fpoThe Name of God is Mercy, Pope Francis

fpoIn Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri

fpoOriginals, Adam Grant

Title: The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage, Author: Daymond JohnThe Power of Broke, Daymond John

fpoThe Road to Little Dribbling, Bill Bryson

fpoWhen Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

New Hot Reads January 2016! January 26, 2016


fpoAshley Bell, Dean Koontz

fpoGolden Age, Jane Smiley

fpoThe Guest Room, Chris Bohjalian

fpoThe Mersault Investigation, Kamel Daoud

fpoMy Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout

fpoThe Revenant, Michael Punke

fpoStar Wars: The Force Awakens, Alan Dean Foster



fpoDestiny and Power, Jon Meacham

fpoThe Geography of Genius, Eric Weiner

fpoThe Grace to Race, Sister Madonna Buder

fpoMy Life on the Road, Gloria Steinhem

fpoPresence, Amy Cuddy

fpoWe Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

New Hot Reads November 6, 2015! November 6, 2015


fpoAll the Stars in the Heavens, Adriana Trigiani

fpoA Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James

fpoCity on Fire, Garth Rick Hallberg

fpoForeign Affairs, Stuart Woods

fpoThe Lake House, Kate Morton

fpoRogue Lawyer, John Grisham

fpoSee Me, Nicholas Sparks

fpoSlade House, David Mitchell

fpoWelcome to the Night Vale, Joseph Fink



fpoBecoming Nicole, Amy Ellis Nutt

fpoBinge, Tyler Oakley

fpoCrippled America, Donald Trump

fpoExtreme Ownership, Jocko Willink

fpoThe Last of the President’s Men, Bob Woodward

fpoVoices from Chernobyl, Svetlana Alexievich

New Hot Reads October 23, 2015! October 23, 2015


fpoAncillary Sword, Ann Leckie

fpoAncillary Mercy, Ann Leckie

Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith

fpoCarry On, Rainbow Rowell

fpoA Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, George R. R. Martin

fpoSaturn Run, John Sandford

fpoShadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson

fpoThe Survivor, Vince Flynn



fpoA Common Struggle, Patrick J. Kennedy

fpoA More Perfect Union, Ben Carson

New Hot Reads! October 19, 2015


fpoThe Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher

fpoAfter You, Jojo Moyes

fpoCome Rain or Come Shine, Jan Karon

fpoDevoted in Death, J.D. Robb

fpoThe End Game, Catherine Coulter

fpoEve, WM. Paul Young

fpoFates and Furies, Lauren Groff

fpoThe 5th Wave, Rick Yancey

The Heart Goes LastThe Heart Goes Last, Margaret Atwood

fpoHollow City, Ransom Riggs

fpoLibrary of Souls, Ransom Riggs

fpoThe Murder House, James Patterson

fpoPretty Girls, Karin Slaughter

fpoPurity, Jonathan Franzen

fpoThe Scam, Janet Evanovich

fpoThe Secret Chord, Geraldine Brooks

fpoSix of Crows, Leigh Bardugo

fpoThe Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman




fpoThe Art of Memoir, Mary Karr

fpoBig Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert

fpoFast Girl, Suzy Favor Hamilton

fpoFuriously Happy, Jenny Lawson

fpoKilling Reagan, Bill O’Reilly

fpoSaving Capitalism, Robert Reich

fpoWhy Not Me? Mindy Kaling