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‘Fun Home,’ ‘Habibi’ among most challenged books of 2015

by  in Comic News Comment
‘Fun Home,’ ‘Habibi’ among most challenged books of 2015

Two graphic novels, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Craig Thompson’s Habibi, were among the 10 most frequently challenged books last year in U.S. public schools and libraries, according to the American Library Association.

The annual findings of the organization’s Office of Intellectual Freedom were released Monday to help kick off National Library Week.

Fun Home, Bechdel’s acclaimed 2006 memoir detailing her childhood with a closeted gay father, his apparent suicide and her own coming out as a lesbian, came in at No. 7 on the list, just behind the Bible. Complaints frequently cited violence and “graphic images.”

It was followed at No. 8 by Habibi, Thompson’s Middle Eastern parable about two child slaves who fall in love, and try to carve out a place for themselves in the world. According to the ALA, challengers objected to nudity and sexual explicitness, charging that the graphic novel is unsuitable for the age group.

The ALA doesn’t state where or how many times the books were challenged, or whether they involved school libraries, public libraries or classrooms.

Fun Home became a lightning rod in 2014 in South Carolina, where the state legislature sought to cut $52,000 in funding to the College of Charleston after the graphic novel was chosen for a summer reading program for incoming freshmen. Last year, some freshmen at Duke University also objected to the school’s selection of Fun Home; the school stood by its choice.

Here’s the list of the Top 10 most challenged books in 2015:

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

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