Post submitted by Kimmie Fink, Welcoming Schools Consultant

Among the most challenged books in the country — those with formal requests to have them removed from schools and libraries — are always titles with LGBTQ characters or content. HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program recognizes the importance of these stories to LGBTQ students and families, and all students for that matter, as they provide validation of students’ experiences and promote empathy through increased understanding of differences.

In honor of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, Welcoming Schools is highlighting some of our favorite books that face censorship. 

Of the 11 most challenged books of 2018, Welcoming Schools is proud to recommend three especially important reads: 

“George” by Alex Gino (Grade 3 – 6) 

When people look at George, they think they see a boy, but she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George really wants to play Charlotte in “Charlotte’s Web.” Will she be able to? 

“A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” by Jill Twiss (Grade K – 2) 

Marlon Bundo is a very special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. He was lonely living with his Grampa, but on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever. Download the accompanying lesson plan from Welcoming Schools for free.

“Drama” by Raina Telgemeier (Grade 5 – 8) 

A graphic novel that, through the drama of a play and drama between its characters, explores middle school feelings with boyfriends and girlfriends, and boyfriends and boyfriends.

Another title that has made it on the list for the past three years is “I Am Jazz” by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herschel. This incredible true life story of a transgender girl is the cornerstone of Welcoming Schools’ annual Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings, which will take place on Thursday, February 27, 2020. 

You’re invited to lift up this banned book by hosting a reading in your area. Register now.

To join in on this year’s Banned Books Week and show your support for LGBTQ youth and the right to read, check out one of these titles (or any of Welcoming Schools’ other recommended books) today. 

HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to: 

  • Welcome diverse families;
  • Create LGBTQ and gender-inclusive schools;
  • Prevent bias-based bullying;
  • Support transgender and non-binary students.

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