December 9, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

10 Frequently Challenged Graphic Novels | Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week (September 21–27) is celebrating graphic novels this year, thanks to a partnership between the Comic Books Legal Defense Fund and the Banned Books Week planning committee. Below is a list of 10 frequently challenged graphic novels, compiled by Brigid Alverson, SLJGood Comics for Kids” editor, and Eva Volin, a “Good Comics for Kids” blogger and children’s librarian.

Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2: Revelations
by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita, Jr., and Scott Hanna (Marvel, 2002)
Key Challenge: a middle school library in Millard, Nebraska
Reason: sexual overtones


“Bone” series by Jeff Smith (Scholastic)
Key Challenge: multiple locations
Reason: promotion of smoking and drinking, political viewpoint, racism, violence, unsuited for age group

The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa (First Second, 2009)
Key Challenge: multiple locations
Reason: nudity, sexual conduct, unsuited for age group

“Dragon Ball” series by Akira Toriyama (VIZ Media)
Key Challenge: all public school libraries in Wicomico County, Maryland
Reason: violence and nudity

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (Harper & Row, 1970)
Key Challenge: multiple locations
Reason: nudity

Maus by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon, 1986)
Key Challenge: Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena, California
Reason: anti-ethnic and unsuited for age group

Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi (Pantheon, 2003)
Key Challenge: the public school system in Chicago, Illinois
Reason: profanity, violent content

Sidescrollers by Matthew Loux (Oni, 2006)
Key Challenge: the public school district in Enfield, Connecticut
Reason: profanity and sexual references

Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan (Candlewick, 2009)
Key Challenge: multiple locations
Reason: profanity, violence or horror

Stuck in the Middle edited by Ariel Schrag (Viking, 2007)
Key Challenge: the public school system in Dixfield, Maine
Reason: language, sexual content, drug reference


A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.