Banned Books Week
Support your local Library
I was raised in a bi-racial household, me, my mom, and my pops, who is a black man.
He was also a history teacher at an alternative high school in the 70’s and 80’s South Minneapolis for indigenous, predominantly Ojibwa kids. Those families tried to “assimilate” after leaving the reservations, and resettling in Minneapolis, back in the 50’s and 60’s. They weren’t well received, and struggled to find work and housing. And the kids were failing out of traditional high schools.
His elevator pitch as fundraiser for the school and community center,
“You can’t expect these kids to thrive in a school where they feed them bullshit! You have to nourish them with the truth.”
Recommended Banned Books
People’s History of the United Sates – Howard Zinn A non-Euro-Centric perspective of “American” history, the stories left out of most curriculum.
You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times – Howard Zinn
My favorite memoir, this book got me through G.W.B. & Cheney Admin. An important reminder we are moving towards a more loving and accepting world. Hang in there, keep fighting and advocating for yourself.
Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, tells his personal stories about more than thirty years of fighting for social change, from teaching at Spelman College to recent protests against war.
A former bombardier in WWII, Zinn emerged in the civil rights movement as a powerful voice for justice. Although he’s a fierce critic, he gives us reason to hope that by learning from history and engaging politically, we can make a difference in the world.
The Hill We Climb – Amanda Gorman
The Handmaid’s Tale & anything – Margaret Atwood
Trans+ Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You – Kathryn Gonzales MBA & Karen Rayne PhD
Amanda Gorman’s Banned Book List
- “The 1619 Project: Born on the Water” – Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson
- “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” – George M. Johnson
- “And Tango Makes Three” – Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
- “The Bluest Eye” – Toni Morrison
- “Gender Queer: A Memoir” – Maia Kobabe
- “The Hill We Climb” – Amanda Gorman
- “I Am Jazz” – Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
- “Looking for Alaska” – John Green
- “Maus” – Art Spiegelman
- “Out of Darkness” – Ashley Hope Pérez
Margaret Atwood’s reading List from Radical Reads
The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Fall of the Imam by Nawar El Sadawi
Kamouraska by Anne Hébert
Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
The Wars by Timothy Findley
Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson
King and the Dragonflies | Kacen Callender
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You | Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The Catcher in the Rye | J.D. Salinger
Young adult fiction recommendations specifically with trans guy protagonists| Contributor- Rose
Felix Ever After – super cute friendship / romance YA novel about a Black trans guy / demiboy in NYC who is finding himself, navigating art school / college application pressure, and dealing with some transphobia / drama, and it’s a really sweet love story
The Sunbearer Trials – action / adventure Mexican mythology-inspired fantasy novel, has a trans guy protagonist and lots of other trans / NB characters, sooo fun to read
Cemetery Boys – same author as Sunbearer Trials, features a Latino trans boy in east LA who comes from a family of brujxs who can communicate with the dead, super cute gay romance and adventure
Magical Boy – graphic novel series about a trans boy who descends from a magical lineage and goes through a journey of claiming his gender identity while fighting off evil
May the Best Man Win – enemies to lovers story about white trans boy HS student who is the cheerleading captain and competes against his quarterback ex-boyfriend for Homecoming King
Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix – this is a queer, trans retelling of Great Gatsby (haven’t read yet, but it looks cool!)
Obie is Man Enough – a middle-school age trans boy named Obie competes as a swimmer and discovers self-love and self-acceptance about being “man enough”, overall quite heartwarming, also touches on the importance of mentorship
Ages 10ish +
Beyond the Gender Binary – Alok Vaid-Menon
The Pants Project – Cat Clarke
Gracefully Grayson – Ami Polonsky
The Other Boy – Hennessey, M. G
Ruth and the Green Book – Calvin Alexander Ramsey This is the story of a child traveling from Chicago to the South using the Green Book to navigate safely.
Martin’s Big Words, the Life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr – Doreen Rappaport
Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity – Brook Pessin-Whedbee
Introducing Teddy, A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship – Jess Walton
Jacob’s New Dress – Sarah Hoffman
Call Me Tree – Maya Christina Gonzalez This is a sweet Eng/Spn Bi-Lingual story about acceptance and belonging.
And Tango Makes Three – Peter Parnell This is the true story of NYC’s same sex penguin couple who were desperate to be parents. It is beautiful story that my son and I enjoyed when he was little. I love this book!
The Family Book – Todd Parr Cute book featuring diverse families.