With book bans sweeping the United States, the Duck Prints Press rec list contributors wanted to take a moment to shout out our favorite books that get banned most frequently. Being us, they are, unsurprisingly, mostly queer.
Learn more about Banned Books Week.
Melissa by Alex Gino
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 thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte—but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by E. G. Keller
Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence – the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon’s life is about to change forever…
With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming children’s book explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is the story of a sixteen-year-old who retreats from reality into the bondage of a lushly imagined but threatening kingdom, and her slow and painful journey back to sanity.
Chronicles the three-year battle of a mentally ill, but perceptive, teenage girl against a world of her own creation, emphasizing her relationship with the doctor who gave her the ammunition of self-understanding with which to help herself.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
And Tango Makes Three, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole
At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
Forever… by Judy Blume
Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.
It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…
It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley
When young people have questions about sex, real answers can be hard to find. Providing accurate, unbiased answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and AIDS, It’s Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need—now more than ever—to make responsible decisions and to stay healthy.