By M. Scheibler
Banned Books Week is September 23rd-29th this year. That said, banned books are constantly brought into the forefront throughout the calendar year. Many picture books have been banned over the years, including the most challenged, and Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, a story about two penguins in a same-sex relationship. Picture books aren’t usually the most outlawed at various public libraries and schools.
Earlier this year, a city in Iowa decided to make a push to prohibit the use of three books, two of them picture books from the Orange City Public Library in Orange City, Iowa. Three hundred people signed a petition to ban three books that they feel are pushing an LGBTQ agenda.
Being discussed were two picture books from 2014, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino, a story about a boy who loves his orange dress, and This day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, a story about the Pride parade. Additionally, a young adult book that they wanted to ban was Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan a story about a 32-hour marathon to set a Guinness world record.
The discussion that followed between the community in pursuit of the ban and the library was telling. Amanda Vazquez, the Orange City Public Library Director stated, “As a Public library we try to serve the needs of a diverse community.”