by BK Munn
The American Library Association has declared This One Summer, the graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, as the #1 book on its list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016. The annual list, compiled by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), “calculates the Top Ten by documenting public media articles of challenges, and censorship reports submitted through the office’s reporting form,” according to the ALA. The list covers all books, not just YA or comics. All the books on the list were “threatened with removal from spaces where diverse ideas and perspectives should be welcomed.” said the ALA. It is unusual for a Canadian book to make the list.
The book depicts frank discussions of sexuality by teenage girls. When contacted by the National Post, Mariko Tamaki noted “I think there is clearly a general theme relating to sexuality that certain people are uncomfortable with in books for young people […] So if your book contains any mention of sexuality, it’s likely to end up in this list.”