Rogue Librarians

Rogue Librarians

Since 2021, an unprecedented number of Young Adult books, especially ones with LGBTQ+ and BIPOC characters, have been removed from libraries across the country. In this podcast, we discuss YA books that have been banned in recent years. We discuss each selected book in two episodes. The first episode illuminates why the book has been banned and why we think it is worth reading. The second episode discusses the book's characters, themes, and significance in greater detail. Please join us for our conversations! Books are meant to be read.

Episodes

April 10, 2024 5 mins

Happy National Library Week! We are sharing a song by Dharmika, an artist and fellow advocate, called "I'll Read That Next."

You can find "I'll Read That Next" on Spotify and other streaming platforms: https://open.spotify.com/track/0XBI080NU6Sz9pNJYy1zIF.

To find Dharmika, please visit her social media accounts @dharmikamusic:

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We discuss Flamer by Mike Curato, which was first published in 2020. This graphic novel received a Lambda Literary Award, which recognizes excellent LGBTQ+ literature, as well as several starred reviews. Flamer was fifth on the ALA's list of the most challenged books in 2023 and fourth in 2022.

In this episode, we discuss why Flamer has been banned. We also offer our assessment of its pros and cons. Please listen to our twenty...

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March 26, 2024 54 mins

We were so excited to interview F.T. Lukens about their new book, Otherworldly, which comes out April 2, 2024. F.T. is a New York Times bestselling author of YA speculative fiction, including the novels Spell Bound, So This Is Ever After, and In Deeper Waters.

In the interview, we discussed how F.T. created a queer normative world and incorporated particular myths and ideas, portrayed the characters and relationships in certain way...

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Thanks to Heather for joining us again to discuss ⁠Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.⁠ by Judy Blume, which was first published in 1970. Blume's popular novel has frequently been challenged since then; in the 1990s, it was the 60th most challenged book during that decade.

In this episode, we share our favorite scenes and book covers and discuss why the book was meaningful to us. Please listen to the twenty-third episode...

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March 12, 2024 86 mins

We were so excited to interview R.A. Spratt, the bestselling author of many books for children, including the Friday BarnesThe Peski Kids, and The Adventures of Nanny Piggins series. She is also the host of a popular podcast, Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt. Her new book, Hamlet Is Not Ok, was released in the United States on March 12, 2024; it was released in Australia in 2023. 

In the interview, we discussed how R.A. Spratt be...

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We discuss Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume, which was first published in 1970. Blume's popular novel has frequently been challenged since then; in the 1990s, it was the 60th most challenged book during that decade. It has also been included on multiple lists of the best novels for children.

In this episode, we discuss why Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. has been banned. We also offer our assess...

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We discuss This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, which was the tenth-most-challenged book in 2022. First published in 2014 and revised in 2021, This Book Is Gay was included on the ALA's Over the Rainbow Project book list in 2016.

In this episode, we share our favorite chapters and discuss why the book was meaningful to us. Please listen to the twenty-first episode for our discussion of why this book has been banned.

Thanks to Chr...

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We discuss This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, which was the tenth-most-challenged book in 2022. First published in 2014 and revised in 2021, This Book Is Gay was included on the ALA's Over the Rainbow Project book list in 2016.

In this episode, we discuss why This Book Is Gay has been banned. We also offer our assessment of its pros and cons. Please listen to our twenty-second episode for a close reading of the book.

Some of the ...

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January 2, 2024 57 mins

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Emily Drabinski. Emily is the 2023-2024 American Library Association president and Associate Professor at the Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. She talked with us about the upcoming Library Learning Experience conference, some of her experiences as president, the ALA’s efforts to fight censorship, and the importance of investing in libraries and ...

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December 19, 2023 52 mins

In this bonus episode, we discuss the controversial "See You at the Library" event that was hosted by Brave Books and Kirk Cameron in August, as well as some efforts to make banned books more available.


Some of the sources mentioned in this episode:

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December 5, 2023 52 mins

We discuss Jerry Craft's ⁠New Kid⁠as well as ⁠Class Act⁠ and ⁠School Trip, which have been challenged and banned in some schools and libraries. First published in 2019, New Kid is the only graphic novel to win the John Newbery Medal, and it is the only book in history to win the Newbery Medal, the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature, and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.

We discuss our opinions of New Kid's char...

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November 21, 2023 63 mins

We were thrilled to interview Elana K. Arnold, the bestselling and award-winning author of many books for children and teens. Her newest novel, The Blood Years, was released in October 2023. In the interview, we discussed how she knew it was the right time to write this story about the Holocaust, how it was based on her grandmother's life, how she chose the title, and how she writes novels in general.

To learn more about Elana ...

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October 17, 2023 36 mins

It's our birthday! We released our first episode a year ago (10/17/22). In honor of that anniversary, we decided to re-release our first episode, which is also our most popular episode ever. We will be back with new episodes soon.

In this episode, we discuss Gender Queer by ⁠Maia Kobabe⁠, which was the most frequently challenged book in America in 2021 and 2022. After it was published in 2019, the American Library Associatio...

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In honor of Banned Books Week (October 1-7, 2023), we are re-releasing a few of our most popular episodes. Check out the American Library Association's programs for Banned Books Week! This bonus episode first aired in May. We will release new episodes beginning in mid-October. Thanks for listening!


We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. Lessa is the 2022-2023 American Library...

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In honor of Banned Books Week (October 1-7, 2023), we are re-releasing a few of our most popular episodes. This episode (#9) first aired in February. We will release new episodes beginning in mid-October. Thanks for listening! Please check out the American Library Association's programs for Banned Books Week!


In this special episode, we interview Ashley Hope Pérez, the author of Out of Darkness. First published in 2015,...

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In honor of Banned Books Week (October 1-7, 2023), we are re-releasing a few of our most popular episodes. This bonus episode first aired in February. We will release new episodes beginning in mid-October. Thanks for listening! Please check out the American Library Association's programs for Banned Books Week!


In this bonus episode, we discuss current and proposed legislation involving banned books. We mention different f...

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September 5, 2023 85 mins

In this special episode, we interview Jerry Craft, the #1 New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of New Kid, Class Act, and School Trip. New Kid is the only graphic novel to win the John Newbery Medal, and it is the only book in history to win the Newbery Medal, the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature, and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.

In the interview, we discuss why New Kid has been challenged and banned. We...

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We discuss ⁠⁠⁠Looking for Alaska⁠ by John Green, which was the fifth-most-challenged book in 2022. First published in 2005, Green’s debut novel won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2006. A miniseries based on the book was released on Hulu in 2019.

We discuss our opinions of the book's characters, themes, and significance. Please listen to the 17th episode for our discussion of why the book has been challenged.

Thanks to Chris...

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We discuss ⁠⁠Looking for Alaska by John Green, which was the fifth-most-challenged book in 2022. First published in 2005, Green’s debut novel won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2006. A miniseries based on the book was released on Hulu in 2019.

In this episode, we discuss why Looking for Alaska has been banned. We also offer our assessment of its pros and cons. Please listen to our eighteenth episode for a close reading of the book&...

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July 11, 2023 63 mins

We were so excited to interview Bella Higgin, the author of Belle Morte and Revelations. We talked about many features of her books, including how Bella chose to focus on vampires, portray them in this way, write from these particular perspectives, write for a young adult audience, and plot her books.

To find more information about Bella Higgin, please visit:

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