Books. Personally, I believe that books are important not only in early childhood but they become even more important as we get older, too.

Books have this amazing ability to spark a child or adult's imagination and they help to stimulate our curiosity as well. Books are also a way for us to wind down after a long day, they help us focus, concentrate and teach social and communication skills and most importantly, books teach us things that we may not have learned in school. 

Hearing the news that book banning efforts have surged since 2021 is not only sad but it’s alarming, too.

According to the American Library Association, book challenges have reached unprecedented levels and most targeted books were by or about black or LGBTQIA+ people. 

The YWCA El Paso del Norte Region is hoping to put a stop to this book banning effort by collecting book donations as a part of a partnership with the City of El Paso to create banned book sections in every El Paso public library.

“El Paso City Council passed the resolution to create the sections on February 1st. YWCA has donated approximately 100 books to the El Paso Public Libraries so far and community members can join the effort by donating books from the Amazon Wish List or giving a donation to purchase necessary equipment and books,” said YWCA officials.

 The Amazon Wish List includes books that are commonly banned or challenged or have recently faced challenges.

According to the library association, these are a few of the most frequently challenged books of 2021:

  • 'Gender Queer,' by Maia Kobabe. ... 
  • 'Lawn Boy,' by Jonathan Evison. ... 
  • 'All Boys Aren't Blue,' by George M. ... 
  • 'Out of Darkness,' by Ashley Hope Pérez. ... 
  • 'The Hate U Give,' by Angie Thomas. ... 
  • 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,' by Sherman Alexie. ... 
  • 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,' by Jesse Andrews.

“Silencing and limiting of stories, histories, and points of view of anyone are direct attacks on the people who write and who are represented in those books,” said YWCA officials. “Banned and challenged books are usually ones that tell stories by and about historically marginalized people and communities.”

The community is encouraged to donate to this effort by either choosing a book from the Amazon wish list or by making a monetary donation so the YWCA can purchase these banned books, equipment, and more.

“Every person deserves to read stories where they are represented and every person needs to read stories that depict diverse communities,” read the YWCA official donation page. “You are making that possible. “

To learn more about this effort and make a donation, visit: https://www.ywcaelpaso.org/ywca-banned-books/

 To go straight to the Amazon Wish List visit: https://a.co/izZv260

 

La Nube: The Shape of Imagination