Banned Books: Frequently Banned/Challenged Materials

Resources on banned/challenged books and intellectual freedom.

Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2021

This list is provided courtesy of the American Library Association. Visit their Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists page to view lists from 2001-forward.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1597 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
  2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term
  7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
  8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
  9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
  10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit. 

Banned Books in our Collection

The cover of All Boys Aren't Blue

All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto, by George M. Johnson
Banned for LGBTQIA+ content, sexual content, and profanity.

Cover of This One Summer.

This One Summer, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
Banned for inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters, drug use, profanity, sexual content, and mature themes.

The cover of Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe

Banned for LGBTQ+ content.

Cover of The Bluest Eye.

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Banned for depictions of sexual abuse, graphic content, discussions of gender and racial issues.

Cover of Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Out of Darkness, by Ashley Hope Perez

Banned for depictions of abuse and sexual content.

 

Cover of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Banned for profanity, violence, and discussions of police brutality towards Black people.

The cover of 1984 by George Orwell

1984, by George Orwell

Banned for social/political themes and sexual content.

Cover of The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

Banned for depictions of sexual abuse and LGBTQ+ content.

Cover of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel

Banned for LGBTQ+ content

Banned Books: Title Lists

Check out these lists of frequently-banned classics and most-challenged titles.  Some of them may surprise you!

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