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Banned Books Week: Home
Book Challenges by the Numbers
Public vs. Reported vs. Silent
Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2017
It's 2017, not the dark ages, but...
Challenges by Year
By Decade: Investigate the 100 most frequently challenged books for 1990-1999 and 2000-2009. OIF has only been collecting data about banned books since 1990, so we don’t have any lists of frequently challenged books or authors before that date.By
Year: These annual bibliographies, written by Robert P. Doyle, include information on books that are challenged, restricted, removed, or banned. The current issue is available on the ALA Store.
Children’s Books: A common reason given for challenging a book is “unsuited/inappropriate for age group.” Authors such as Alvin Schwartz, Mildred D. Taylor and Roald Dahl are listed more than once on this list of 130 frequently challenged children’s books.
Young Adult Books: This list includes books written for YA audiences and those featuring a YA main character.
Classics: At least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the targets of ban attempts.
Books with Diverse Content: OIF found that out of the 2015 Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books, nine of them contained diverse content. The 86 books on this list include content by or about people of color, LGBT people and/or people with disabilities.
Out of 323 challenges reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 are:
This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier. Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
George written by Alex Gino. Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”
I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.
Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan. Included on the National Book Award longlist and designated a Stonewall Honor Book, this young adult novel was challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.
Looking for Alaska written by John Green. This 2006 Printz Award winner is a young adult novel that was challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation.”
Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky. Considered to be sexually explicit by library staff and administrators, this compilation of adult comic books by two prolific award-winning artists was banned and challenged.
Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk. This collection of adult short stories, which received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, was challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”
Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood. This children’s book series was challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.
Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell. One of seven New York Times Notable Children’s Books and a Printz Honor recipient, this young adult novel was challenged for offensive language.