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:
Gender Queer by Maia KobabeADOPTED!
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
- Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
- 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
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope PerezADOPTED!
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasADOPTED!
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieADOPTED!
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
The Bluest Eye by Toni MorrisonADOPTED!
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
- This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
- Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
Newly Banned in 2022:
Dim Sum for Everyone by Grace Lin ADOPTED!
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman ADOPTED!
Top 100 Most Challenged Books of the Last Decade
he Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieADOPTED!
- Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- George by Alex Gino
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter ParnellADOPTED!
- Drama by Raina Telgemeier
- Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
- Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle
The Bluest Eye by Toni MorrisonADOPTED! The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniADOPTED!
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeADOPTED! Bone (series) by Jeff SmithADOPTED!
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Two Boys Kissing by David LevithanADOPTED!
- A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
- Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg
- Alice McKinley (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris
- Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
- Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
A Brave New World by Aldous HuxleyADOPTED!
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodADOPTED! The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasADOPTED! Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison BechdelADOPTED!
- It’s a Book by Lane Smith
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainADOPTED! The Things They Carried by Tim O’BrienADOPTED!
- What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
- A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
- Bad Kitty (series) by Nick Bruel
- Crank by Ellen Hopkins
- Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey
- This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
- This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
- A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
Beloved by Toni MorrisonADOPTED!
- Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia PolaccoADOPTED!
- Lush by Natasha Friend
- The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- The Holy Bible
- This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellADOPTED!
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar
- House of Night (series) by P.C. Cast
- My Mom’s Having A Baby by Dori Hillestad Butler
- Neonomicon by Alan Moore
- The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake
The Giver by Lois LowryADOPTED! Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankADOPTED!
- Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
- Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
- Dreaming In Cuban by Cristina Garcia
- Fade by Lisa McMann
- The Family Book by Todd Parr
- Feed by M.T. Anderson
- Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
- Habibi by Craig Thompson
- House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
- Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette WinterADOPTED!
- Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
- Stuck in the Middle by Ariel Schrag
- The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
1984 by George OrwellADOPTED!
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
- Awakening by Kate Chopin
- Burned by Ellen Hopkins
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott CardADOPTED!
- Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
- Glass by Ellen Hopkins
- Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesle´a Newman
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans
- My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
- Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
- Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology by Amy Sonnie
- Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judith Schachner
- So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
- The Color of Earth (series) by Tong-hwa Kim
- The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
- The Walking Dead (series) by Robert Kirkman
- Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
- Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S Brannen
- Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks