Banned Books Week: The 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019

Banned Books week is an event that is marked every year by the American Library Association to highlight the problem with banning and restricted access to certain literature in schools, libraries, and organisations. Each year to mark the event, the ALA release a list of the most challenged books of the previous year, and we’ve been following that list in recent years and encouraging our fans to read some of the books on it too!

If you’d like to see the lists of 2018’s challenged books, click here. Below are the ten most challenged books of 2019, and like previous years the list is driven by religious ideology and an anti-LGBT stance.

George – Alex Gino

Sadly George was also the most challenged book of 2018. Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”

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Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out – Susan Kuklin

Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased.

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A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo – Jill Twiss

This is another on the list for the second year running. Reasons: Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning

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Sex is a Funny Word – Cory Silverberg

This award winning book is next on the list. Reasons: Challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”

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Prince and Knight – Daniel Haack

Reasons: Challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint

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I Am Jazz – Jessica Herthel

Reasons: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”

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The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”

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Drama – Raina Telgemeir

Drama was also on last year’s list. Reasons: Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”

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Harry Potter

Harry Potter series – J. K Rowling

Harry Potter is another regular on banned books lists. Reasons: Banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals

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And Tango Makes Three – Peter Parnell

And finally, another book that is hardly off the banned books lists. Reason: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content

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You can see this list, and challenged books from previous years here at the ala.org



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