Banned Books Week: The 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018

Another year, another Banned Books Week and it’s been another year with plenty of stories hitting the press about burned and challenged books and library protests, proving why this week is so important all round!

Banned Books Week is organised by the American Libraries Association to highlight the challenged they face when people demand censorship. Books highlighted in Banned Books Week must have been challenged publicly and banned from a library or school.

Every year the ALA comes forward with a list showing the most challenged books of the previous year and here we have for you the top 10 from that list for last year (2018)

George – Alex Gino

The most challenged book of 2018 was George, challenged because the main character is transgender. While it’s sad to see George at the top of the list, we hope this inspires you to read it and see what all the fuss is about!


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A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo – Jill Twiss

This book about a bunny is the second most challenged book because of its LGBTQ viewpoint, but as it was released as a direct response to the White House’s anti LGBT stance, you can throw politics into mix for the challenge on this one.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

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The Adventures of Captain Underpants

Underpants are the problem here, and we appear to be seeing a bit of a theme with the third book on the list, challenged because it features a same sex couple.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

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The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

We covered the story where South Carolina Police challenged a summer reading list for being anti-police. That’s just one of the reasons given for The Hate U Give hitting this list.

The Hate U Give

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Drama – Reina Telgemeier

This middle school book hit the list and was removed from school libraries after parents complained about… you guessed it, LGBT characters!


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Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why is on the list because of parents complaining about the theme of suicide. Interestingly, Thirteen Reasons Why didn’t receive a challenged until the Netflix adaptation, despite being released several years ago.

Thirteen Reasons Why

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This One Summer – Mariko Tamaki

This One Summer is a graphic novel, that has found itself in hot water for being too graphic. Parents complained of profanity and sexual references.

This One Summer

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Skippyjon Jones – Judy Schachner

This seemingly innocent collection of children’s books about a Siamese cat and the mischief he gets up to has found itself challenged due to its depiction of cultural stereotypes.

Skippyjon Jones

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian – Sherman Alexie

This has found itself in the list for several years now and the reasons given are profanity, sexual references and its religious viewpoint.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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This Day in June – Gayle E. Pitman

This children’s book has hit the list this year because it features a Pride Parade within the story.

This Day in June

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Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan

If the title doesn’t make it obvious, this is an LGBTQ book about love and acceptance, challenged now for several years running because it’s an LGBTQ book about love and acceptance.

Two Boys Kissing

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We hope you find some good suggestions there and we’ll be back with more recommendations lists soon. If you want to ensure you never miss any of these, subscribe now.

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