Banned Books Week - Top 10 Challenged Books of 2021


Celebrated annually since 1982, Banned Books Week shines a spotlight on the sheer number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Its mission is to promote the value of free and open access to information, and the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.


Every year, the American Library Association compiles a list of the most challenged books, which you can browse below. Keep in mind that surveys suggest that 82-97% of book challenges go unreported, so the challenges we see covered in the media are only the tip of the iceberg.



1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Reasons: Banned, challenged and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images


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2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.


View in our catalog | Hoopla audiobook






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.


View in our catalog | Libby eBook | Libby audiobook






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.


View in our catalog | Libby eBook






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.


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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.


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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.


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Hoopla eBook





8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit.


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9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.


View in our catalog | Libby eBook | Libby audiobook |

Hoopla eBook | Hoopla audiobook





10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.


View in our catalog | Libby eBook




For more information about banned and challenged books, visit the American Library Association's website: ala.org/advocacy/bbooks


You can find even more great resources and information at uniteagainstbookbans.org and pen.org/banned-in-the-usa