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Top Ten Most Challenged Books

 

Top Eleven for 2018

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The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 347 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2018. Of the 483 books challenged or banned in 2018, the Top 11 Most Challenged Books are:

  1. George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character

  2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints

  3. Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple

  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop,” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references

  5. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes

  6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
    Reasons: banned, challenged, and restricted for addressing teen suicide

  7. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations

  8. Skippyjon Jones series written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
    Reason: challenged for depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture

  9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: banned and challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint

  10. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
    Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

  11. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
    Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

 

Top Ten for 2017

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2017. Of the 416 books challenged or banned in 2017, the Top 10 Most Challenged Books are:

 

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher
    Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.

  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie
    Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.

  3. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”

  4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini
    This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”

  5. George written by Alex Gino
    Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.

  6. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”

  7. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
    This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.

  8. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas
    Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.

  9. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
    Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.

  10. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.

 

Top Ten for 2016

Out of 323 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

 

  1. This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes

  2. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint

  3. George written by Alex Gino
    Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”

  4. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints

  5. Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
    Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content

  6. Looking for Alaska written by John Green
    Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”

  7. Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit

  8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk
    Reasons: challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”

  9. Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author

  10. Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
    Reason: challenged for offensive language

 

Top Ten for 2015

Out of 275 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

View the 2015 book challenge infographic

 

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”)

  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group

  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”)

  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”)

  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: religious viewpoint

  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: violence and other (“graphic images”)

  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence

  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”)

 

Top Ten for 2014

Out of 311 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

View the 2014 book challenge infographic

 

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

  2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
    Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

  3. And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

  4. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

  5. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
    Reasons: nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it is child pornography”

  6. Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    Reasons: anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

  7. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

  9. A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

  10. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
    Reason: sexually explicit

 

Top Ten for 2013

Out of 307 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence

  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reason: political viewpoint, racism, violence

 

Top Ten for 2012

Out of 464 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

 

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited for age group

  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited for age group

  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: unsuited for age group, violence

  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

 

Top Ten for 2011

Out of 326 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 
    Reasons: offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitivity, offensive language, occult/satanic, violence

  4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint

  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity, nudity, racism, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

  8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language, racism

 

Top Ten for 2010

Out of 348 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

  4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  7. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

  9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
    Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit

  10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, violence

 

Top Ten for 2009

Out of 460 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  2. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality

  3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group

  4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group

  5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  7. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  9. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

 

Top Ten for 2008

Out of 513 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence

  3. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, violence

  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, violence

  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group

  7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  8. Uncle Bobby's Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited to age group

  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

 

Top Ten for 2007

Out of 420 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons:  anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, sexism, unsuited to age group

  2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, violence

  3. Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
    Reason: religious viewpoint 

  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: racism

  6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit

  7. ttyl, by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reason: sexually explicit

  9. It's Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
    Reasons: sex education, sexually explicit

  10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

 

Top Ten for 2006

Out of 546 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-family, homosexuality, unsuited to age group

  2. Gossip Girls (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

  3. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: offensive language and sexually explicit

  4. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
    Reasons: anti-family, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  5. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  6. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons:  insensitivity, occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence

  7. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language

  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  9. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, violence

 

Top Ten for 2005

Out of 405 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, by Robie H. Harris
    Reasons: abortion, homosexuality, nudity, religious viewpoint, sex education, unsuited to age group

  2. Forever, by Judy Blume
    Reasons: offensive language, sexual content

  3. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger
    Reasons: sexual content, offensive language, unsuited to age group

  4. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: sexual content, offensive language

  5. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
    Reasons: racism, offensive language

  6. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
    Reason: sexual content

  7. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: sexual content, being unsuited to age group

  8. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: anti-family content, unsuited to age group, violence

  9. Crazy Lady!, by Jane Leslie Conly
    Reason: offensive language

  10. It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, by Robie H. Harris
    Reasons: sex education, sexual content

 

Top Ten for 2004

Out of 547 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  2. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, violence

  3. Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, by Michael A. Bellesiles
    Reasons: inaccurate, political viewpoint

  4. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit 

  6. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, sexually explicit

  7. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

  8. King & King, by Linda deHaan
    Reason: homosexuality

  9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  10. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, violence

 

Top Ten for 2003

Out of 458 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: sexual content, offensive language, unsuited to age group

  2. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling 
    Reasons: occult/Satanism

  3. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck 
    Reason: offensive language

  4. Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, by Michael Bellesiles
    Reason: inaccuracy

  5. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers 
    Reason: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexual content, violence

  6. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous 
    Reason: drugs

  7. It's Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris 
    Reasons: homosexuality, nudity, sexual content, sex education

  8. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier 
    Reasons: offensive language, sexual content

  9. King & King, by Linda de Haan 
    Reason: homosexuality

  10. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language

 

Top Ten for 2002

Out of 515 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, violence

  2. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  5. Taming the Star Runner, by S.E. Hinton
    Reason: offensive language

  6. Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group

  7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: offensive language

  8. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language, violence

  9. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
    Reason: offensive language

  10. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
    Reasons: unsuited to age group, violence

 

Top Ten for 2001

Out of 448 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
    Reasons: anti-family, occult/Satanism, religious viewpoint, violence

  2. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group, violence

  3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

  4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

  5. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

  6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group

  7. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

  8. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

  9. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
    Reason: offensive language

  10. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

 

Background Information from 2000 to 2009

View the 2000-2009 book challenge infographic

From 2000 to 2009, 5,099* challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

  • 1,577 challenges due to "sexually explicit" material

  • 1,291 challenges due to "offensive language"

  • 989 challenges due to materials deemed "unsuited to age group"

  • 619 challenged due to "violence"'

  • 361 challenges due to "homosexuality"

Further, 274 materials were challenged due to "occult" or "Satanic" themes, an additional 291 were challenged due to their "religious viewpoint," and 119 because they were "anti-family."

Please note that the number of challenges and the number of reasons for those challenges do not match because works are often challenged on more than one ground.

1,639 of these challenges were in school libraries; 1,811 were in classrooms; 1,217 took place in public libraries. There were 114 challenges to materials used in college classes, and 30 to academic libraries. There are isolated cases of challenges to library materials made available in or by prisons, special libraries, community groups, and students.

The vast majority of challenges were initiated by parents (2,535), with patrons and administrators to follow (516 and 489 respectively).

* We receive challenge reports after the Top Ten lists have been published. This number reflects all the challenges we received since July 31, 2013 for the 2000-2009 time period.

 

Before 1990

OIF has only been collecting data about banned banned books since 1990, so we do not have any lists of frequently challenged books or authors before that date.