The Top Ten Most Challenged Books


When I was younger and before I went to college to become a librarian, I was always confused by Banned Book Week. I never understood why all these “banned” books were put on display in my public or school library. I mean if they are banned doesn’t that mean they are not allowed, and don’t we live in a democracy?

Books celebrated during Banned Book Week are not banned universally but may have been challenged and removed from a library collection somewhere for some reason. Below is a link to some of my favorite books, banned, challenged, or not and I wanted to share them with you and your patrons/students. Curiously, 8 out of 10 of these books are also award winners as noted by CLCD. Read these and enjoy your freedom to make your own judge.




0689847769 Let’s Go, Little Bill!
By: Kiki Thorpe

As Little Bill takes an imaginary trip around the world, he invites the reader to imitate the noises of various vehicles. Ages 3-7

9780385538053 Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread
By: Chuck Palahniuk

Stories you’ll never forget–just try–from literature’s favorite transgressive author. Representing work that spans several years, Make Something Up is a compilation of 21 stories and one novella (some previously published, some not) that will disturb and delight. The absurdity of both life and death are on full display; in “Zombies,” the best and brightest of a high school prep school become tragically addicted to the latest drug craze: electric shocks from cardiac defibrillators. In “Knock, Knock,” a son hopes to tell one last off-color joke to a father in his final moments, while in “Tunnel of Love,” a massage therapist runs the curious practice of providing ‘relief’ to dying clients. And in “Excursion,” fans will be thrilled to find to see a side of Tyler Durden never seen before in a precusor story to Fight Club.

0545326990 Drama
By: Raina Telgemeier

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going. Ages 10-14

9780803741072 I am Jazz
By: Jessica Herthel

From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Ages 4-8

0545812585 George
By: Alex Gino

Knowing herself to be a girl despite her outwardly male appearance, George is denied a female role in the class play before teaming up with a friend to reveal her true self. Ages 8-12

9780804123716 Two Boys Kissing
By: David Levithan

A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today’s gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways. Ages 13 and up

9780385368261 Eleanor & Park
By: Rainbow Rowell

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. Ages 14 and up

0525475060 Looking for Alaska
By: John Green

Sixteen-year-old Miles’ first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. Ages 14 and up

9781632152435 Big Hard Sex Criminals
By: Matt Fraction

Suzie’s just a regular gal with an irregular gift: when she has sex, she stops time. One day she meets Jon and it turns out he has the same ability. And sooner or later they get around to using their gifts to do what we’d ALL do: rob a couple banks. A bawdy and brazen sex comedy for comics begins here.

9781626720947 This One Summer
By: Mariko Tamaki

Rose and her parents have been going to Awago Beach since she was a little girl. It’s her summer getaway, her refuge. Her friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had, completing her summer family. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and Rose and Windy have gotten tangled up in a tragedy-in-the-making in the small town of Awago Beach. It’s a summer of secrets and heartache, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other. Ages 14 and up

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