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Banned and Challenged Books: 2021's Top 10

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. - Oscar Wilde

Tracking 729 challenges to material and services across countless different libraries, schools, and universities, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom has compiled a list of these challenges. Representing a wider perspective, the following titles are those at the very top of the list of 1,597 books that were targeted - having faced the most challenges and potential bans than any other books this year.

"The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), which tracks book challenges and releases the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books” list each year, determined that in one three-month period alone, between September 1 and November 30, 2021, more than 330 unique cases were reported, doubling the number of reports from 2020 (156 challenges) and putting 2021 totals on pace to break records with 729 challenges to 1,597 books" (ALA, 2022).

#1 - Gender Queer

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

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

#5 - The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reasons: for profanity, considered anti-police

#2 - Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

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

#6 - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: for profanity, sexual references, author's conduct

#9 - This Book is Gay

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

Reasons: for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content

#3 - All Boys Aren't Blue

All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson

Reasons: for LGBTQ+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit

#7 - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Reasons: it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women

#10 - Beyond Magenta

Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

Reasons: it was considered to be sexually explicit

#4 - Out of Darkness

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Reasons: for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit

#8 - The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Reasons: for depictions of child sexual abuse, considered to be sexually explicit