This guide is for learning more about banned and challenged books. This is not a complete list of every book that has been banned or challenged but a selection of the most common in recent years. If you click on the title, you will be brought to our catalog. We have placed the call number next to each title and author for convenience. We have also included why the book was banned or challenged.
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Why was it banned or challenged? Sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint
"And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson EASY RICHARDSON; Hoopla eAudiobook
At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.
Why was it banned or challenged? LGBTQIA+ content
Persepolis is the story of Marjane Satrapi's childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland.
Why was it banned or challenged? Gambling, offensive language, and political viewpoint.
"Drama" by Raina Telgemeier J GN TELGEMEIER
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales areA down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
Why was it banned or challenged? LGBTQIA+ content and challenging family morals/values.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" by EL James FIC JAMES; CD FIC JAMES; Axis360 eAudiobook and eBook
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind -- until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
Why was it banned or challenged? Sexually explicit.
"Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" by Alison Bechdel GN 921 BECHDEL; Axis360 eBook; Hoopla eComic book
This book takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale perfectly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter.
Why was it banned or challenged? Violence and other graphic images.
"George" by Alex Gino J GINO; Axis360 eAudiobook; Hoopla eAudiobook
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Why was it banned or challenged? LGBTQIA+ content, transgender character, sexual references, and conflicting with a religious viewpoint.
"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood FIC ATWOOD; CD FIC ATWOOD; Axis360 eBook; Hoopla eBook/eAudiobook
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.
Why was it banned or challenged? Profanity and vulgar or sexual overtones.
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas LT FIC THOMAS; Axis360 eBook and eAudiobook
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives in two worlds: her poor neighborhood and her suburban prep school. When she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend by a police officer, it becomes a national headline. Khalil was unarmed. Only one person knows what really happened. But what Starr says could upend her community -- and endanger her life.
Why was it banned or challenged? Deemed "anti-cop", profanity, drug use, and sexual references.
"The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini FIC HOSSEINI; CD FIC HOSSEINI; Axis360 eBook and eAudiobook
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, caught in the tragic sweep of history, The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction.
Why was it banned or challenged? Sexual references and thought to "lead to terrorism" and "promote Islam".
A haunting coming of age novel told in a series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the life of Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent, it's a story of what it's like to grow up in high school, tracing a course through uncharted territory in the world of first dates, family dramas and new friends.
Why was it banned or challenged? Drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, and sexually explicit.
"Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher YA ASHER; Axis360 eBook and eAudiobook; Hoopla eBook
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
Why was it banned or challenged? Addressing teen suicide, drug and alcohol use, and sexual content.
"This One Summer" by Mariko Tamaki YA GN 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.
Why was it banned or challenged? Profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations.
To learn more about Banned Books please visit here.
Last updated: September 17, 2020