Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2020

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom has released its list of the top ten most challenged books in 2020 In 2020, 273 books were targeted for removal from libraries, schools and universities. Here are the most challenged books along with the reasons cited for censoring them.

Cover for George

George by Alex Gino

Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”

Cover for Stamped

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people

Cover for All American Boys

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”

Cover for Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity

Cover for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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

Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author

Cover for Something Happened in Our Town

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Reasons: Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

Cover for To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience

Cover for Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students

Cover for The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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

Cover for The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

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