Banned Books Week: Top 10 Challenged Books of 2020

Fight for your right to read!

This week is Banned Books Week, a week-long annual celebration that celebrates the freedom to read. Everyday, books are challenged and banned for their content, just because there is a chance that it might offend someone. So that is why the book community -librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and book lovers alike-come together to celebrate and value of free and open access to information. Everyone has the right to seek and express new ideas, even it turns out to be unpopular to some people.

So, here are the top challenged 10 books of 2020. Make sure to read these books in defiance:

  • 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”
  • 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
  • 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”
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    • Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    • Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse
  • 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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