Top Ten Banned Books of 2019



The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 377 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2019. Overall, 566 books were targeted. Here are the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2019,” along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. George, by Alex Gino
    Reasons: to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
  3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
  4. Sex is a Funny Word, by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
  5. Prince & Knight, by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
    Reasons: featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint.
  6. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
    Reasons: profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
  8. Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
    NOTE: This one was the subject of a challenge in Wyoming.
  9. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
    Reasons: referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  10. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
    Reason: LGBTQIA+ content

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom has a video announcement and infographics regarding the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 on their Free Downloads page. They also have previous lists of Top 10 Most Challenged Books dating back to 2001.

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