The 10 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Year
A children’s picture book about gay penguins, a memoir about sexual assault, and a celebrated graphic novel were among the 10 most banned or challenged books of 2014, according to the American Library Association, which tracks book censorship efforts in communities around the United States.
Sexuality was the most frequent reason cited by community groups for attempting to have a book removed from libraries or school. 7 of the top 10 books were challenged on the grounds that they are too sexually explicit or age inappropriate. In the case of 2 books, the fact that they deal with homosexuality was the reason for the challenge or ban.
4 of the top 10 banned or challenged books of 2014 are by writers of color. Half are by women and several are by celebrated authors. 3 of the 10 are graphic novels.
The Most Challenged/Banned Books of 2014
1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
2) Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”
3) And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
4) The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
5) It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
6) Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:
7) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”
9) A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
10) Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit
(List via ALA.org)
For more information on how the list was tabulated, the history of book banning, lists of classic books that have been banned and on the ALA’s efforts to combat censorship, visit The American Library Association Banned Books Site.