We suggest: Banned Books Week

By Collection Management Librarian Kathy Sexton

Every year during Banned Books Week (September 27-October 3 this year), the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates the freedom to read by recognizing books that have been challenged, censored, and banned in libraries and schools.

The ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most challenged books from the last year. Here are those ten titles and the reasons they were challenged.

Read a banned book!


George by Alex Gino

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion.”

Description: Knowing herself to be a girl despite her outwardly male appearance, George is denied a female role in the class play before teaming up with a friend to reveal her true self.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it.” 

Description: Draws on six first-person interviews to share compassionate insights into the teen transgender experience, tracing each individual’s emotional and physical journey as it was shaped by family dynamics, living situations, and the transition each teen made during the personal journey toward acknowledgement of gender preference.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers.”

Description: When Vice President Mike Pence’s pet rabbit Marlon Bundo and another male bunny fall in love and decide to get married, they encounter opposition from a rule-making stink bug until their animal friends, who embrace individuality, decide to vote on the issue.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”. 

Description: A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children.”

Description: A prince and a knight in shining armor find true love in each other’s embrace after fighting a dragon together.

Find all available formats in the catalog »

I Am Jazz! by Jessica Herthel

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged.”

Description: Based on the young co-author’s real-life experiences, the story of a transgender child traces her early awareness that she is a girl in spite of male anatomy and the acceptance she finds through a wise doctor who explains her natural transgender status.

Find all available formats in the catalog »

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones.”

Description: A chilling look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals.”

Description: Designing sets for her middle school’s play, Callie tries to overcome limited carpentry skills, low ticket sales, and squabbling crew members only to find her efforts further complicated by the arrival of two cute brothers.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals.

Description: Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

Why it was challenged (from the ALA): For LGBTQIA+ content.

Description: When male penguins Silo and Roy attempt to hatch an egg-shaped rock and find no success in their efforts, the zookeepers decide to place a fertilized penguin egg in their cage and end up with little baby Tango, in an amusing tale based on a true story from the Central Park Zoo.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Librarian Kathy Sexton

About Kathy

Kathy is a Collection Management Librarian who loves reading, sharing, and talking about books. Her missions in life are to: create communities of readers, convince folks that her official title should be “Book Pusher,” and refute that “disco” is a dirty word.

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