The 10 Most Challenged Books of 2017

Posted on September 24, 2018. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Banned Books Week draws attention to censorship and challenges to intellectual freedom. Every year the American Library Association posts a list of books that have been challenged or banned in libraries across the United States. Statistics show that most challenges are made by patrons and parents, and they are mostly challenged in public libraries or schools.

Here is the list of the 10 most challenged books in 2017. Why not check one out?

9781595141880_p0_v2_s600x595Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

Challenged because: suicide

“When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780062498533_p0_v12_s550x406The Hate u Give
by Angie Thomas

Challenged because: drug use, profanity, vulgar

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780316013697_p0_v1_s550x406The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
art by Ellen Forney

Challenged because: profanity, sexually explicit

“Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781594631931_p0_v3_s550x406The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

Challenged because: sexual violence, religious themes, “May lead to terrorism”

“An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons-their love, their sacrifices, their lies” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780446310789_p0_v6_s550x406To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

Challenged because: violence, racial slurs

“The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781481449946_p0_v1_s550x406And Tango Makes Three
by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
illustrated by Henry Cole

Challenged Because: LGBT content

“At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics). This book is based on a true story.

by Alex Gino

Challenged Because: LGBT content

“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web.

George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part—because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte—but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781609806064_p0_v1_s550x406Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU
by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth

Challenged because: sex education

“A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities; an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers.

Much more than ‘the facts of life’ or ‘the birds and the bees,’ Sex is a Funny Word opens up conversations between young people and their caregivers in a way that allows adults to convey their values and beliefs while providing information about boundaries, safety, and joy.’” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

by Raina Telgemeier
with color by Gurihiru

Challenged because: LBGT

“Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she’s a terrible singer. Instead she’s the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget.

But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that comes once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of Smile, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama!” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780803741072_p0_v2_s550x406I am Jazz!
by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings
pictures by Shelagh McNicholas

Challenged because: gender issues

“From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born this way.

Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers. ‘Jazz is a sensitive and courageous young woman. Her story is inspiring and important to read. By sharing her experiences and view she has added to our understanding and compassion for the transgender experience’” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

-posted by Kevin Purtell


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I had a Patron suggested Oakton Community College Library remove the book Neighbors : the destruction of the Jewish community in Jedwabne, Poland by Jan T. Gross. He said “it made Poles look bad.”


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