List of most commonly challenged books in the United States

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Judy Blume is the author featured most frequently on this list (five times). Her young adult novels are typically about coming of age issues such as teenage sexuality.
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling was the most challenged work from 2000 to 2009. Its topics relating to things such as witchcraft have generated controversy.
The second oldest works featured on the list were written by Mark Twain. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) is challenged consistently for its language and discussion of racism.

This list of the most commonly challenged books in the United States refers to books sought to be removed or otherwise restricted from public access, typically from a library or a school curriculum. This list is primarily based on U.S. data gathered by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), which gathers data from media reports, and from reports from librarians and teachers.[1]

As of 2020, the top ten reasons books were challenged and banned books included sexual content (92.5% percent of books on the list); offensive language (61.5%); unsuited to age group (49%); religious viewpoint (26%); LGBTQIA+ content (23.5%); violence (19%); racism (16.5%); drugs, alcohol, and smoking (12.5%); "anti-family" content (7%); and political viewpoint (6.5%). [2][3][4]


Since 2001, the American Library Association has posed the top ten most frequently challenged books per year on their website.[4] Using the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century, ALA has also noted banned and challenged classics.[5]

The list is sorted alphabetically by default. Included is each book's rank in the ALA's lists of top 100 challenged books by decade (if applicable).

Title Author Reason(s) for Challenge Year(s)
ALA rank
2010–2019[6] 2000–2009[7] 1990–1999[8]
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie Content regarding alcohol, bullying, violence; sexual references; profanity and slurs; allegations against the author 2007 1 N/A N/A
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain Coarse language, racial stereotypes and use of the word "nigger" 1884 33 14 5
The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby Dav Pilkey Encouraging poor spelling 2002 41 47 N/A
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain Coarse language; racial stereotypes 1876 N/A N/A 83
Alice (series) Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Sexual content 1985–2013 21 2 14
All American Boys Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely Profanity, drug use, and alcoholism; thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”[9] 2015 N/A N/A N/A
All the King's Men Robert Penn Warren Depicting a "depressing view of life" and "immoral situations" 1946 N/A N/A N/A
Almost Perfect Brian Katcher LGBT content 2009 81 N/A N/A
Always Running Luis J. Rodriguez Gang violence, drug use and sexual references 1993 N/A 68 85
America E. R. Frank Sexual references; drug and alcohol use 2002 N/A 100 N/A
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis Sexual references; violence toward women 1991 N/A N/A 53
An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser Sexual content; abortion; murder 1925 N/A N/A N/A
The Anarchist Cookbook William Powell Content related to the manufacturing of illicit narcotics and explosives 1971 N/A N/A 59
Anastasia Krupnik (series) Lois Lowry References to beer, Playboy magazine, and suicide 1979–1995 N/A 75 28
And Tango Makes Three Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson Content regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage 2005 6 4 N/A
Animal Farm George Orwell Political (Communist) commentary 1945 N/A N/A N/A
Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank 1946 62 N/A N/A
Annie on My Mind Nancy Garden LGBT content 1982 N/A N/A 44
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging Louise Rennison Crude language, sexual content, LGBT content 1999 N/A 35 N/A
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Judy Blume Content dealing with menstrual cycles and feminine hygiene 1970 N/A 99 60
The Arizona Kid Ron Koertge LGBT content 1988 N/A N/A 75
Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture Michael A. Bellesiles Content dealing with firearms, later proven to have been fabricated 2000 N/A 38 N/A
As I Lay Dying William Faulkner Dealing with issues of death; abortion 1930 N/A N/A N/A
Asking About Sex and Growing Up Joanna Cole Sexual education 1988 N/A N/A 57
Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories Chris Crutcher Content dealing with eating disorders, child abuse, racism, LGBT themes and AIDS 1991 N/A 44 63
The Awakening Kate Chopin Sexual content 1899 82 N/A N/A
A Bad Boy Can Be Good For a Girl Tanya Lee Stone Crude language, sexual content, mature themes 2006 44 N/A N/A
Bad Kitty (series) Nick Bruel Crude language, sexual content, mature themes 2005-2021 37 N/A N/A
Beloved Toni Morrison Themes regarding slavery; violence 1987 45 26 45
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out Susan Kuklin Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other ("wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints") 2014 27 N/A N/A
Big Hard Sex Criminals Matt Fraction, illustrated by Chip Zdarsky Sexually explicit 2015 N/A N/A N/A
Black Boy Richard Wright Themes of communism, racism and atheism 1946 N/A 81 N/A
Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya Profanity, crude language and violence 1972 63 32 78
Blood and Chocolate Annette Curtis Klause Sexual content; supernatural themes 1997 N/A 57 N/A
Blubber Judy Blume Content dealing with the issue of bullying 1974 N/A 43 30
The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison Themes of racism, incest and child sexual abuse 1970 10 15 34
Bone (series) Jeff Smith References to smoking, drinking and gambling 1991–2004 N/A N/A N/A
This Book is Gay Juno Dawson LGBT content 2014 53 N/A N/A
The Boy Who Lost His Face Louis Sachar Themes of the occult, sexuality and bullying; profanity 1989 N/A 92 46
Boys and Sex Wardell Pomeroy Sexual education 1968 N/A N/A 61
Brave New World Aldous Huxley Anti-religion and anti-family themes; sexual content 1931 26 36 54
Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh Themes of homosexuality, alcoholism, infidelity 1945 N/A N/A N/A
Bridge to Terabithia Katherine Paterson Allegations that the book promotes secular humanism, New Age religion, occultism, and Satanism 1977 N/A 28 8
Bumps in the Night Harry Allard Supernatural and occult themes, anti-family, encourages disobedience 1979 N/A 93 56
Burned Ellen Hopkins Supernatural and occult themes, anti-family, encourages disobedience 2006 83 N/A N/A
The Call of the Wild Jack London Author's pro-Socialism views 1903 N/A N/A N/A
Captain Underpants (series) Dav Pilkey Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence 1997–2015 2 13 N/A
Carrie Stephen King Violence, anti-religious themes, sexual themes 1974 N/A N/A 81
Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut Language, animal abuse, anti-religious themes, and scatological humor 1963 N/A N/A N/A
Catch-22 Joseph Heller Obscene language 1961 N/A N/A N/A
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 1951 49 19 10
A Child Called It Dave Pelzer Child abuse 1995 36 N/A N/A
The Chocolate War Robert Cormier Nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 1974 N/A 3 4
Christine Stephen King Obscene language, sexual themes 1983 N/A N/A 95
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess Obscene language 1962 80 N/A N/A
The Color Purple Alice Walker Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 1982 50 17 17
The Color of the Earth (trilogy) Tong-hwa Kim Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 2009 N/A N/A N/A
Crank Ellen Hopkins Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit 2004 38 N/A N/A
Crazy Benjamin Lebert Obscene language, sexual themes 2000 N/A 77 N/A
Crazy Lady! Jane Leslie Conly Offensive language 1993 N/A 45 62
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat Alvin Schwartz Supernatural themes 1974 N/A N/A 47
Cujo Stephen King Violence, obscene language, explicit sex scenes 1983 N/A N/A 49
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other ("profanity and atheism") 2003 51 N/A N/A
Curses, Hexes and Spells Daniel Cohen Supernatural themes, references to the Bible 1974 N/A N/A 71
Cut Patricia McCormick References to cutting and self-harm 2000 N/A 86 N/A
Daddy's Roommate Michael Willhoite LGBT themes 1991 N/A N/A 2
Daughters of Eve Lois Duncan Obscene language, sexual content, and violence 1979 N/A 51 N/A
This Day in June Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten LGBT content 2013 42 N/A N/A
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo Jill Twiss LGBTQIA+ content, political and religious viewpoints 2018 19 N/A N/A
A Day No Pigs Would Die Robert Newton Peck References to animal slaughter and animal mating 1972 N/A 80 16
The Dead Zone Stephen King Obscene language 1979 N/A N/A 82
Deal with It!: A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a gURL Esther Drill Explicit sexual content and LGBT themes 1999 N/A 82 N/A
Deenie Judy Blume References to masturbation 1973 N/A N/A 42
Detour for Emmy Marilyn Reynolds Sexual content and references to teen pregnancy 1993 N/A 83 N/A
The Dirty Cowboy Amy Timberlake 2003 60 N/A N/A
Drama Raina Telgemeier Includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint 2012 7 N/A N/A
Draw Me a Star Eric Carle 1992 65 N/A N/A
Dreaming in Cuban Cristina García Sexual content and nude drawings of Adam and Eve 1992 64 61 N/A
The Drowning of Stephan Jones Bette Greene LGBT themes 1991 N/A N/A 96
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Carolyn Mackler Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 2003 N/A 34 N/A
Earth's Children (series) Jean M. Auel Graphic sexual content 1980–2011 N/A N/A 19
Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell Offensive language 2013 54 N/A N/A
Ender's Game Orson Scott Card 1985 84 N/A N/A
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Jonathan Safran Foer 2005 55 N/A N/A
The Face on the Milk Carton Caroline B. Cooney Sexual content, challenging authority, and unsuitable for age group 1990 N/A 29 80
The Facts Speak For Themselves Brock Cole Sexual content, violence 1997 N/A 54 N/A
Fade Robert Cormier References to child sexual abuse, and violence 1988 N/A N/A 65
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury Obscene language, references to smoking and drinking, violence, and religious themes 1953 N/A 69 N/A
Fallen Angels Walter Dean Myers Offensive language, racism, violence 1988 85 11 36
The Family Book Todd Parr 2003 67 N/A N/A
Family Secrets Norma Klein Sexual content, obscene language, references to adultery, smoking, and implied incest 1985 N/A N/A 76
A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway Sexual content 1929 N/A N/A N/A
Fat Kid Rules the World KL Going Obscene language, sexual themes, and drug use 2003 N/A 58 N/A
Feed M.T. Anderson 2002 68 N/A N/A
Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk Sexually explicit, violence, anarchist themes, smoking, drinking 1996 N/A N/A N/A
Fifty Shades of Grey (series) E. L. James Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other ("poorly written," "concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it") 2011 8 N/A N/A
The Fighting Ground Avi Obscene language 1984 N/A 42 N/A
Final Exit Derek Humphry References to assisted suicide 1991 N/A N/A 29
Flashcards of My Life Charise Mericle Harper Sexual content and unsuitable to age group 2006 N/A N/A N/A
Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes Sexual content 1966 N/A N/A 43
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway Pro-Communist views 1940 N/A N/A N/A
Forever... Judy Blume Offensive language, sexual content 1975 N/A 16 7
Friday Night Lights H. G. Bissinger Obscene language, sexual content, and racism 1990 89 N/A
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Alison Bechdel Violence and other ("graphic images"). 2006 31 N/A N/A
George Alex Gino Includes a transgender child, and the "sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels" 2015 5 N/A N/A
The Giver Lois Lowry Obscene language, sexual content, violence, and unsuitable to age group 1993 64 23 11
Girls and Sex Wardell Pomeroy Sex education 1970 N/A N/A 98
Glass Ellen Hopkins Drugs 2007 86 N/A N/A
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls Offensive language, sexually explicit 2005 17 N/A N/A
Go Ask Alice Anonymous Drugs 1971 N/A 18 25
Go Tell It on the Mountain James Baldwin Obscene language, explicit sex, references to masturbation, rape, violence and sexism 1953 N/A N/A N/A
Go the Fuck to Sleep Adam Mansbach Offensive language 2011 69 N/A N/A
The Goats Brock Cole Obscene language and a scene describing the rescue of a naked woman 1987 N/A N/A 26
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell Several uses of racial slurs, the book's portrayal of slavery, and references to rape 1936 N/A N/A N/A
Goosebumps (series) R. L. Stine Supernatural themes, violence, and encouraging disobedience 1992–1997 46 94 15
Gossip Girl (series) Cecily von Ziegesar Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit 2002–2011 56 22 N/A
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck Portrays Kern County, California in a negative light 1939 N/A N/A N/A
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Language and sexual references 1925 N/A N/A N/A
The Great Gilly Hopkins Katherine Paterson Obscene language and racism 1978 N/A 52 20
Grendel John Gardner Depictions of torture and mutilation 1971 N/A 96 N/A
Guess What? Mem Fox Supernatural things and references to punk rock 1990 N/A N/A 66
Habibi Craig Thompson Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group 2011 70 N/A N/A
Halloween ABC Eve Merriam Possible Satanic and cult references, as well as violence 1987 N/A N/A 31
The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood Sexuality, profanity, suicide, violence, anti-Christian themes 1985 29 88 37
Harris and Me Gary Paulsen Obscene language 1993 N/A 70 N/A
Harry Potter (series) J. K. Rowling Unsuited to age group, witchcraft, religious viewpoint, anti-family, darkness/scariness/violence, and for "setting bad examples" 1997–2007 N/A 1 48
The Hate U Give Angie Thomas Profanity, promotion of anti-police messages 2017 N/A N/A N/A
Heather Has Two Mommies Lesléa Newman Homosexuality 1989 87 N/A 9
His Dark Materials (series) Philip Pullman Political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence 1995–2000 N/A 8 N/A
The Holy Bible various Religious viewpoint, violence[3] Canon est. ca. 3rd century A.D. 52 N/A N/A
The House of Night (series) P.C. Cast 2007-2014 57 N/A N/A
The House of the Spirits Isabel Allende Sexual content 1982 71 97 73
The Hunger Games (series) Suzanne Collins Religious viewpoint, dark themes/violence, unsuited to age group 2008–2010 12 N/A N/A
I Am Jazz Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group 2014 13 N/A N/A
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou Incest, Sexual Content 1969 88 6 3
I Saw Esau Iona Opie, Peter Opie Obscene language 2000 N/A 98 N/A
In Cold Blood Truman Capote Violence, sexual content, and obscene language 1966 N/A N/A N/A
In Our Mother's House Patricia Polacco 2009 47 N/A N/A
In the Night Kitchen Maurice Sendak Nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit 1970 N/A 24 21
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison Obscene language and sexual content 1952 N/A N/A N/A
It's A Book Lane Smith 2010 32 N/A N/A
It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health Robie Harris Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: "alleges it is child pornography" 1994 22 12 13
It's So Amazing Robie Harris Sex education, sexual content 1999 N/A 37 N/A
Jack A. M. Homes LGBT themes and references to divorce and domestic violence 1990 N/A N/A 74
Jacob's New Dress Sarah Hoffman LGBT content 2014 72 N/A N/A
James and the Giant Peach Roald Dahl Supernatural themes and references to drug use 1961 N/A N/A 50
The Joy of Gay Sex Charles Silverstein, Edmund White LGBT themes and explicit sexual content 1977 N/A 78 N/A
Julie of the Wolves Jean Craighead George Unsuited to age group, violence 1972 N/A 91 32
Jump Ship to Freedom James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier Obscene language, violence, and racism 1981 N/A N/A 100
Jumper Steven Gould References to physical and sexual abuse towards children 1992 N/A N/A 94
The Jungle Upton Sinclair Author's pro-Socialism and anti-Communism views 1906 N/A N/A N/A
Junie B. Jones (series) Barbara Park Encouraging disobedience 1992–2011 N/A 71 N/A
Kaffir Boy Mark Mathabane References to male prostitution and sexual abuse 1986 N/A 39 33
Killing Mr. Griffin Lois Duncan Violence and obscene language 1978 N/A 25 64
King & King Linda De Haan, Stern Nijland Homosexuality 2002 N/A 20 N/A
Kingdom of Little Wounds Susann Cokal 2013 78 N/A N/A
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence 2003 11 50 N/A
Lady Chatterley's Lover D. H. Lawrence Sexual content 1928 N/A N/A N/A
Less Than Zero Bret Easton Ellis Drug abuse, sexual content, language and a bisexual main character 1985 N/A N/A N/A
The Librarian of Basra Jeanette Winter 2005 96 N/A N/A
Life is Funny E.R. Frank Sexual content 2000 N/A 40 N/A
A Light in the Attic Shel Silverstein Violence and encouraging disobedience 1981 N/A N/A 51
Little Bill (children book series) Bill Cosby, illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood Criminal sexual allegations against the author 1997–2000 N/A N/A N/A
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov References to pedophillia and sexual abuse 1955 73 N/A N/A
Looking for Alaska John Green Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. 2005 4 N/A N/A
Lord of the Flies William Golding Obscene language, violence, and animal cruelty 1954 N/A N/A 68
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Supernatural themes 1954 N/A N/A N/A
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold Religious themes 2002 N/A 74 N/A
Lush Natasha Friend Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 2006 48 N/A N/A
Madeline and the Gypsies Ludwig Bemelmans 1958 89 N/A N/A
Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread Chuck Palahniuk Profanity, sexual explicitness, and being "disgusting and all around offensive" 2015 N/A N/A N/A
Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler Glorification of Nazism 1925 N/A N/A N/A
Monster Walter Dean Myers 1999 74 N/A N/A
Mick Harte Was Here Barbara Park Obscene language and references to death 1996 N/A 64 N/A
Mummy Laid an Egg Babette Cole Sex education 1994 N/A N/A 77
My Brother Sam Is Dead James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier Obscene language and violence 1974 N/A 27 12
My Mom's Having a Baby! Dori Hillestad Butler Nudity, sex education, sexual content, and unsuitable for age group 2005 58 N/A N/A
My Princess Boy Cheryl Kilodavis LGBT content 2009 90 N/A N/A
My Sister's Keeper Jodi Picoult Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence 2004 N/A N/A N/A
The Naked and the Dead Norman Mailer Obscene language 1948 N/A N/A N/A
Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs Sexual content 1959 N/A N/A N/A
Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan Jeanette Winter Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence 2009 N/A N/A N/A
Native Son Richard Wright Violence and sexual content 1940 N/A N/A 69
Neonomicon Alan Moore 2010 59 N/A N/A
The New Joy of Gay Sex Charles Silverstein, Edmund White, Felice Picano LGBT themes and sexual content 1993 N/A N/A 24
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Barbara Ehrenreich Drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint 2001 39 N/A N/A
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell Pro- and anti-Communist views, sexual content, and violence 1949 79 N/A N/A
Nineteen Minutes Jodi Picoult 2007 39 N/A N/A
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck Offensive language, racism, violence 1937 28 5 6
Olive's Ocean Kevin Henkes Obscene language and sexual content 2003 N/A 59 N/A
On My Honor Marion Dane Bauer References divorce, death, suicide, and defeat 1986 N/A N/A 72
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey Obscene language, violence, and references to mental illness 1962 N/A 49 N/A
This One Summer Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki Includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and considered sexually explicit with mature themes 2014 43 N/A N/A
Ordinary People Judith Guest Obscene language and sexual content 1976 N/A N/A 52
The Outsiders S. E. Hinton Anti-religious content 1967 N/A N/A 38
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky Drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: "date rape and masturbation" 1999 14 10 N/A
Persepolis (series) Marjane Satrapi Gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: "politically, racially, and socially offensive," "graphic depictions" 2000–2003 40 N/A N/A
The Pigman Paul Zindel Obscene language 1968 N/A 39 N/A
The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett Sexual content and references to violence toward women 1989 N/A N/A 91
A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving Anti-religion and criticism of the Vietnam War and the Iran-Contra incident 1989 N/A 76 N/A
Prince & Knight Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis LGBTQIA+ content; featuring a gay marriage; being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; conflicting with a religious viewpoint 2018 91 N/A N/A
Private Parts Howard Stern Sexual content 1993 N/A N/A 86
Rabbit, Run John Updike Sexual content 1960 N/A N/A N/A
Rainbow Boys Alex Sánchez LGBT themes, sexual content 2001 N/A 48 N/A
Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology Amy Sonnie Homosexuality, sexually explicit 2000 92 N/A N/A
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mildred D. Taylor Offensive language 1976 N/A 66 N/A
Running Loose Chris Crutcher Racial slurs, sexual content 1983 N/A N/A 92
The Rules of Attraction Bret Easton Ellis Graphic sexual content, strong suicide scene, language, LGBTQ+ themes 1987 N/A N/A N/A
Saga (series) Brian K. Vaughan Anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group 2012–present 76 N/A N/A
The Satanic Verses Salman Rushdie Portrayal of the prophet Muhammad in a negative light 1988 N/A N/A N/A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (series) Alvin Schwartz Unsuited for age group, violence 1981–1991 24 7 1
A Separate Peace John Knowles Sexual content 1959 N/A N/A N/A
Sex Madonna Sexual content 1992 N/A N/A 18
Sex Education Jenny Davis Sexual content 1995 N/A N/A 93
Sex is a Funny Word Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth LGBTQIA+ content; discussing gender identity and sex education; concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate;” believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex”  2015 20 N/A N/A
Shade's Children Garth Nix Sexual content and nudity 1997 N/A 95 N/A
Skippyjon Jones (series) Judy Schachner Depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture 2001–present 93 N/A N/A
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut Sexual content, anti-religious content, violence 1969 N/A 46 67
The Sleeping Beauty Quartet (series) Anne Rice Sexual content 1983–2015 N/A N/A 55
Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson Sexual content 1994 N/A 33 N/A
So Far from the Bamboo Grove Yoko Kawashima Watkins References to rape and violence against women 1986 94 84 N/A
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin "Divisive language", thought to promote anti-police views[9] 2018 N/A N/A N/A
Song of Solomon Toni Morrison Sexual content, bestiality, and racism 1977 N/A 72 84
Sons and Lovers D. H. Lawrence Sexual content and incest 1913 N/A N/A N/A
Sophie's Choice William Styron Sexual content 1979 N/A N/A N/A
Speak Laurie Halse Anderson References to rape 1999 25 60 N/A
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds Author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.[9] 2020 N/A N/A N/A
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes Chris Crutcher Obscene language, sexual content 1993 N/A 85 N/A
A Stolen Life Jaycee Dugard Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group 2011 N/A N/A N/A
The Story of Little Black Sambo Helen Bannerman Racism 1899 N/A N/A 90
Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age Ariel Schrag 2007 90 N/A N/A
The Stupids (series) Harry Allard, James Marshall Promoting negative behavior, references to death, and obscene language 1974–1989 N/A 62 27
Summer of My German Soldier Bette Greene Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit 1973 N/A 55 88
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway Sexual content 1926 N/A N/A N/A
Taming the Star Runner S. E. Hinton Offensive language 1988 N/A N/A N/A
The Terrorist Caroline B. Cooney Portrays Muslims in a negative light 1997 N/A 63 N/A
That Was Then, This Is Now S. E. Hinton Violence, drug use, obscene language 1971 N/A N/A 97
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston Author's political views 1937 N/A N/A N/A
The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien Violence, animal abuse, obscene language, and criticism of the Vietnam War 1990 34 65 N/A
Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group 2007 3 N/A N/A
Tiger Eyes Judy Blume Sexual content, drug use, and language 1981 N/A 87 89
A Time to Kill John Grisham References to slavery, rape, and the text includes racial slurs 1989 67 N/A N/A
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group 1960 15 21 40
Tricks Ellen Hopkins 2009 98 N/A N/A
Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller Sexual content 1934 N/A N/A N/A
Internet Girls (series) Lauren Myracle Offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 2004–2007 9 9 N/A
Twilight (series) Stephenie Meyer Religious viewpoint, violence, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 2005–2008 N/A N/A N/A
Two Boys Kissing David Levithan Homosexuality and other ("condones public displays of affection"). Also considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content 2013 18 N/A N/A
Ulysses James Joyce References to masturbation 1922 N/A N/A N/A
Uncle Bobby's Wedding Sarah S. Brannen LGBT themes 2008 99 N/A N/A
The Upstairs Room Johanna Reiss Obscene language and references to the Holocaust 1972 N/A 79 N/A
The Walking Dead (series) Robert Kirkman 2004-2019 97 N/A N/A
We All Fall Down Robert Cormier Offensive language, sexual content 1991 N/A 30 41
Whale Talk Chris Crutcher Racism, offensive language 2001 N/A 41 N/A
What My Mother Doesn't Know Sonya Sones Nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, sexism, unsuited to age group 2001 35 31 N/A
What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys Lynda Madaras Sex education 1987/2007 N/A N/A 58
What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls Lynda Madaras Sex education 1987/2007 N/A 73 35
When Dad Killed Mom Julius Lester Violence, sexual content 2001 N/A 56 N/A
Where Did I Come From? Peter Mayle Sex education 1973 N/A N/A 79
Where's Waldo? Martin Handford Nudity 1987 N/A N/A 87
The Wish Giver Bill Brittain Supernatural themes 1983 N/A N/A 99
The Witches Roald Dahl Misogyny, encouraging disobedience, violence, animal cruelty, obscene language, and supernatural themes 1983 N/A N/A 22
Women in Love D. H. Lawrence Sexual content and misogyny 1920 N/A N/A N/A
Women on Top Nancy Friday Sexual content 1991 N/A N/A 70
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle Supernatural themes and religious themes 1963 N/A 90 23
Year of Wonders Geraldine Brooks 2001 100 N/A N/A
You Hear Me? Betsy Franco Obscene language and topics 2000 N/A 53 N/A

Note: The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) does not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges. Research suggests that for each challenge reported there are as many as four or five which go unreported.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Banned & Challenged Books". American Library Association. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  2. ^ "About Banned & Challenged Books". American Library Association. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Top Ten Challenged Books: Resources & Graphics". American Library Association. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  4. ^ a b Banned & Challenged Books (2013-03-26). "Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists". Office for Intellectual Freedom. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  5. ^ Banned & Challenged Books (2013-03-26). "Banned & Challenged Classics". Office for Intellectual Freedom. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  6. ^ Banned & Challenged Books (2020-09-09). "Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books: 2010-2019". Office for Intellectual Freedom. American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  7. ^ "Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009". American Library Association. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  8. ^ "100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999". American Library Association. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Higgins-Dailey, Jacqui (2021-04-05). "ALA's Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2020". Office for Intellectual Freedom. American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  10. ^ "100 most frequently challenged books by decade | Banned & Challenged Books". American Library Association. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

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