These are the most challenging books of 2021

(Image via Michal Jarmoluk on Pixabay)

Initial 2022 figures from the American Library Association (ALA) show that attempts to ban books are surpassing last year’s figures.

Books are often banned from schools and universities and public libraries for content deemed controversial. Books are often challenged and banned because they are deemed inappropriate for an age group, sexually explicit, contain LGBTQ+ content, blasphemous, or contain religious views, although this list is only a small sampling of the reasons people try to ban books.

read: Banned books intensified in 2022

Many challenges are for multiple books rather than one title.

According to the ALA, between January 1 and August 31 this year, there were 681 attempts to ban or restrict books, targeting 1,651 titles.

In 2021, there will be 729 attempts to review books against 1,597 titles, the ALA.

Here are the most frequently challenged books in 2021, according to the ALA:

1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe – Prohibitions, Challenges and Limitations

Reason: LGBTQ+ content, considered to contain sexually explicit images

2. Lawn Boys by Jonathan Evison – Prohibition and Challenge

Reason: LGBTQ+ content, considered pornographic

3. George M. Johnson’s All Boys Are Not Blue – Banned and Challenged

Reason: LGBTQ+ content, profanity, and because it’s considered explicit

4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez – Prohibitions, Challenges and Restrictions

Reason: Depiction of abuse, considered explicit

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Prohibition and Challenge

Reason: Blasphemy, violence, believed to promote anti-police message and indoctrinate social agenda

6. Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Indian Part Time Diary – Banned and Challenged

Reason: profanity, sexual innuendo and use of derogatory terms

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews – Prohibition and Challenge

Reason: Considered sexually explicit and insulting to women

8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – Banned and Challenged

Reason: Depiction of child sexual abuse, considered explicit

9. The book is Juno Dawson’s Homosexuality – Prohibition, Challenge, Relocation and Restriction

Why: Provide sex education and LGBTQ+ content

10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin – Banned and Challenged

Reason: LGBTQ+ content, considered pornographic


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