The ALA’s office counted more than 1,500 book titles that tried to be banned for being too controversial.
Is not uncommon for parents, schools or organizations to file a complaint for certain books, mainly because they considered them to be inappropriate for younger readers, however, 2021 was the year with the most challenges for books and they all had an LGBTQ+ theme, which really speaks volumes of the closeness and lack of tolerance and respect that keeps growing in the US.
According to the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, only in 2021, it counted 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials, more than every other year they have recorded since 2000.
You might find interesting: 10 books that have been banned or burnt because they are “too controversial”
And, because each challenge includes more than one single book, the ALA counted 1,597 book titles that were submitted to be forbidden.
In a press release, ALA President Patricia Wong said: “We support individual parents’ choices concerning their child’s reading and believe that parents should not have those choices dictated by others. Young people need to have access to a variety of books from which they can learn about different perspectives.”
Here are the top 10 books that have been challenged this year. It is important to note that most of them have an LGBTQ theme, a topic that needs to be addressed from the community perspective to really support inclusion and diversity from a young age.
1. Gender Queer, by Maia Kobabe
Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
2. Lawn Boy, by Jonathan Evison
Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ and explicit content.
3. All Boys Aren’t Blue, by George M. Johnson
Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and profanity.
4. Out of Darkness, by Ashley Hope Perez
Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and for being sexually explicit.
5. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
Banned and challenged for violence, and to apparently promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and use of a derogatory term
7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews
Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
8. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Banned and challenged because it depicts sexual abuse.
9. This Book is Gay, by Juno Dawson
Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content
10. Beyond Magenta, by Susan Kuklin
Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content.