Special Collections

ALA's Most Frequently Challenged Books of the 21st Century

Description: Explore the list of American Library Association's Most Frequently Challenged Books. Some titles are challenged multiple years. To learn more about challenges to books, visit ALA's website: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10 #teens


Showing 1 through 25 of 81 results
 

This Book Is Gay

by Juno Dawson

Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who's ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU. There's a long-running joke that, after "coming out," a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You're welcome.

Inside you'll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it's like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.

You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don't) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2021

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

by Jesse Andrews

Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time--when not playing video games and avoiding Earl's terrifying brothers-- making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don't make them for other people. Until Rachel.

Rachel has leukemia, and Greg's mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl make her a movie, and Greg must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It's a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2021

Out of Darkness

by Ashley Hope Pérez

Set against the back drop of one of the worst school tragedies in American history, Out of Darkness is a brutal and gripping novel about race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2021

All Boys Aren't Blue

by George M. Johnson

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys. Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren't Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2021

Lawn Boy

by Jonathan Evison

For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington State, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work—and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew—he knows that he’s got to be the one to shake things up if he’s ever going to change his life. But how?

In this funny, angry, touching, and ultimately deeply inspiring novel, bestselling author Jonathan Evison takes the reader into the heart and mind of a young man on a journey to discover himself, a search to find the secret to achieving the American dream of happiness and prosperity. That’s the birthright for all Americans, isn’t it? If so, then what is Mike Muñoz’s problem?

Though he tries time and again to get his foot on the first rung of that ladder to success, he can’t seem to get a break. But then things start to change for Mike, and after a raucous, jarring, and challenging trip, he finds he can finally see the future and his place in it. And it’s looking really good.

Lawn Boy is an important, entertaining, and completely winning novel about social class distinctions, about overcoming cultural discrimination, and about standing up for oneself.

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2021

The Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison

Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife.

A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2021

Beyond Magenta

by Susan Kuklin

A 2015 Stonewall Honor Book A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens. Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2021

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

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.

Winner of the 2018 William C. Morris award

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2021

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

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.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2021

Speak

by Laurie Halse Anderson

"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

A timeless novel about consent and finding the courage to speak up for yourself, the twentieth anniversary edition of the classic novel that has spoken to so many young adults now includes a new introduction by acclaimed writer, host, speaker, and cultural commentator Ashley C. Ford as well as an afterword by New York Times-bestselling author of All American Boys and Long Way Down, Jason Reynolds. This edition will also feature an updated Q&A, resource list, and essay and poem from Laurie Halse Anderson.

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2020

All American Boys

by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.

In this New York Times bestselling novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two teens--one black, one white--grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

A bag of chips. That's all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad's pleadings that he's stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad's resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad's every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

But there were witnesses: Quinn Collins--a varsity basketball player and Rashad's classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan--and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team--half of whom are Rashad's best friends--start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2020

Stamped

by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America

This is NOT a history book.

This is a book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.A book about race. The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence.

This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future.

It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2020

Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression Over seventy-five years since its first publication, Steinbeck's tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America's most widely read and taught novels. An unlikely pair, George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream. They hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him. Of Mice and Men represents an experiment in form, which Steinbeck described as "a kind of playable novel, written in a novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands." A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films. This edition features an introduction by Susan Shillinglaw, one of today's leading Steinbeck scholars.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2020

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south--and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as an e-book.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country.

A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father-a crusading local lawyer-risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2020

Melissa

by Alex Gino

BE WHO YOU ARE.

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.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2020

The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 04/11/2022


Year: 2019

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

by Jill Twist and Marlon Bundo and Eg Keller

HBO's Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a picture book about a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.

Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever...

With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming children's book explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.

100% of Last Week Tonight's proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

Date Added: 09/23/2019


Year: 2019

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2019

I Am Jazz

by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel

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. ' Barbara Walters 'A terrific and timely book that explains to kids what it means to be transgender and - more importantly - that reminds kids our similarities are much more important than our differences. ' Jodi Picoult, New York Timesbestselling author of The Storytellerand Between the Lines 'I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions. I found it deeply moving in its simplicity and honesty. ' Laverne Cox, acclaimed actress and transgender advocate 'All young people - regardless of difference - deserve the things Jazz shares in her lovely book: a loving family, supportive friends, and the freedom to be their true selves. A beautifully illustrated and accessible primer on one trans girl's journey of living her truth. ' Janet Mock, New York Timesbestselling author of Redefining Realness 'I Am Jazzis honest, inspiring, and beautiful - but its greatest strength is it never apologizes for being different. ' Brad Meltzer, New York Timesbestselling author of I am Amelia Earhart

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2019

And Tango Makes Three

by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and Henry Cole

In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango's family is not like any of the others.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2019

Drama

by Raina Telgemeier

The bestselling, award-winning author of Smile brings us her next full-colour graphic novel! 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!

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2019

Skippyjon Jones

by Judy Schachner

My name is Skippito Friskito. I fear not a single bandito. My manners are mellow, I'm sweet like the Jell-O, I get the job done, yes indeed-o. Skippyjon Jones is no ordinary kitten. Oh, no ... . He's actually El Skippito, a great sword-fighter ready to battle banditos the world over! With a little imagination and a whole lot of fun, this frisky cat dons a mask and cape and takes on a bad bumble-beeto to save the day. And along the way, he'll be sure to steal young reader's hearts, yes indeed-o!

Date Added: 09/23/2019


Year: 2018

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

by Dav Pilkey

Meet Captain Underpants, a superhero with a true identity that is SO secret, even HE doesn't know who he is! Now with a full-color bonus chapter! George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school -- and now they've accidentally brought him to life! Read the first book in this bestselling series about two creative kids and the zany misadventures that follow when Captain Underpants leaps off the page to save the day! Acclaimed author and Caldecott Honor artist Dav Pilkey takes readers on a wild ride in this outrageously funny, action-packed, easy-to-read chapter book. With illustrations on every page, it's great for both beginning and chapter-book readers, and sure to turn even the most reluctant of readers into lifelong fans. This updated ebook edition now includes a bonus chapter in full-color that reveals the true origins of Captain Underpants! The critics are CRAZY about UNDERPANTS! "Irresistible." -- Entertainment Weekly "Call Pilkey... the savior of the 'reluctant reader.'" -- USA Today "So appealing that youngsters won't notice that their vocabulary is stretching." -- School Library Journal "Pilkey's sharp humor shines, and is as much fun for parents as their young readers." -- Parents' Choice Foundation "Combines empowerment and empathy with age-appropriate humor and action." -- Booklist "Celebrates the triumph of the good-hearted." -- The Educational Book and Media Association

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2018

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

by Dav Pilkey

George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school - and now they're going to bring him to life! Meet Captain Underpants! His true identity is so secret, even he doesn't know who he is!

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2018

Two Boys Kissing

by David Levithan

In his follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Every Day, David Levithan, coauthor of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, crafts a novel that the Los Angeles Times calls "open, frank, and ultimately optimistic".

Based on true events--and narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS--Two Boys Kissing follows Harry and Craig, two seventeen-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teens dealing with universal questions of love, identity, and belonging.

With Levithan's trademark sharp-witted, warm-hearted tales of teenage love, Two Boys Kissing will appeal to fans of Levithan's breakthrough debut, Boy Meets Boy, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013.

A 2014 Lambda Literary Award Winner.

A 2014 Stonewall Honor Book.

Named to the 2013 National Book Award Longlist.

Date Added: 04/03/2019


Year: 2018


Showing 1 through 25 of 81 results