Banned Books Week is in full swing for the week of September 21. We're celebrating some of our favorite YA books that just happened to be banned or challenged.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieBudding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Why was it challenged? Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
A coming of age novel about Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend.
Why was it challenged? Drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss' skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
Why was it challenged? Religious viewpoints and unsuitable to age group
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.
Why was it challenged? Offensive language, sexually explicit, violence
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.
Why was it challenged? Offensive language
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. This candid 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.
Why was it challenged? Homosexuality
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.
Why was it challenged? Drugs/drinking/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuitable to age group, and contains sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul - her life.
Why was it challenged? Drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today's gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways.
Why was it challenged? Its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Feeling like she doesn't fit in with the other members of her family, who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, 15-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her.
Why was it challenged? Anti-family, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean MyersSeventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
Why was it challenged? Drugs, offensive language, racism, sexual content, violence
ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
Chronicles, in "instant message" format, the day-to-day experiences, feelings, and plans of three friends, Zoe, Maddie, and Angela.
Why was it challenged? Drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
(The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass)
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.
Why was it challenged? Political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try
Why was it challenged? Offensive language
What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.
Why was it challenged? Sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Regina, a high school senior in the popular--and feared--crowd, suddenly falls out of favor and becomes the object of the same sort of vicious bullying that she used to inflict on others, until she finds solace with one of her former victims.
Why was it challenged? Dark and explicit content
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
Rose and her parents have been going to Awago Beach since she was a little girl. It's her summer getaway, her refuge. Her friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had, completing her summer family. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and Rose and Windy have gotten tangled up in a tragedy-in-the-making in the small town of Awago Beach. It's a summer of secrets and heartache, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.
Why was it challenged? LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.
Why was it challenged? LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint
Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Presents a world of jealousy and betrayal at an exclusive private school in Manhattan.
Why was it challenged? Homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group