Frequently Challenged Books with Diverse Content

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 20:25 -- Maggie Jacoby
This year's Banned Books Week is celebrating diversity. Below is a selection of books by diverse authors or containing diverse content that have been frequently challenged and/or banned.
While diversity is seldom given as a reason for a challenge, it seems, in fact, to be an underlying and unspoken factor. These challenged works are often about people and issues which include LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities—people or issues that, perhaps, challengers would prefer not to consider. 
  1. A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines
  2. A Hero Ain't Nothin But a Sandwich by Alice Childress
  3. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
  4. Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by  Sherman Alexie
  5. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
  6. Always Running by Luis J Rodriguez
  7. Am I Blue?:  Coming Out from the Silence by Marion Dane Baue
  8. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  9. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Girl
  10. Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
  11. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X; Alex Haley
  12. Baby Be-Bop by Francesca Lia Block
  13. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  14. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out  by Susan Kuklin
  15. Black Boy by Richard Wright
  16. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A Anaya
  17. Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa
  18. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  19. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  20. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  21. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
  22. Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
  23. George by Alex Gino
  24. Habibi by Craig Thompson
  25. Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
  26. Hoops by Walter Dean Myers
  27. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
  28. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  29. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  30. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  31. King & King by Linda de Haan
  32. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  33. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  34. Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
  35. My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
  36. Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron
  37. Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter
  38. Palestine: A Nation Occupied by Joe Sacco
  39. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  40. Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
  41. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor
  42. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
  43. So Far From the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  44. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  45. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  46. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  47. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  48. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  49. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  50. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  51. The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
  52. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
  53. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  54. The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
  55. This Book is Gay by James Dawson
  56. This Day in June by Gayle Pitman
  57. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
  58. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

Source: ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) For more information about frequently challenged books, visit ALA's website.