Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating open access to information and our freedom to read. Each year, several books are challenged in libraries and schools across the country, and their removal requested. Banned Books Week shines a light on these attempts at censorship by releasing a list of the most-challenged books that year.

Check out some of the young adult books included in last year's list.

Celebrate your right to read—pick up a banned book!

Compiled by:
Jen H.
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie
(Young Adult – Y Alexie)

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-White farm town school where the only other Native American is the school mascot.

All Boys Aren't Blue

George M. Johnson
(Adult Nonfiction - 306.7662 Joh)

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 memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison
(Adult Fiction - Morriso)

Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove–a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others–prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be beautiful, people will look at her, and her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

A Court of Mist and Fury

Sarah J. Maas
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Maas)

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it.


Ellen Hopkins
(Young Adult - Hopkins)

Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter, but she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs and becomes a very different person, struggling to control her life and her mind.


Mike Curato
(Graphic Novels - GN Curato Flamer)

It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes--but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.

Gender Queer

Maia Kobabe
(Graphic Novels - GN 921 Kobabe Kob)

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story; it's a useful and touching guide on gender identity–what it means and how to think about it–for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Lawn Boy

Jonathan Evison
(Adult Fiction - Evison)

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 Munoz'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.


Looking for Alaska

John Green
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Green)

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.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Mariko Tamaki
(Young Adult - Andrews)

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together, they spend their time making movies–their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Until Greg's mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel. Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia–cue extreme adolescent awkwardness–but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the worst film ever made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives. And all at once, Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

Out of Darkness

Ashley Hope Pérez
(Young Adult - Y Pérez)

Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is Black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Stephen Chbosky
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Chbosky)

Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He's a wallflower-- shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes: trying to make friends, family tensions, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs-- and dealing with his best friend's recent suicide.

This Book is Gay

Juno Dawson
(Adult Nonfiction - 306.766 Daw)

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.