Most Frequently Challenged Books 2016


By: Kristin Evans

Director of Library Services


Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books 2016

Every year during National Library Week (April 9th-15th this year) the American Library Association releases the annual list of most frequently challenged books. This list is compiled of all the materials that are challenged in public, school, and academic libraries over the past year. The goal of publishing this list is to raise awareness of censorship attempts throughout the nation and to encourage the American public to fight for intellectual freedom in our libraries. Keeping that in mind, here are the 2016 top ten most frequently challenged books:

1. This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes

2.Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint

3. George written by Alex Gino
Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”

4. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints

5. Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content

6. Looking for Alaska written by John Green
Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”

7. Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit

8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk
Reasons: challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”

9. Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author

10. Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
Reason: challenged for offensive language

As always, the Henry County Library takes a position against censorship. Patrons and community members are reminded that a library's mission is to provide materials for all tastes and beliefs. What one person finds offensive is not necessarily so to others. The library encourages patrons to keep an open mind and to acknowledge that although they might not agree with every material in the library it is important that everyone have access to works depicting a diverse range of viewpoints and topics. Censorship stifles intellectual growth and freedom and deprives community members of access to information.