The Top 10 Books Americans Tried to Ban in 2016
John Green and Chuck Palahniuk are among the authors challenged this year
The US Office of Intellectual Freedom, part of the American Library Association, has released its yearly list of books that parents and administrators have attempted to ban in American school libraries. According to a report from Quartz, this year’s challenge total is up 50 from last year with 323 in total. OIF director James LaRue noted that because the organization only has access to self-reported data, these figure likely account for only about 18% of all challenges.
Mariko Tamaki’s graphic novel This One Summer (illustrated by Jillian Tamaki) received the most ban attempts, with complaints focusing on the book’s queer characters and drug use. Issues with character’s gender and sexual identities dominate the top of the list, with the five most banned entries featuring LGBT protagonists. Further down, YA stalwarts like John Greene received dings for merely acknowledging the existence of sex. The only entry not challenged for its content was Bill Cosby’s Little Bill series, which came in at number nine.
See the full list here:
- This One Summer (2014), by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (Macmillan)
- Drama (2012), by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic)
- George (2015), by Alex Gino (Scholastic)
- I Am Jazz (2014), by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas (Dial Books)
- Two Boys Kissing (2013), by David Levithan (Borzoi)
- Looking for Alaska (2005), by John Green (Dutton/Penguin)
- Big Hard Sex Criminals (2015), by Matt Fraction, illustrated by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
- Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread (2015), by Chuck Palahniuk (Anchor)
- Little Bill (1990s; series), by Bill Cosby, illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood (Simon Spotlight)
- Eleanor & Park (2013), by Rainbow Rowell (Saint Martins)