ALA Releases the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2016

Every year, the American Library Association (ALA) releases their The State of America's Libraries magazine - a magazine catered towards academic, school, and public libraries providing expertise, dynamic collections, digital resources, and many other tools to empower librarians to help make their communities better places to live. Among the resources provided in the magazine is the annual "Most Challenged Books" list.

This list explores a range of genres and formats that have been threatened with removal from schools and libraries within communities. The annual list is put together by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). OIF calculates the Top Ten books by documenting public media articles of challenges and censorship records submitted through the office's reporting form. 

This year, the OIF collected 323 challenged reports to calculate the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016. For the full list, see below:

  • This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki | This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
  • Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier | Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
  • George written by Alex Gino | Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”
  • I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas | This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.
  • Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan | Included on the National Book Award longlist and designated a Stonewall Honor Book, this young adult novel was challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.
  • Looking for Alaska written by John Green | This 2006 Printz Award winner is a young adult novel that was challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation.”
  • Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky | Considered to be sexually explicit by library staff and administrators, this compilation of adult comic books by two prolific award-winning artists was banned and challenged.
  • Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk | This collection of adult short stories, which received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, was challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”
  • Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood | This children’s book series was challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.
  • Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell | One of seven New York Times Notable Children’s Books and a Printz Honor recipient, this young adult novel was challenged for offensive language.
     

Along with the list, OIF provides a detailed video along with infographics on how to use the information. For the video, see below. For infographics and other resources, click here.

Monstress Volume 2: The Blood Monstress Volume 2: The Blood
Image Comics
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power. >>
Saga Volume 7 Saga Volume 7
Image Comics
From the worldwide bestselling team of FIONA STAPLES and BRIAN K. VAUGHAN, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained SAGA event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. >>
Bloodborne Official Artworks Bloodborne Official Artworks
Udon Entertainment
In the terrifying video game Bloodborne, deranged mobs and nightmarish creatures lurk around every corner of a horror-filled gothic city. Bloodborne: Official Artworks collects the hair-raising artwork behind this modern action role-playing classic.  >>
Walking Dead Volume 27: The Whisperer War Walking Dead Volume 27: The Whisperer War
Image Comics
The time has come. The forces are aligning. The war has begun! Has Rick brought about the demise of everything he's built? Or will he triumph once again? Know this... there will be a cost. Collects THE WALKING DEAD #157-162. >>
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47
Gemstone Publishing
One of the most influential comic book artists ever, Jim Steranko, brings his compelling mastery of the art form to the cover of the book that has been the Bible of serious collectors, dealers and enthusiasts since 1970!  >>
Rick and Morty Volume 1 Rick and Morty Volume 1
Oni Press
Based on the hilarious animated show RICK & MORTY by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, depraved genius Rick Sanchez embarks on insane adventures with his awkward grandson Morty across the universe and across time. >>
Providence Act 1 Providence Act 1
Avatar Press
Alan Moore’s quintessential horror series has set the standard for a terrifying examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Providence Act 1 Hard Cover edition that contains Providence issues #1-4. >>
Snotgirl Volume 1: Green Hair Don't Care Snotgirl Volume 1: Green Hair Don't Care
Image Comics
WHO IS LOTTIE PERSON? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? Enter a world of snot, blood, and tears in this first collection from New York Times Best Seller BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds) and dazzling newcomer LESLIE HUNG! >>
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook
Paizo
This complete standalone fantasy roleplaying game takes your fantasy campaigns to new heights of adventure! Backward-compatible with the 3.5 fantasy rules but offering new solutions and options that place it firmly on the cutting edge. >>