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These Are 2019’s Most Commonly Banned Books

Covers of George, The Handmaids Tale, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

Libraries stand up for everyone’s right to read, but it’s not always easy to keep controversial books on the shelves. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracks attempts to censor materials and programs from libraries, schools, and universities—today, in conjunction with National Library Week, they released their Top Ten Most Challenged Books list for 2019.

Last year, ALA tracked hundreds of reports of library media and services being banned or challenged.  Some challenges were high-profile (like the Tennessee Catholic school that made national news for banning the Harry Potter series), while others slipped under the radar. Many books were challenged for featuring LGBTQ characters and themes, as well as for containing politically charged content.

Of the 566 library books people attempted to censor in 2019, the following are the top 10 most frequently challenged:

  1. George, by Alex Gino
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
  3. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
  4. Sex is a Funny Word, by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
  5. Prince & Knight, by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
  6. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  8. Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  9. Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling
  10. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole

To learn more, visit the Top Ten Most Challenged Books list webpage.

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