Eighty percent of the 10 most challenged books in 2014 reflect works by authors of color and culturally diverse content, according to the American Library Association (ALA). Every year the ALA releases the “State of America’s Libraries Report,” which includes the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books.” This year’s list is based on information compiled by the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) last year.
In 2014, the office received 311 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict books from school curricula and library bookshelves. Based on analysis of book challenges recorded by the OIF from 2001- 2013, the ALA said, “Books by authors of color and books with themes about issues concerning communities of color are disproportionately challenged and banned.”
The word “challenged” refers to a formal written complaint filed with a library or a school requesting that a book be removed or restricted because of its content.
Top 10 Most Challenged Books
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and “The Bluest Eye” are holdovers from last year’s list.
Here are the most challenged books in 2014 and the corresponding reasons:
- “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie (drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)
- “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi (gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint ; politically, racially, and socially offensive; graphic depictions)
- “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group)
- “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison (sexually explicit, unsuited for group age, contains controversial issues)
- “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris (nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, alleges child pornography)
- “Saga” by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)
- “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini (offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence)
- “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky (drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, date rape, and masturbation)
- “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard (drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)
- “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier (sexually explicit)