ALA List of 2014's Most Frequently Challenged Books Released

2014's Most Frequently Challenged Books

The American Library Association (ALA) has released a list of 2014’s most frequently challenged books.

According to the organization, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) “received 311 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves” over the course of 2014. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie claims the top spot on the list.

The ALA went on to state, “The lack of diverse books for young readers continues to fuel concern,” and that “a current analysis of book challenges recorded by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) from 2001 – 2013, shows that attempts to remove books by authors of color and books with themes about issues concerning communities of color are disproportionately challenged and banned.”

A challenge, by definition, is the filing of a formal and written complaint with libraries or schools to demand a book’s removal or restriction due to its content or appropriateness.

And now, a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books along with the reasons they are being challenged, as outlined by the ALA (drum roll please):

1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying.”

2) Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions.”

3) And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda.”

4) The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues.”

5) It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography.”

6) Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

7) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence.

8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation.”

9) A Stolen Life Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

10) Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit.

I don’t know about you, but knowing a book has been challenged makes me want to read it even more! Will you be adding any of these works to your “To Read” list?

Raine Winters

News by Raine Winters

Raine lives in Cleveland, Ohio and works as a freelance writer and graphic artist. From an early age she has harbored a love of reading and writing, and is lucky enough to incorporate both into her daily work routine. Raine is a lover of all things fantasy and horror related, has a soft spot in her heart for middle grade and young adult fiction, and spends most of her free time running, wakesurfing, or wrangling in her husband and three cats while they perpetrate a massive amount of mischief around the house.

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Tom1960's picture
Tom1960 from Athens, Georgia is reading Blindness by Jose Saramago April 15, 2015 - 8:36am

Every time I hear about banned or controversial books I lose a little more of my dwindling faith. The fear and laziness behind the attempts to suppress such works are indicative of a society with its head securely buried in the sand. Truth can be a troubling and scary thing, but it beats the shit out of ignorance.

Jason Van Horn's picture
Jason Van Horn from North Carolina is reading A Feast For Crows April 15, 2015 - 8:47am

I love that 'Saga' is "anti-family" - the whole comic series is about two people from different alien worlds, at war with each other, finding each other, bonding over love, producing a child, and then trying their hardest to protect the child. The step-parents even show-up and help.


I mean hell, it's pro-damn family!

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine April 15, 2015 - 10:46am


Viviani's picture
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