Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2016 Cover Wide Range of Genres

As Americans, the First Amendment guarantees our freedom to read, and yet to this day, some books are banned. The American Library Association’s (ALA) top ten most challenged books in 2016 covered a wide range of genres: fiction, memoir, picture books, and graphic novels.

The ALA prepared the list of most challenged books based on information compiled by its Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF). The information includes challenges reported in the media and censorship reports submitted through the office.

A total of 323 challenges were reported to the OIF last year. For the first time in the history of the annual list, a book was challenged because solely of its author.

Half of the top ten most challenged books were removed from the location where they were challenged. “On average the OIF finds that 10 percent of all challenges result in book removal,” according to the ALA.

10 Most Challenged Books

These are the top 10 most challenged books in 2016 and the reasons why:

#1 “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki (LGBT characters, drug use, profanity, sexually explicit)

#2 “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier (LGBT characters, sexually explicit, offensive political viewpoint)

#3 “George” by Alex Gino (transgender character, sexuality)

#4 “I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings (transgender character, sex education, offensive viewpoints)

#5 “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan (LGBT content, sexually explicit)

#6 “Looking for Alaska” by John Green (sexually explicit)

#7 “Big Hard Sex Criminals” by Matt Fraction (sexually explicit)

#8 “Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread” by Chuck Palahniuk (profanity, sexually explicit)

#9 “Little Bill” (series) by Bill Cosby (challenged because of pending criminal sexual allegations against the author)

#10 “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell (offensive language)

For more information about the list, visit the ALA’s website.

Read last year’s list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books.

Leave a comment


  1. I find it interesting how most of them are challenged because of sexual things, whether they’re sexually explicit or it has to do with sexual orientation and transgender issues. Not one of those reasons lists violence or bigotry or racism. It’s sad that many people in this country think that reading violent books is just fine for children, but heaven forbid it actually have a character that a child might identify with in it. 😦 The priorities are definitely skewed. 😦


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