Top 10 books targeted for banning in 2016

Censorship and book banning may seem very “Nineteen Eighty-Four,’’ but efforts to get rid of published material that some find offensive are alive and well. To remind us that this is the case, a coalition of organizations lead by the American Library Association each year observes Banned Books Week, which started Sunday. Below is a list of the 1o most-challenged books in the United States in 2016 as compiled by the librarians group:

“This One Summer” written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Plot: A coming-of-age graphic novel about two best friends at a lake house, which takes place over a summer roiled by fighting parents, first love, and sexual awakening.

Objection: Challenged 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


Plot: Ambitious teen Callie struggles to design her first set for a middle-school musical while dealing with a dysfunctional crew and a love triangle involving two brothers.

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Objection: Challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.

“George” by Alex Gino

Plot: George, a young transgender girl, pursues the lead role in the play “Charlotte’s Web,’’ hoping that it will help her family accept her new gender identity.

Objection: Challenged 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

Plot: A biographical picture book chronicling the early life of teenage transgender icon Jazz Jennings.


Objection: Challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.

“Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan

Plot: The collective spirits of departed AIDS patients tell the story of two gay teens trying to break the world record for a continual kiss.

Objection: Challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.

“Looking for Alaska” by John Green

Plot: Prep-school newcomer Miles Halter, drawn to Alaska, a risk-taking, precocious classmate, becomes obsessed with the circumstances of her sudden death.

Objection: Challenged 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


Plot: Collection of comic books that follow the story of John and Suzie, who share the ability to stop time through lovemaking and devise a plot to rob a bank to save Suzie’s library from foreclosure.

Objection: Challenged because it was considered sexually explicit.

“Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread” by Chuck Palahniuk

Plot: A collection of short stories from the author of “Fight Club’’ that deal with themes such as parents and children, unusual addictions and predilictions, and lives of quiet desperation.

Objection: 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

Plot: Yarns inspited by childhood incidents in the life of the now infamous actor and comedian.

Objection: Challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.

“Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

Plot: Two misfit teens find refuge from social and family problems in each other — and their love of mixtapes.

Objection: Challenged for offensive language.

Kaitlyn Locke can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @ke_locke.