A must-read list of banned books

A display in New York’s Strand Bookstore, Jan. 30. (Photo: Cindy West)

Source: Tennessee Lookout

Here is a partial list of the books that have been banned across the country:

  • “The Poet X,” by Elizabeth Acevedo, a novel about a teenage girl who works through her family issues by writing poetry. 
  • “Half of a Yellow Sun,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The book tells the story of the Nigerian civil war through the eyes of several characters. 
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” Sherman Alexie’s story about a Native American teen who decided to go to an all white school off his reservation.
  • “The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage” by Selina Alko
  • “A Girl on the Shore,” by Inio Asano is a manga about high school students who enter a casual sexual relationship.
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood’s dystopian story about the rise of a theocratic regime due to a fertility crisis in the U.S. Also Atwood’s “The Testaments,” by Atwood, which is a sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and  “The Handmaid’s Tale The Graphic Novel.”
  • “Peter Pan” J.M. Barrie’s children’s tale about a boy who never wants to grow up.
  • “They Called Themselves The K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group,” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti documents how the group infiltrated American democracy.
  • “Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens,” by Kathy Belge, which is a guidebook for teenagers about LGBTQ+ life.
  • “Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard,” by Alex Bertie tells the story of Bertie’s journey to transition and serves as a guide for trans teens going through that same journey.
  • “The Baby Tree,” by Sophie Blackall, a children’s book about the basics of reproduction.
  • “Protest Movements: Then and Now,” by Eric Braun, which outlines the civil rights movement of the ’60s to present day.
  • “This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson is a nonfiction young adult book about gender and sexuality. The Lindbergh School District banned this book from libraries.
  • “Darkness Before Dawn,” the last book from author Sharon M. Draper’s trilogy, follows an African American teen who escapes an abusive relationship.  
  • “Forged By Fire,” is the second book in Draper’s trilogy, and follows an African American teen who struggles to cope with the loss of his aunt.
  • “Who is Barack Obama?” by Roberta Edwards, part of the “Who is” series of biographies for middle school students that also includes the banned “Who are Venus and Serena Williams?”
  • The Breakaways,” a middle grade novel by Cathy G. Johnson about a group of girls joining a soccer team where one team member is transgender.
  • “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” George M. Johnson’s young adult non-fiction memoir with essays about his life growing up as a queer Black man in New Jersey and Virginia.
  • “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” a comic book by Maia Kobabe about Kobabe’s path to gender-identity as nonbinary and queer.
  • “Heavy: An American Memoir,” by Kiese Laymon is a memoir that outlines the weight of being a Black man in America. The Wentzville school district banned this book while it’s under review.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee, which is about a lawyer who defends an African American man who is falsely accused of raping a white woman. 
  • “Two Boys Kissing,” by David Levithan, a book based on the true story of two teen boys who participate in a 32-hour kissing marathon in an attempt to break a World Guinness Record.
  • “Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race,” by Megan Madison is a picture book to help children discuss the diversity of skin color. 
  • “Beloved” by Toni Morrison is about a former slave who is haunted by her past and the traumas of slavery. 
  • “The Bluest Eye,” also by Morrison, is about a young African American girl who grew up following the Great Depression.
  • “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • “Out of Darkness,” by Ashley Hope Pérez, is a book about the love story of a Mexican American teen girl and African American teen boy in the 1930s that deals with themes of classism, racism and segregation.
  • “All American Boys,” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, is about two teenage boys who handle racism and police brutality. 
  • “Ghost Boys,” by Jewell Parker Rhodes is about a 12-year-old boy who is shot and killed by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real one. 
  • “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag,” by Rob Sanders, which is a picture book that tells the history of the Pride flag and the story of gay rights activist Harvey Milk.
  • “I’m A Gay Wizard,” by V.S. Santoni, which is a story about a gay teen and his best friend, a trans girl, who spend their summer getting involved in magic
  • “Dear Martin,” Nic Stone’s book about an Ivy League African American student who becomes a victim of racial profiling.
  • “Maus,” Art Spiegelman’s graphic comic book about the atrocities of the holocaust. 
  • “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas is a story about a teenager who witnesses a police officer murder her friend.
  • “Black and White,” by Paul Volponi, is a book about two basketball players who are best friends, where one is white, and the other is Black.
  • “Night,” Elie Wiesel’s memoir about his experiences in a holocaust camp with his father. 
  • “642 Things to Write About,” by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto is a book filled with writing prompts to help with writer’s block.

  • Published on April 18, 2022.