Top 10 most-challenged books of 2019 include LGBTQIA+ themes

"Top 10 most challenged books of 2019." Image of the the ten book covers.
The top ten most-challenged books of 2019

Books with LGBTQIA+ themes continue to be the target of banning attempts in the United States. The American Library Association tracks challenges to library materials. Each year at the start of National Library Week, it releases a list of the ten most challenged books of the previous year. 8 of the books on 2019's list feature LGBTQIA+ themes.

Read below about the top five books on the 2019 list.

  1. George by Alex Gino. This book by award-winning author Alex Gino tells the story of George, a girl who enlists the help of her friend to play the part of Charlotte in their class play, Charlotte's web. The book won multiple awards and received starred reviews, but was challenged because some argued that libraries should not "put books in a child's hand that require discussion" and that conflict with "traditional family structure."
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin. Author and photographer Susan Kuklin gives heartfelt and thoughtful visibility to six teens, but some challenged the book for "its effect on any young people who would read it" and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased.
  3. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller. A lonely bunny called Marlon Bundo meets another boy bunny called Wesley, changing his life forever. This funny and earnest book was challenged for concerns that it is "designed to pollute the morals of its readers, and for not including a content warning."
  4. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth. Silverberg and Smyth, authors of What Makes A Baby, wrote this thoughtful and affirming book for children in the 8-10 age range. Filled with activities and questions to help children explore relationships, gender, and their growing sexual awareness, the book was challenged for concerns that the title and illustrations were "inappropriate."
  5. Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis.  This is a colorful and entertaining love story filled with delightful illustrations. It was challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage, and for being "a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children." The book was published as a result of an innovative and exciting partnership between GLAAD and Bonnier Publishing USA.

For the rest of the list, see the ALA website for more information and ways to condemn censorship and promote free access to information.