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Young Adult Literature

Information about the genre and CSULB's collection.

Banned and Challenged Books

"A book worth banning is a book worth reading"

Everyday books are still being challenged and removed from shelves, libraries, classrooms and reading lists across the USA. Challenged and removed books mean that somewhere a child can no longer access that book.  Challenged books nearly always include content about marginalized groups. Removal of these books remove a child's sense of inclusion and belonging.

This is a direct attack on our intellectual freedoms, and yes, kids have those rights too. 

Banned Books in the CSULB Library

See all of the books listed on ALA's top 100 lists currently available in the CSULB Library:

Ways to fight back

Facing Challenges (how can we respond?):

Talking to Kids about Banned Books

Removing Books to Create Antiracist, Antibiased Collections

Wait!  What about removing books (especially older books) that we now know to be racist, sexist and/or homophobic? We don't want these books around but we don't want to be book banners!  We just need to be VERY careful in our reasons for removing a book.  Is our reasoning personal biases?  Is there a general belief that this book is harmful? Watch the slippery slope. Also consider books as historical research, representing thinking at a time in history, for older children's learning, vs. younger children.

Other Barriers to Access

Beyond banning:  What other barriers exist for access:

  • Held “pending investigation”
  • Purchasing
  • Location in collection
  • Need to ask
  • Hide from family/friends
  • Need to check out (fines?)

ALA Censorship Infographic 2022

infographic showing who initiates challenges, where do challenges take place, books and beyond and censorship on the rise

Top (13) Most Challenged Books 2022

Banned/Challenged YA Books

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


Baby Be-Bop

On My Honor

The Hunger Games (Series)


Tiger Eyes

You Hear Me

Girl Goddess #9

Then Again, Maybe I Won't

The Face on the Milk Carton

The Chocolate War

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

Whale Talk

Fat Kid Rules the World

The Drowning of Stephan Jones

Olive's Ocean

The Outsiders

Jacob Have I Loved

His Dark Materials Series

Harry Potter (Series)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What My Mother Doesn't Know

The Boy Who Lost His Face

Looking for Alaska


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Georgia Nicholson Series)

Athletic Shorts

Blood and Chocolate


Banned/Challenged High School Books

Lord of the Flies

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Handmaid's Tale

The Kite Runner

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Catcher in the Rye

Of Mice and Men

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Bless Me, Ultima

Brave New World

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Fahrenheit 451

The Lovely Bones

The House of the Spirits

Flowers for Algernon

Banned/Challenged YA Nonfiction

cover art

Gender Queer: a Memoir

Most challenged book 2021

Challenged Authors

Laurie Halse Anderson - Speak

Jason Reynolds - American Boys, Stamped

Pam Muñoz Ryan/Elizabeth Acevedo - Esperanza Rising/The Poet X

Benjamin Alire Sáenz - Aristotle and Dante

Melinda Lo -Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Gene Luen Yang -  American Born Chinese

Jerry Craft - New Kid

Francisco Jiménez - The Circuit

Nicola Yoon -The Sun is Also a Star

Nic Stone- Dear Martin

Author Dav Pilkey on Banning Books