Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2020

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

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Top Ten Tuesday

Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl gave us a freebie for Top Ten Tuesday today. Since it’s Banned Books Week, I’ve borrowed a graphic from the American Library Association to share the top ten most challenged books of 2020.

As I prep this post on Saturday, I’ve read three of these books (#1, 7, 8), I’m currently reading a fourth (#3), and I’ll eventually read a fifth because it’s on my Classics Club list (#9). I’ll probably read even more of them someday but they’re hard to find at the library right now because they’re so popular, ironically enough. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books ever. I read Melissa (Formerly published as George) for Banned Books Week last year and loved the titular character so much! Of Mice and Men–well, I had to read it and watch the movie in high school. I never liked books I had to read for school. But I’ll never tell you that you can’t read it. All American Boys is difficult but so important.

In glancing through the reasons for challenging these books, most of them can be boiled down to a common theme–they present a point of view or topic that is “different” and/or difficult. But isn’t that part of the beauty of reading? To quote from To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” As a hetero White woman, I’ll never feel the anxiety of a ten-year-old who was born the wrong gender. I’ll never know what it’s like to do everything right but still get beaten by a policeman because of the color of my skin. But by reading books written by authors who have experience of these things, I gain empathy and insight. And those are two things this world needs a lot more of right now.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020
  1. Melissa (Formerly Published as George) by Alex Gino
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

That’s my list! Have you read any of these? Which books did/would you choose? Link up every Tuesday at That Artsy Reader Girl!

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  1. I think you sum that up nicely- why we NEED banned books, and the reasons for them being challenged so much. I mean, I get sometimes they make people uncomfortable or challenge closely held beliefs, but… don’t we need to be challenged? I guess things just change slowly… anyways I’m not familiar with a lot of these, so good to know…

  2. I’ve read: Speak, To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Hate U Give, and Of Mice and Men. I enjoyed three of them, but Of Mice and Men kind of bored me if memory serves. Here is my post-

  3. I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men, and while I didn’t like either of them I’m not going to stop other people from reading them. Banning books really just shows how important the information contained in them truly is.

  4. I always find it surprising that we are in the 21st century, and people are still so afraid of different ideas that they try to ban other people from reading them. I chose to read books with stories that are different from mine to help me better understand the world my kids are growing up in.

    On the list you shared, I have read for of them: To Kill a Mockingbird (school), Speak (a few years ago), George and THUG (both this year).

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  5. I’ve only read To Kill a Mockingbird, but I really do want to read more books on the Banned Books list. Somehow banned books doesn’t feature big in SA. Luckily I have people like you on the blog who can help with ideas.

    Happy TTT!

    Elza Reads

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