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Celebrate Your Right to Read!

Underlined is committed to standing against censorship. Over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting some recently banned and challenged books for children and teens.

For more resources to support banned and challenged books, and to learn about more of these titles click here.

Here is a list of just some of the many classic and powerful YA books that have been challenged or banned:

Being Jazz

Being Jazz

Jazz Jennings’s story has been challenged for addressing gender identity and sex education, and has appeared on the Top 10 Most Challenged Books list three times since its publication in 2014.

Teen advocate and trailblazer Jazz Jennings—named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens” of the year by Time—shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.

The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War

This book was challenged for offensive language and being “unsuitable to the age group.”

Cormier’s chilling look at the insidious world of gang intimidation and the abuse of power in a boys’ boarding school is no less relevant today than it was in 1974.

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

This teen and teacher favorite was blacklisted from certain schools for “unacceptable” and “extreme” content.

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning #1 New York Times bestselling debut, a William C. Morris Award Finalist.

The Face on the Milk Carton

The Face on the Milk Carton

This award-winning book about child abduction was challenged for not being age-appropriate.

No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons. But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the ordinary little girl with her hair in tight pigtails, wearing a dress with a narrow white collar—a three-year-old who had been kidnapped twelve years before from a shopping mall in New Jersey—she felt overcome with shock. She recognized that little girl—it was she. How could it possibly be true?

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (HBO Tie-In Edition)

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (HBO Tie-In Edition)

This fantasy series has been challenged for “political viewpoints, religious viewpoints, and violence” and made the ALA’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books list in both 2007 and 2008.

Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach. The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller hailed as one of the best books of all time, is now the basis for an HBO original series, starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

 

Two Boys Kissing

Two Boys Kissing

This award-winning YA book was challenged for including LGBTQ+ content.

Based on true events—and narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS—Two Boys Kissing follows Harry and Craig, two seventeen-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teens dealing with universal questions of love, identity, and belonging.

 

For more information on why these books were challenged or banned, click here. Join the conversation with #BannedBooksWeek and tag us @GetUnderlined!

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