Young Adult Banned and Challenged Books Reading List

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.

Check out this list of young adult banned and challenged books to add to your TBR!

Being Jazz

Being Jazz

By Jazz Jennings

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.

Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy

By David Levithan

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War

By Robert Cormier

One of the most controversial YA novels of all time, The Chocolate War is a modern masterpiece that speaks to fans of S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and John Knowles’s A Separate Peace.

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

By Nic Stone

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.

Girl Crushed

Girl Crushed

By Katie Heaney

Leah on the Offbeat meets We Are Okay in this pitch-perfect queer romance about falling in love and never quite falling out of it–heartbreak, unexpected new crushes, and all.

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

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

By Philip Pullman

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.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

By Erika L. Sánchez

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home.

The Magic Fish

The Magic Fish

By Trung Le Nguyen

Tiến loves his family and his friends…but Tiến has a secret he’s been keeping from them, and it might change everything. An amazing YA graphic novel that deals with the complexity of family and how stories can bring us together.

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan

By Seth Rudetsky

Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become the king of Cool U, the table in the cafeteria where the “in” crowd sits.

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

By Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

Naomi and Ely are best friends. Inseparable since childhood. Naomi is straight. Ely is gay. Naomi dates guys who she claims to like. They’re okay, but she likes Ely more.

Odd One Out

Odd One Out

By Nic Stone

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin comes an honest and touching depiction of friendship, first love, and everything in between. Perfect for fans of Love, Simon and What If It’s Us.

Pet

Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi

A genre-defying novel from the award-winning author NPR describes as “like [Madeline] L’Engle…glorious.” A singular book that explores themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look?

This Is My America

This Is My America

By Kim Johnson

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

Two Boys Kissing

Two Boys Kissing

By David Levithan

From the New York Times bestselling author of Every Day, this love story of shared humanity and history Hypable calls “an interconnecting web that will leave you emotionally exhausted and absolutely thrilled to have read something so beautiful and unique.” 

Wide Awake

Wide Awake

By David Levithan

The New York Times bestselling author of Every Day delivers an emotional and politically charged novel that’s perfect reading for an election year—and for every year—but most especially for those times when the very democratic process is called into question and basic rights are at risk.

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  1. Maya Ono

    Robin Younce

    Feb 2, 2022

    His Dark Materials isn’t inappropriate. I have read it recently. I wonder why they banned it? Magic maybe? I hear sorcery is why they banned Harry Potter. So . . . maybe.

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