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Challenged Young Adult Books

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This list contains young adult books that have been challenged.  It is not a comprehensive list; please refer to sources such as NCTE’s Intellectual Freedom Center or ALA’s Banned & Challenged Books for more information.  The main page of this guide also includes resources for further research.

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian — Sherman Alexie, 2007
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging — Louise Rennison, 2000 
Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.

Annie on My Mind — Nancy Garden, 1982
Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people.

The Chocolate War — Robert Cormier, 1974
A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school’s annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

Coraline — Neil Gaiman, 2002
Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

The Dark is Rising — Susan Cooper, 1973
Will Stanton discovers the role he must play in the struggle to overcome the powers of the Dark.

David and Jonathan — Cynthia Voigt, 1992
The relationship between two close friends, Henry and Jonathan, changes when Jonathan’s cousin David, a survivor of the Holocaust, comes to live with David’s family.

Deenie — Judy Blume, 1973
A thirteen-year-old girl seemingly destined for a modeling career finds she has a deformation of the spine called scoliosis.

Dreamland — Sarah Dessen, 2000
After her older sister runs away, sixteen-year-old Caitlin decides that she needs to make a major change in her own life and begins an abusive relationship with a boy who is mysterious, brilliant, and dangerous.

The Face on the Milk Carton — Caroline Cooney, 1990
A photograph of a missing girl on a milk carton leads Janie on a search for her real identity.

Fallen Angels — Walter Dean Myers, 1988
Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

Feed — Matthew Tobin Anderson, 2002
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

Go Ask Alice — Anonymous, 1971 
A novel in diary form of a fifteen-year-old girl’s journey from a secure middle class family to the nightmare world of drug addiction, hustlers, and dealers.

The Golden Compass — Philip Pullman, 1995 
Accompanied by her shape-shifting daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

The Hate U Give — Angie Thomas, 2017
After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Hoops — Walter Dean Myers, 1981 
A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.

Julie of the Wolves — Jean Craighead George, 1972 
While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Looking for Alaska – John Green, 2005
Sixteen-year-old Miles’ first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

Money Hungry — Sharon G. Flake, 2001 
All thirteen-year-old Raspberry can think of is making money so that she and her mother never have to worry about living on the streets again.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower — Stephen Chbosky, 1999 
A series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the coming-of-age trials of a high-schooler named Charlie.

Shade’s Children — Garth Nix, 1997 
In a city of the future, nonhuman creatures keep children until the age of fourteen, at which time their brains are harvested.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants — Ann Brashares, 2001 
Four best girlfriends spend the biggest summer of their lives enchanted by a magical pair of pants.

Sloppy Firsts — Megan McCafferty, 2001 
Devastated when her best friend moves away, sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling feels isolated at school and at home, as she struggles to deal with her father’s obsession with her track meets, her boy-crazy peers, and her own nonexistent love life.

Speak — Laurie Halse Anderson, 1999 
A traumatic event in the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year of high school.

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes — Chris Crutcher, 1993 
The daily class discussions about the nature of human-kind, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior’s attempt to answer a friend’s dramatic cry for help.

Thirteen Reasons Why — Jay Asher, 2007 
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee, 1960
Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming, and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Scout’s carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice.

TTYL — Lauren Myracle, 2004 
Chronicles, in “instant message” format, the day-to-day experiences, feelings, and plans of three friends, Zoe, Maddie, and Angela, as they begin tenth grade.

Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan, 2013
A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today’s gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways

Unwind — Neal Shusterman, 2007
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to survive until they turn eighteen.