Frequently Challenged Books for Kids and Teens

At one time or another, all the books on this list have been challenged by individuals or groups seeking to have them removed from libraries or classrooms, according to the American Library Association. Yet now many of these titles are considered classics and are assigned as required reading. Whether your kids have read one, some, or none of them, it's great to discuss the idea of controversial books as a family. Parents, ask your kids whether they're surprised to see any of these books on the list. What do they think makes these books so hotly debated? 

Browse Frequently Challenged Books for Kids and Teens

I Am Jazz Book Poster Image
Sweet, straightforward story of young transgender girl.
By Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings
(2014)
(2014)
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King & King Book Poster Image
Prince marries a guy in fun fairy-tale twist.
By Linda de Haan, Stern Nijland
(2016)
(2003)
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The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Gross potty humor, funny pranks will hook reluctant readers.
By Dav Pilkey
(2003)
(1997)
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Bridge to Terabithia Book Poster Image
Honest, moving story of friendship and loss.
By Katherine Paterson
(2006)
(1977)
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A Wrinkle in Time Book Poster Image
Classic sci-fi story still inspires and gets kids thinking.
By Madeleine L'Engle
(2003)
(1962)
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Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. Book Poster Image
Classic coming-of-age story rings true decades later.
By Judy Blume
(2003)
(1970)
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The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Nail-biting, violent fantasy has elements of mystery.
By Philip Pullman
(2005)
(1998)
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Al Capone Does My Shirts: A Tale from Alcatraz, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Boy stands up for autistic sister in compassionate tale.
By Gennifer Choldenko
(2005)
(2005)
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The Giver, Book 1 Book Poster Image
A riveting utopian novel that's expertly crafted.
By Lois Lowry
(2004)
(1993)
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Book Poster Image
Still one of the greatest American novels.
By Mark Twain
(2009)
(1885)
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Bless Me, Ultima Book Poster Image
Lyrical story of young boy questioning religion, morality.
By Rudolfo Anaya
(2011)
(1972)
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Ender's Game Book Poster Image
Boy genius trains to crush alien invasion in sci-fi classic.
By Orson Scott Card
(2005)
(2005)
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The Hunger Games, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting, provocative tale of lethal reality show.
By Suzanne Collins
(2008)
(2008)
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To Kill a Mockingbird Book Poster Image
Stunning classic examines racism -- and justice.
By Harper Lee
(2004)
(1960)
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Fahrenheit 451 Book Poster Image
Classic, still-powerful story of futuristic censorship.
By Ray Bradbury
(2011)
(1953)
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Forever Book Poster Image
Real look at first love (and sex) -- a teen classic.
By Judy Blume
(2007)
(1975)
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Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Overlong but engrossing popular vampire romance.
By Stephenie Meyer
(2007)
(2005)
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Book Poster Image
Funny, gritty, and powerful novel of growing up on the rez.
By Sherman Alexie
(2007)
(2007)
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Brave New World Book Poster Image
Satire of ultimate consumerist society still packs punch.
By Aldous Huxley
(2011)
(1932)
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The Catcher in the Rye Book Poster Image
One of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
By J. D. Salinger
(2005)
(1969)
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The Fault in Our Stars Book Poster Image
Heartrending love story told by teen dying of cancer.
By John Green
(2012)
(2012)
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The Great Gatsby Book Poster Image
American classic captures romance, debauchery of Jazz Age.
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
(2011)
(1925)
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Poster Image
Poetic autobiography reveals impact of racial prejudice.
By Maya Angelou
(2011)
(1969)
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Paper Towns Book Poster Image
Edgy, compelling teen angst mystery.
By John Green
(2008)
(2008)
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Thirteen Reasons Why Book Poster Image
Disturbing suicide novel examines bullying, indifference.
By Jay Asher
(2008)
(2007)
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Beloved Book Poster Image
Haunting Pulitzer Prize winner about slavery's impact.
By Toni Morrison
(2005)
(1987)
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The Bluest Eye Book Poster Image
Deeply poetic novel explores racial and sexual feelings.
By Toni Morrison
(2011)
(1970)
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The Color Purple Book Poster Image
Edgy tale of poor, abused woman's journey to independence.
By Alice Walker
(2011)
(1982)
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The Grapes of Wrath Book Poster Image
Gritty Steinbeck classic brings Great Depression to life.
By John Steinbeck
(2010)
(2002)
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Just One Day Book Poster Image
Mature romance explores love, travel, and self-discovery.
By Gayle Forman
(2013)
(2013)
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Slaughterhouse-Five Book Poster Image
Vonnegut's time-travel classic best for mature teen readers.
By Kurt Vonnegut
(2007)
(1969)
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The Things They Carried Book Poster Image
Vet's stunning, devastating Vietnam War stories; a classic.
By Tim O'Brien
(2016)
(1990)
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1984 Book Poster Image
Classic dystopian novel about life under constant scrutiny.
By George Orwell
(2010)
(1949)
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The Kite Runner Book Poster Image
Brilliant, violent Afghanistan novel will enlighten teens.
By Khaled Hosseini
(2012)
(2003)
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Looking for Alaska Book Poster Image
Award-winning novel of life and death, for older teens.
By John Green
(2006)
(2006)
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Native Son Book Poster Image
Gritty novel of violence and race best for older teens.
By Richard Wright
(2010)
(1940)
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Poster Image
Controversial coming-of-age classic with sex, drugs, abuse.
By Stephen Chbosky
(2011)
(1999)
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