List of the Week: Banned YA Books


Happy Banned Books Week! We’ve made lists of before – but here’s another list, with absolutely no overlap. This would be a great week to go out and snag one from your local library or local bookstore!

crank ellen hopkinsCrank (Crank #1) by Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Challenged for drug use & language.
Kristina becomes addicted to ‘crank,’ or crystal meth. She discovers her alter-ego Bree and begins to do all the things she never would have done as Kristina.

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone j k rowlingHarry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Challenged for use of witchcraft.
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel.

perks of being a wallflower stephen chboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: MTV Books
Challenged for referencing rape, homosexuality, molestation, drug use.
Charlie is a freshman and undeniably a wall-flower. New friends bring on everything he’s been missing out on: first dates, friendship, family drama, sex, and drugs.

the golden compass philip pullmanThe Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Challenged for attacking Christianity and the Catholic Church.
Lyra is in the care of Mrs. Coulter, a scholar who Lyra admires. But children are disappearing around the world, and only Lyra and her truth-telling compass can unlock the secret – secrets that might involve Mrs. Coulter.

into the river ted daweInto the River by Ted Dawe
Publisher: Mangakino University Press
Banned in New Zealand for “sexually explicit content, drug use and the use of a slang term for female genitalia.”
Te Arepa Santos survives a brush with the spirit world but finds himself in danger again years later. Away from his ancestral lands, nobody can save him but himself.

little brother cory doctorowLittle Brother by Cory Doctorow
Publisher: Tor Teen
Challenged for profanity “unsuitable” for reading group.
Teenage hacker Marcus and his friends attempt to work the system following a terrorist attack on San Francisco which transforms the city into a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist.

two boys kissing david levithanTwo Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Challenged because of its cover.
Harry and Craig take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. The two boys become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys – all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

chinese handcuffs chris crutcherChinese Handcuffs by Chris Crutcher
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Challenged for depicting incest, drug use, graphic sexual references, rape, animal torture.
Dillon can’t run from memories of his brother’s suicide – or the role he played in it. His only confidante is Jennifer, but she’s hiding her own set of secrets.

some girls are courtney summersSome Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Publisher: Griffin
Removed from reading list because a parent deemed it “smut.”
Regina used to be in the all-girl clique feared and revered by those at her school, until rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend leave her out in the cold with her friends set on revenge. but the rumors aren’t true.

this one summer jillian tamaki mariko tamakiThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki
Publisher: First Second
Challenged for being “unsuitable” for the target age group.
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house. Windy is always there, too. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems.

list of the week banned ya books

What are your favorite challenged or banned YA books? Sound off in the comments below!

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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at or Tumblr at . Like her work? Leave her a tip.

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