ALA President Barbara Stripling told The Guardian that the large number of books for young people on the list isn’t surprising: “Young adult is a big trend right now, and a high number of complaints are directed at those books. There is a lot of pressure to keep teenagers safe and protected, especially in urban areas, and we are seeing many more complaints about alcohol, smoking, suicide and sexually explicit material.”
Sherman Alexie, the author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, told The Bulletin newspaper in response to a ban in 2008: “Everything in the book is what every kid in that school is dealing with on a daily basis, whether it’s masturbation or racism or sexism or the complications of being human. To pretend that kids aren’t dealing with this on an hour-by-hour basis is a form of denial.” Alexie added, “The world is an incredibly complicated place, and our literature must match that, especially literature for our kids.”
Here’s ALA’s list of the most frequently challenged books of the 21st century.