Over the years, millions of books have been banned in the United States. 2020 is a year that will go down in history for many reasons, but our History teachers of the future are likely to dedicate their lessons to the Coronavirus and Black Lives Matter, not the books that were banned during the year. Therefore, this article serves to inform both readers of the present and future about the books that were banned in the year 2020.
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak, originally published in 1999, was first challenged in 2010, and then again in 2020 due to its inclusion of explicit sexual content. In the novel, the protagonist is raped, and many teachers and parents of teens think that the scene is too inappropriate for a book that is promoted and sold in the young adult genre. The book also includes suicidal thoughts, giving it even more critiques.
George, Alex Gino
George by Alex Gino was first banned in 2016, and later again in 2020, because the protagonist is a transgender child. Since the novel is directed towards elementary school children, many parents feel that the book is sexually inappropriate for kids that age. People also think it encourages children to become transgender. Gino, however, thinks the book is important for young children to read because some of them may be transgender, and he wants the novel to help them feel accepted and loved.
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is another novel that was challenged in the year 2020, although that wasn’t the first time (it was first banned in Hanover County School in 1966). It’s themes of rape, use of profanity, and racial slurs upset many people. The novel is seen as immoral by many, and teachers and parents of teens don’t think that the book is appropriate for school students to read.
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, is a young adult novel that was originally published by Harper Collins in February 2017. The novel was challenged because of its supposed political viewpoints and “bias” against male students. The rape and profanity included in the novel aren’t glorified either.
All American Boys, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
All American Boys is a young adult novel by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely that was published in 2015. Despite being a popular book, it has been frowned upon by many. In 2020 it was placed in the third position on American Library Association‘s list of the most commonly banned and challenged books in the United States. People hated the book because it included profanity, drug use, and alcoholism. Others thought it was promoting anti-police views, and discussed topics that were too sensitive for the time.