Tag: The Hate U Give

10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

Every year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom releases a list of the top ten most banned or challenged books of the year. They take surveys and reports from libraries, schools, and independent media; and even then, they reported that “82-97% of book challenges remain unreported and receive no media.”

That being said, of the 273 books the ALA saw mentioned as being challenged, these are those that were the most recurrent.


  1. George by Alex Gino


George focuses on a young, born male, child who knows deep down she is a girl. When the class puts on Charlotte’s Web, George goes through challenges to try and audition for the role of Charlotte.

Despite being an overall hopeful story, this book was restricted, challenged, and banned for LBGTQIA+ content, religious standards, and not “reflecting the values of our community.”


2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi


From Amazon, “The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.”

This novel has been banned or challenged because of public statements from both authors, a claim of limited storytelling that does not encompass the full picture, and because it “does not encompass racism against all people.”



3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kelly

All American Boys
Image Via BPS EdTech Team

This novel centers on a 16-year old boy who is mistakenly arrested, violently at that, for shoplifting at a bodega where he was just shopping. The story follows the victim, Rashad, as well as the adopted son of the cop, Quinn, as they must grow up quickly and learn to deal with the reality of police brutality.

All American Boys was banned for a myriad of reasons, including: drug use, alcoholism, anti-police views, and because the topic was “too sensitive” for the times.


4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson's 'Speak'

Speak is a novel about a freshman in high school learning to be herself and grow in the face of trauma. It is a story of healing against all odds and learning to use your voice to stand up for yourself.

This classic novel was banned or challenged because it was said to be “anti-men” and for its inclusion of sexual assault.


5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


This National Book Award winning novel follows Junior, a boy who grows up on an Indian reservation, but transfers to a public school for high school. The school is almost all white, and the only other Indian is the school’s mascot.

This was banned for profanity, sexual references, and alleged misconduct by the author.


6. Something Happened in Our Town (A Child’s Story of Racial Injustice) by Marianne Celano


This children’s story follows two families, one white and one black, as they try to understand a police shooting in their town.

This important story was banned or challenged because of what was thought to be anti-police views. Are you sensing a common theme here yet?




7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


If you’re unfamiliar, To Kill a Mockingbird focuses on the Finch family: children Scout and Jem and their father, acclaimed lawyer, Atticus. Set in the Great Depression, the children are forced into a situation of watching racism unfold in the justice system as Atticus defends a black man for a crime it is clear he did not commit.

Though this book has been a staple in high school literature classes, it was still challenged for its racial slurs, the image of the “white savior,” and for a negative portrayal of the black experience.


8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men book cover

Another classic, this novel follows two brothers, one neurodivergent, as they pursue their dreams of opening their own farm and ranch.

This book is yet another banned for racial slurs.


9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

the Bluest Eye

The first novel by the beloved (pun-intended) author Toni Morrison, this story follows Pecola, a young girl who wishes for blue eyes so that the world will see her differently.

Contrary to the other books in this list about racial issues, this book was actually banned for sexual abuse and misconduct.


10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

the hate u give book cover

This modern classic follows Starr, a young African American teen caught between two worlds: that of her home in the hood, and that of her primarily white private school. When one of Starr’s friends is killed in an incident of police brutality, Starr must face this divide head on and decide where her loyalties lie.

This book was, again, banned for anti-police messaging amongst profanity as well. Thomas described the ban as a “badge of honor.”




Did these bans serve purpose, or are they merely trying to stifle the harsher truths of a modern country riddled with injustice?

How do you feel about banning books? Let us know!


Feature Article with Images from Amazon

7 Author Twitter Reactions to Biden’s Inauguration

Curious to know what some of your favorite best-selling authors thought about Biden's inauguration? We got their twitter reactions!

Read more

Celebrating ‘Concrete Rose’ on its Publication Day

You may recognize the name Angie Thomas; she’s the author who wrote The Hate U Give (or THUG for short), a debut novel about an African American teenage girl, Starr, whose friend is killed in an incident of police brutality. Starr is forced to decide between her two worlds, (her home and her majority white school) in deciding where she stands. Will she fight for Khalil or hide?



The book, rightfully, blew up, gaining much critical acclaim. It has even spent 200 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller’s List. Yep, you read that right. Two hundred weeks! It was also adapted for film in 2018, getting a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossing over $30 million worldwide. 



Now, today, Angie Thomas releases her third book, Concrete Rose. This novel is a prequel to the events of THUG, and it centers on Maverick, Starr’s father and a fan favorite character as he reckons with being in the middle of a life in the hood while his first child is born.


And there’s even more excitement with this publication–Angie just tweeted that Concrete Rose is in development for film adaptation! Though it’s been delayed by Covid-19, the fact that it’s in the works is enough excitement to leave us refreshing Angie’s Twitter.

There has been a lot of hype around the book, and rightfully so considering the love for THUG. And today, on publishing day, something adorable happened.



Nic Stone, author of popular novel Dear Martin, and Angie Thomas are best friends. Angie had even tweeted that readers of both authors may notice some hidden references to Nic’s work in Concrete Rose. And today, Nic decided to surprise Angie for publication.

There’s a video of Nic approaching Angie’s Ring Doorbell camera and then immediately hiding, only to crouch up and surprise Angie once she comes to the door. The sweetest moment follows as the two laugh and celebrate Angie’s publication day. You can watch this moment on Angie’s Twitter and die of cuteness with us.



There has been so much love for Angie Thomas and her work in bringing stories from POC communities to life. Join Bookstr in celebrating the release of Concrete Rose today by sending Angie some love (though approaching her door is reserved for Nic only).


Feature Image VIA Publisher’s Weekly


‘Dear Evan Hanson’ Cast Amandla Stenberg in Key Role

The hit broadway play Dear Evan Hanson is being adapted into a film and Amandla Stenberg is set to star. Amandla has starred in a few book to screen adaptions already, including Angie Thomas’s novel The Hate U Give, in the lead role of Starr.

Read more