Back to top


national library week 2021

It’s National Library Week!

Yay!... What’s National Library Week again?

National Library Week is the first week in April that celebrates everything libraries and librarians do for their communities. It’s a way to show your local libraries that you appreciate them!

Cool!... So, What Happens During National Library Week?

On the first day of National Library Week, the Office of Intellectual Freedom, a division of the American Library Association, generates and releases the State of America’s Libraries Report for that year. As part of that report, the Top 10 Challenged Books list details which books have been challenged the most through-out that given year and the reasons why.

Learn more about National Library Week here!

Wait… What is a challenged book?

The ALA defines a book challenge as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.”

So… what do challenged books have to do with libraries?

Well challenging books is the first step to banning certain books from easily accessible places, such as schools and libraries, and that is a form of censorship. And if there’s one thing that libraries preach the most, it’s the right to freedom of speech. Censorship has been a long-time enemy of those who read, especially librarians who fight for reading to remain a right instead of a privilege. It’s always important to understand censorship so you can spot it when it happens!

Awesome!... So, what were the top 10 most challenged books last year?

I thought you’d never ask!

                                                                                      Here are the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020:                      

1. George by Alex Gino

George book art


Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”

2. Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

stamped book art


Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people

3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

All American Boys


Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”

4. Speak by Laurie Laurie Halse Anderson



Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity

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

the absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian


Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author

6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin 

something happened


Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

to kill a mockingbird


Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience

8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

of mice and men


Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes and their negative effect on students.

9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

the bluest eye


Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse.

10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

the hate u give


Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message.

If you are interested in any of these challenged books, visit our digital catalog, Overdrive, for more details.

Don't forget to check our social media this week to celebrate National Library week along with us on HCPL Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Source: 2021 State of America's Libraries: Special Report: Covid-19

national library week 2021


Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id> <div> <i class> <p>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.