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Read Banned Books: a Brief List of Books That Have Been Challenged, Restricted, or Banned

Though censorship is nothing new, over the past few years, countless attempts have been made to restrict and ban the types of books kids can read. These challenges happen all over the country, and though often unsuccessful, they are still harmful to children who may identify with the book content that is deemed “objectionable.”

We wholeheartedly believe that all books should be accessible to all children. We want every child to find the book that helps them feel seen, the one that makes them feel a little less alone in the world, and the one that opens their eyes to a new way of being and seeing.

We have compiled a list of books that have been challenged, restricted and/or banned. This list is in no way exhaustive, but it does include a selection of books that have been published across decades, about various topics and by a wide range of authors, illustrators and publishers. We have chosen to include the book descriptions from the publishers so that you can decide for yourself whether these books belong in children’s hands.

Visit our Bookshop for a complete list of book summaries, and to purchase and/or donate.

For more information about book banning and what you can do to advocate against censorship, click the links below.

American Library Association Most Challenged Books Lists

National Coalition Against Censorship

Penguin Random House Banned Books Resource Hub

Books with an asterisk next to the title indicate a top 10 most challenged book.

Board and Picture Books

When Aidan Became a Big Brother

Author: Kyle Lukoff | Illustrator: Kaylani Juanita | Publisher: Lee & Low Books

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl's room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn't fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life.

Then Mom and Dad announce that they're going to have another baby, and Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning--from choosing the perfect name to creating a beautiful room to picking out the cutest onesie. But what does "making things right" actually mean? And what happens if he messes up? With a little help, Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed with honesty and communication, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self.

When Aidan Became a Brother is a heartwarming book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure any child concerned about becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.

All Are Welcome

Author: Alexandra Penfold | Illustrator: Suzanne Kaufman | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.

Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other's traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.