100 Scope Notes
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5 Thoughts on the Most Banned Books of the Decade

ALA has released the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Decade (2010-2019).

Here are a few things that jumped out to me.

There’s a little of everything . . .

Take a look at the top ten – you’ve got middle grade, YA, adult, graphic novel, picture book. I would give this list credit for how balanced it is . . . but that’s sort of weird considering that it’s for challenged books.

. . . but nonfiction is hard to find.

The one type of book that doesn’t turn up on this list much is nonfiction.

Language and sex are most challenged.

Books that have been challenged due to language and sexual content (including books about sexual identity) make up a large part of the list.

Classics are still getting challenged?

Folks are still fighting the fight against Of Mice and Men, 1984, A Clockwork Orange, and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD??? Wow.

The bigger they are, the more they’re challenged.

Hunger Games, Captain Underpants, Fifty Shades of Gray – you’ll find some of the most popular books and series of the last decade on this list.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. The classics are somewhat different from the other categories in that challenges to them often come from a different sector with different reasoning. There is a whole other issue about considering the historical context for works which are not contemporary.

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