Top 5 banned books to check out

Top 5 banned books to check out

Caroline Bernacki , Staff Writer

1. “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe

This book tells the story of Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns. Throughout the memoir, Maia explores eir journey of gender identity and what it means to be nonbinary and asexual.

“I found this book really really brave, amazing, liberating, and honest!” says Goodreads user Daph Pink. Despite the 4.3 stars on Goodreads, the book was largely criticized because of its LGBTQ+ content and explicit imagery.

2. “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison 

This coming-of-age novel follows the story of Mike Muñoz, who is on a journey of self-discovery after recently losing his job as a lawn boy. While Mike strives to learn more about what his future holds, he is faced with hardships that make him question the possibility of the American dream.

User Texas Dynamo, on Amazon reviews, exclaims, “I hope every ‘banned book club’ in America reads this book!” While Lawn Boy was a recipient of the 2019 Alex Award, this book made the banned books list for LGBTQ+ and sexually explicit content. 

3. “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson

This book contains a series of personal essays in which George M. Johnson explores his youth as a queer man of color in New Jersey and Virginia. The “memori-manifesto” includes themes such as brotherhood, self-identity, family, and Black joy. Amazon user Brianna Monderson says that it is “by far one of the most interesting books” she has ever read. This New York Times bestseller was banned due to profanity and LGBTQ+ and sexually explicit content. 

4. “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Perez 

Based on the 1937 New London school explosion, this novel follows the story of Naomi Vargas and her journey of accepting her family’s heritage. This book encompasses romance, family, segregation, and power. The reviews of the book are mixed, with one Goodreads user, Donna, describing the book as “warm and wonderful, gritty and hurtful”. The novel was restricted due to sexually explicit content and portrayal of abuse.

5. “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

Inspired by the social movement, Black Lives Matter, this book follows the story of Starr Carter, whose life is changed after her best friend is murdered by a police officer. Throughout the novel, Starr struggles to seek justice without endangering her own life. 

One Amazon user, Roger Hyttinen, states, “This is the brutally honest kind of book that will stay with you for a long time after having read it and perhaps may cause you to look at life differently after having read it.” This 2017 Goodreads Choice winner was criticized for its potential anti-police message along with violence, profanity, and persuasion of political agenda.