“The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. The Holy Bible. This seemingly different list of books have one thing in common — all were banned or challenged in the United States for a variety of reasons.
Each year, hundreds of books are challenged in schools and libraries, with concerns ranging from religious viewpoints to profanity to LGBTQIA+ content. When the challenge results in the removal of the book from an institution, whether from the library’s shelves or the school’s curriculum, the book is considered a banned book. In 2018 alone, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom noted 483 books were challenged or banned.