In recognition of Banned Books Week, October 1 – 7, 2023, UC San Diego librarians have compiled this list of recently challenged books available for checkout through our library. During the first week of October, a selection of these books has been added to the Meet Spot just inside the entrance of Geisel Library for easy browsing. Others are available in their usual spots in Geisel Library or WongAvery Library. Check availability and location information at the links below.
“Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe
- Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
“The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison
- Reasons: depiction of sexual abuse, claimed to be sexually explicit, EDI content
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
- Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity
“Beyond Magenta,” by Susan Kuklin
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience
“Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students
“A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
- Reasons: challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood
- Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
“Harry Potter series,” by J. K. Rowling
- Reasons: banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
“And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
- Reason: challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content
“Maus,” by Art Spiegelman
- Recently in the news for being banned by a school board in Tennessee in January 2022, and in Missouri this fall over “explicitly sexual material” as a naked corpse is depicted.
“Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, by Anne Frank, David Polonsky, and Ari Folman
- Was in the news for being banned in a Florida and Texas high schools, a Texas teacher was fired for showing it to 8th graders. The propagandists cite that it’s pornographic and anti-Semitic.
Explore the Banned Books Week website to learn more about the context of book challenges and bans, and to see additional titles held by other libraries that you can access via the Library’s Circuit partnership and Interlibrary Lending services,* or directly through local public libraries.
*UC San Diego students, faculty and staff may request books, articles and other items that are not available at UC San Diego. See the Interlibrary Loan webpage for more information.
UC San Diego Library affiliates also have access to the wide variety of books beyond our campus through the San Diego Circuit Consortium. To access Circuit, users should log into UC Library Search. Once an item has been searched, users can select the “Search in Circuit” option in the Request area.