The American Library Assn. released its list of the 10 most banned or challenged books of 2017, with one of the biggest young adult novels of the year making its debut on the annual list.
Angie Thomas' "The Hate U Give," a bestselling novel about a black teenage girl whose best friend is killed by a police officer, made the list for the first time, coming in at No. 8. The ALA says the book was banned in several schools for its depiction of drug use as well as its use of profanity.
Topping the list was Jay Asher's "Thirteen Reasons Why," which was adapted into a popular Netflix television series last year. Challenged because it deals with suicide, the novel previously made the list in 2012.
Coming in at No. 2 was Sherman Alexie's perennially controversial "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," which has been frequently challenged because of its profanity and sexually explicit content. This is the sixth time the novel has appeared on the list; it held the No. 1 spot in 2014.
Asher and Alexie have both dealt with a different kind of controversy in recent months. Both authors have been the subject of allegations of sexual harassment; however, since those claims only gained widespread attention earlier this year, it seems unlikely that the allegations had any effect on the books being challenged.
As is frequently the case, many of the books on the list were challenged or banned because of their LGBTQ content. Raina Telgemeier's graphic novel "Drama," which features gay characters, was the No. 3 most challenged book of 2017; the book also made the list in 2014 and 2016.
Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson's children's book "And Tango Makes Three," about a gay penguin couple, came in at No. 9 this year. The book has made the list seven times before; four of those times, it topped the list.
Two of the books on this year's list were challenged or banned because they featured transgender characters. Alex Gino's "George" was ranked at No. 5, and Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings' "I Am Jazz" at No.10.
Children's and young adult books dominated the list this year, with only two adult novels, Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" and Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," among the most banned books of the year. Although neither book was written specifically for young adults, they both make frequent appearances in middle and high school curricula.