Bill Cosby’s ‘Little Bill’ makes the list of most banned books in 2016

Bill Cosby's "Little Bill" series makes the American Library Assn.'s list of "challenged books" because of the multiple allegations of sexual assault made against the actor-comedian.
Bill Cosby’s “Little Bill” series makes the American Library Assn.’s list of “challenged books” because of the multiple allegations of sexual assault made against the actor-comedian.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

The American Library Assn. released its list of the most banned and challenged booksin 2016, with Bill Cosby joining perennially challenged authors John Green and David Levithan.

Cosby’s “Little Bill” children’s book series ranked No. 9 on the list. Its inclusion is unusual because challenges to the books stemmed not from their content, but after allegations of sexual assault were made against the comedian by a number of women, reaching back over many years.

Cosby is scheduled to stand trial in suburban Philadelphia on June 5 on three felony sexual assault charges. He is accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.


The No. 1 most challenged book in 2016 was “This One Summer,” a young adult graphic novel by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. It’s the first appearance on the annual list for the book, which received challenges because of its “LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity.”

The top five books on the list were all challenged because they include LGBT characters. They include Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novel “Drama” at No. 2 and David Levithan’s young adult book “Two Boys Kissing” at No. 5. Both books have made the annual list before. Two of the top five books were challenged specifically because they feature transgender characters. Alex Gino’s children’s novel “George” made the list at No. 3, and Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings’ picture book “I Am Jazz” ranked at No. 4.

Last year’s most-challenged book, John Green’s young adult novel “Looking for Alaska,” returned to the list at No. 6. Challenged for a sexually explicit scene, it’s the novel’s fourth appearance on the list.

Two books for adults made this year’s list: Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s comic book collection “Big Hard Sex Criminals” at No. 7 and Chuck Palahniuk’s short story collection “Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread” at No. 8. Both were challenged for their sexual content. Rounding out the list at No. 10 was Rainbow Rowell’s young adult novel “Eleanor & Park,” challenged for profanity.