15 Unforgettable Responses to the 2020 Banned Books List from Authors, Librarians, Readers

ALA Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books, Authors, Banned and Challenged Books, Banned Books Week, General Interest

By: Ellie Diaz

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recently released the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020.

Titles on this year’s list include All American Boys, Speak, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, and Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice. The list reflects the trend in demands to remove books from libraries and schools that address racism and racial justice. Anyone can reach out to the Office for Intellectual Freedom for support when facing a ban or challenge at their library, school, or university.

Below are some reactions and responses from authors, librarians, and readers about the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020. Find shareable graphics and resources on the ALA website.


Statement reads:

“I am proud of the work that Jason Reynolds and I have done on Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, and not at all surprised to hear it is one of the ALA Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020.

Stamped delivers a research-based history of racist and antiracist thought directly to young people who have the potential to create an antiracist future of equity and justice for all.It is ironic that our book is being challenged since it documents how generations of Americans have challenged the idea that the racial groups are equals and have fought to suppress the very truths contained on every page of Stamped. The heartbeat of racism is denial, and the history in Stamped will not be denied, nor will young people’s access to this book be cancelled.

We must provide readers of all ages, races, backgrounds, and political affiliations with the tools to discuss racism today and to know America’s racial story. We must end the indoctrination that this nation is post-racial and colorblind that adults impart onto young people when we don’t discuss racism with them and challenge books that do. The fact that Stamped is being challenged proves just how necessary and effective it is for young people. I’m grateful to the librarians, educators, organizations, booksellers, parents, and—most of all—young people who have championed this book over the past year. We stand by you in this fight.”














Ellie Diaz

Ellie Diaz is the Program Officer at the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. With her journalism background and fierce devotion to the freedom to read, Ellie collaborates with experts on organizing ALA’s Banned Books Week and several other projects within OIF. As a biblio-writer, she enjoys exploring the intersection of advocacy and literature. 

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