The New York Public Library Starts the Banned Book Challenge

The New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Public Library have all teamed up to launch a Banned Book Challenge to fight back against censorship.

Banned Book Challenge

A month after they offered free digital library cards to people all over the United States to fight the recent book banning, the libraries once again try to combat censorship. Librarians from the libraries have chosen ten banned or challenged books and recommend them to New Yorkers.

 Banned Book Challenge List

  1. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
  2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
  3. Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
  4. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
  5. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
  6. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
  7. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  8. 1984 by George Orwell
  9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
  10. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Get Your Fre Ebook

The Banned Book Challenge starts off with Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo being made to download for via e-reader apps starting now to June 26 when the challenge ends. There are no limits so anyone can download it and start reading it right away!

assorted books on shelf
Photo by Ivo Rainha on

There will be book clubs hosted in some library branches about the books in the challenge. The targeted audience is most likely going to be teens since many of the book banning are targeting them and are taking place in schools.

Statement by the American Library Association

“The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced that it tracked an ‘unprecedented’ number of challenges to library, school, and university materials in 2021: 729 challenges to 1,597 individual books. This is more than double the challenges tracked in 2019. The books being challenged often focus on race, LGBTQ+ issues, religion, and history.” Official statement on the website about the challenge.

Official statement by the American Library Association.

In an official statement by Anthony W Marx, the president of The New Your Public Library, he said “The Library’s role is to make sure no perspective, no idea, no identity is erased. To ensure free and open access to knowledge and information. Book bans are in direct conflict with that noble mission, and we cannot be silent. The Banned Books Challenge is just one way we can bring people together and shine a light on this issue. We hope as many New Yorkers as possible will participate, learn and understand each other, and then do what we all must do: exercise our freedom to read by exploring the library and reading as many books as possible.”

Will you be participating in the Banned Book Challenge? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 thoughts on “The New York Public Library Starts the Banned Book Challenge

  1. wordsandcoffee1 says:

    I love this! My small town local library also has a banned book section with a poster announcing reasons to read banned books. Libraries are amazing.


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