September 27, 2022

15 Banned Books to Spotlight in Your Classroom All Year Long

Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.


Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating fREADom to read. This week long celebration of books began in 1982 in response to a growing number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Unfortunately that number only continues to grow.

Banned Books Week usually occurs during the last week of September, but an awareness of banned books should exist year round. According to We Need Diverse Books, "the top 10 most challenged books for 2020 include themes of racial justice, stories centered around BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ content. Of the top 10 most challenged books, 70% were by authors from marginalized groups." 

Students should not be denied the opportunity to read books that mirror their own experiences or create windows into the experiences of others. Below you'll find banned or challenged books recommended by middle and high school ELA teachers for you to feature in your classroom library. Click on the Instagram handle of the person recommending the book to read their recommendation.


1. This Is My America by Kim Johnson


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @yaddysroom


2. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @teachingintheflx


3. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @teachertoteacher


4. Drama by Raina Telgemeier


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @teachingliteracy


5. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @smalltownela


6. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.


7. The Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @msjteachesela


8. House Arrest by K. A. Holt


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @kasey_kiehl


9. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @lauralee_moss


10. Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @secondaryurbanlegends


11. Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @thatawkwardteacher


12. The Giver by P. Craig Russell (Graphic Novel version)


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @caffeinateandeducate


13. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @paperbacks.and.pearls


14. Melissa by Alex Gino (formerly published as George)


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @theliterarymaven


15. New Kid by Jerry Craft


Students need to read books that are mirrors and windows like the 15 titles here that despite being banned or challenged should be on your shelf.

Recommended by @diversebooksgiveaway

Resources About Banned Books and For Banned Books Week

September 4, 2022

What I'm Reading & Teaching in September

September is filled with mixed feelings: sadness that summer is ending, but excitement for a new school year with a new group of learners.


I have mixed feelings about the end of summer and the start of the school year. On one hand, I had a pretty darn good summer and I'm sad to see it go. On the other hand, I really do love my job and I'm eager to spend a year with a new group of learners, reading and writing and growing together. I work at a small, unique school and I'm also excited about the positive directions we continue to move in.