Challenged And Banned Books

Want to fight against book banning and censorship? Join, read their Action Kit, National Coalition Against Censorship’s (NCAC) Book Censorship Action Kit, and read PENAmerica’s 2022 report on the increasing book bans.

 ALA: How To Respond To A Book Being Challenged Has a book in your library or school been challenged? The ALA has some suggestions on how to respond. You can also  ask for assistance from ALA,  and it’s also good to report it to ALA. They maintain a database on challenged materials.

Report Book Censorship
If a book’s been challenged at your US library or school, you can report censorship to PENAmericaAmerican Library Association (ALA), National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and for colleges and universities to Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

In Canada, report a book that’s been challenged to Freedom To Read.

Kids Right To Read Project via NCAC

National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) offers direct support in book challenges and bans in schools and libraries, a downloadable Book Censorship Action Kit, a resource on defending LGBTQ stories, and the First Amendment in schools.

PENAmerica’s Take Action section against book banning. Read PENAmerica’s index of school book bans for 2022-23 and PENAmerica’s 2022 report on the increase of banned books in schools.

Authors Speak Out On Censorship 

Including Authors Speak Loudly, Judy Blume, Sherman Alexie, Chris CrutcherNancy GardenSonya Sones, and more. Compiled by NCTE.

Banned Books Week (US September 27-Oct 3)
People should always be able to find reflections of themselves in books, and know that they’re not alone. This site has some great articles, downloadable/printable infographics, publications, librarian and educator resources,  writer resources, and student resources, lists of banned books and plays, links on where to report censorship, promotional tools, events, and more.

Freedom To Read Week (Canada, February)

Download free clipart and banners, read articles and interviews,  download the digital Freedom To Read kit or order a physical copy which contains a poster, current censorship issues in Canada, news articles, interviews with champions of free speech, and a Get Involved section with activities designed for classroom instruction and discussion, or download clipart and banners. You can also go to the database of challenged books in Canada or download the PDF.

Judy Blume Talks About Censorship
Judy Blume writers about her own experience with censorship, and how book banning stems from fear. She also has a great article on what students, teachers, and writers can do if a book is challenged, offers a toolkit on what to do if a book is challenged, and more.

Speak Loudly: ALAN
You can find resources on challenges in schools, libraries, and communities; preparing for and responding to a challenge; class and library resources; research on censorship; and more.

Laurie Halse Anderson on Censorship.

Laurie Halse Anderson includes the powerful letter that she wrote to the committee when her book TWISTED was challenged, as well as  information on her book SPEAK being challenged, resources to turn to if you experience a book challenge, article Weighing In by Pat Scales on why rating books is dangerous, and many resources on book banning.

Speak Author Talks Resistance Lit. Laurie Halse Anderson talks to Bustle about her experience with censorship of her own books, how books can prepare kids for the real world, how censorship comes from fear, and more.

Freedom To Read Foundation
The FTR works against censorship, and offers grants, scholarships, and awards; works on legal cases; and educates about the importance of libraries.

Lauren Myracle On Why Her Books Top List That America Wants Banned

Article in the Daily Beast by Lauren Myracle. Must be a member to read it.

Book Challenges Suppress Diversity by Malinda Lo
A great article by YAlit author Malinda Lo, showing that diverse books are disproportionately targeted for book challenges and censorship–and that often the reasons listed for the challenges hide the real reasons people make those challenges, such as homophobia, racism, etc.

10 Reasons Books Are Challenged And Banned by Betsy Gomez, Banned Books Week
If you’ve ever read about a book being challenged, it probably won’t surprise you that most books are challenged for being queer, Black, brown, and Indigenous, mental health, and survivor voices.
Looking to buy a used or out-of-print book? Or fallen in love with a new author, and want to buy as many of their books as you can? Check out; AbeBooks pulls together more than 13,500 book sellers selling over 100 million books. You’re sure to find that book you want, and usually choices in the cost of the book and shipping, and shape of the book. I’ve found almost every out-of-print book I’ve been looking for here, as well as sellers who sell large backlists of books by the same author (so I could buy a bunch at once of an author I just discovered, and pay a lower shipping cost). Recommended!

What’s The Name Of That Book?
Looking for a book that you loved and read in the past, and now can’t remember the name of the author, or title of the book, or even much of the plot? Then head on over to “What’s The Name Of That Book?” and also “BookHunting” on GoodReads; they are fantastic reader communities that helps you find books you’ve lost or can’t remember well. “Lost” books are often found. Highly recommended.

Literature Map
Type in the name of an author you love, and see similar authors that other readers enjoy. This is one of the few find-a-book sites that actually worked for me, where it recommended other authors I know I enjoy.

Database of Award-Winning Children’s Literature
The Database of Award-Winning Children’s Literature (DAWCL) looks like a great place to find new books you might be interested in, and revisit ones you’ve loved. You can search by subject/keyword, and/or narrow your search by age, setting, historical period, ethnicity of the main character, format, genre, even gender of the protagonist.

Find books by booklists, read by other readers you follow, keep track of the books you’ve read and rate and review them, and so much more. An active book community.

Epic Reads
You can find many great new books to read, especially YA, from their quizzes, booklists and more including their 32 YA books for LGBTQ Pride.

12 Compelling Young Adult Thrillers
Discover 12 compelling YA thrillers, including STAINED, in this Wiki video.

Gifts For Book Lovers

Book Venue Gift Shop
The Book Venue Gift Shop is crammed with all sorts of wonderful gifts for book lovers, including a wide assortment of book lights, bookends, book bags, book furniture, literary posters and prints, and more. A great place to spend some time and money.

The Library Shop @ the NY Public Library
A selection of unique and often beautiful book-related gifts, including a book cutting board; some literary jewelry (including scrabble and typewriter jewelry, Edward Gorey (The Shrinking of Treehorn) cat and book pins); stuffed toys and characters from picture books; typewriter-key photo holders and magnetic clips; some interesting bookends, including bookends that look like books; literary mugs, bowls, tea cups, and napkins; and more.

Children’s Book Council on Zazzle
The Children’s Book Council (CBC) has a great selection of past Children’s Book Week posters–including a beautiful “Rise Up Reading” streamer by picture book author/illustrator Peter Reynolds (Ish), and breathtaking posters by Chris Van Allsburg, David Wiesner, and many other wonderful children’s illustrators.

Stop Falling
Various book-related and librarian gifts, including book and librarian pins and broaches (including a Filigree Book Pin, a “read” Scrabble pin, and various “Read Books” and “Read” pins); reading and librarian clothing with various quotes; and book-related bags, scarfs, ties.

Book Collector by
Book Collector is a great program for people who love books–and who want to keep track of which books are in their collection, which books they still want to buy or borrow from the library, or even which books they’ve read.

It’s super easy and fast to add a book–all you have to do is type in the title, author, or isbn, or scan the isbn, and it will do a search for you online, grabbing the title, a thumbnail image of the cover, and all the relevant information, even the summary written up in an online bookstore. You can even export your book lists to your phone so you can view them in the store (pro edition only). There are so many ways you can organize the books, even adding or deleting columns, creating columns with your own titles, grouping them in folders (like by genre, publisher, or author), and searching is fast and easy. I love this program; it was well worth the money I spent on it. Check it out.

The ALA Store
The ALA store has a selection of wonderful book-related posters and bookmarks, including celebrity-read posters, author series posters, and posters based on children’s picture books and TV and film characters (including DC’s Superman); banned books week posters and bookmarks; and book and reading related stationary, jewelry, bibs, pet collars, cups, and more.

The OLA Store
The Canadian version of the ALA store, for readers and buyers in Canada. They have much of the same things that the ALA store does.

YA Booklists

Mental Health In YA: A Reading List
Discover some YA novels that deal with various aspects of mental health, including depression, suicide, self harm, PTSD, and more.

Reading Rants! Out of the ordinary teen booklists
One of my favourite sites! There are some wonderful booklists here, including Teen Tearjerkers: Stories that will make you sniff; Riot Grrrl: Best Riot Grrrrl Reads!; Bare Bones: Honest Fiction about Weight and Eating Disorders; Closet Club: Gay Fiction for Teens; and more. When you click on each booklist, you get to an engaging summary, review, and rating of the books, along with pictures of the covers. Conversational, interesting, thoughtful and thought-provoking — need I say more? 🙂

YALSA Booklists 
Great lists of books for teens by YALSA. Extensive lists, including best books from various years.

YA Booklists at Epic Reads
Lots of great YA booklists here.

YA Booklists on GoodReads
GoodReads has a ton of YA booklists created by readers, including Best Strong Female Fantasy Novels; Best Teen Books About Real Problems; Best Young Adult Realistic Novels; and so many more.

The Massive Mega List of Young Adult Book Lists compiled by Kelly Jensen and Kimberly Francisco
You can find booklists by genre, subject (scroll to the bottom), and some “so you’ve read” lists.


YA LGBTQIA Booklists

ALA’s Rainbow List
Featuring ALA’s LGBTQ picks for picture books, middle grade, YA, and graphic novels from 2008 onward.

ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards
They list all their winners from 1971 to the present. They include YA as well as other genres.

Lambda Literary Award Winners
You can find a ton of LGBTQ books to read here, YA and other genres, from 1989 onward.

YA Author Malinda Lo’s Blog
Malinda has a ton of posts on LGBTQIA YA books and stats. I enjoy her thoughtful posts and great lists. She also writes YA with LGBTQ characters.

I’m Here, I’m Queer, What The Hell Do I Read? by Lee Wind
Lee keeps up a great blog with LGBTQIA YA book reviews, lists, and more, including his own Queer As A Five Dollar Bill.

TeenLibrarianToolbox on SLJ
You can find a ton of new and recent YA LGBTQIA books here, with reviews, posts, author interviews, and more.

YA Pride: LGBTQIA YA Masterlist
Find a TON of LGBTQIA YA books here ordered by orientation: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual, and Aromantic. You can find both newer and older titles.

Find a lot of LGBTQ YA reads, as well as middle grade, children’s, and adult LGBTQ titles. I love the way this site allows you to find LGBTQ YA books by theme/issues such as mental health, social justice, coming out, conversion therapy, crime, and so much more. You can also find them by YA books with queer parents, by setting, and more. Run by author Dahlia Adler.

LGBTQ YA lists on GoodReads
There are a ton of reader-created LGBTQ YA booklists on GoodReads.

Booklist For Trans Teens at GoodReads
This has more YA transgender books in this list than I’ve seen elsewhere.

Queer Books For Teens
Their list is from 2000-2017.

100 Must-Read LGBTQIA YA Books via BookRiot
Lots of great LGBTQ YA books here. The list was made in 2017, so it’s missing newer books but still is a great list.

32 Best YA Books To Celebrate Pride Month via Epic Reads
This list was made in 2019.

26 LGBTQIA+ Titles For Teens via SLJ

Book Humor

Reading Quirks
This beautifully-drawn bookish comic strip is just for book lovers and readers. You can see all the past strips  on Instagram, but it will also be coming out in print. I love it!

BookRiot Humor
There are a ton of articles with bookish humor here, including How To Teach Your Cats To Read, Bacon Bookmarks And Cheeto Lures: The Funniest and Weirdest Stories of Damaged Library Books, Book Blurbs That Did Not Make The Jacket, and more.

Reading & Book Humour on my Pinterest
I love cartoons, videos, and more on book and reading humour, and have collected some here.

55 Funniest Signs Around the World
Some of them are really funny.

And if you like those, check out  Stupid Product Warnings and Instructions

17 Bookish Jokes That Will Warm Your Heart
Some bookish jokes that may give you a laugh.

Picture Book Reviews

The Children’s Book Review
You can find a ton of reviews organized by age, subject, and more, as well as author and illustrator interviews and giveaways. A visually attractive site.

The PlanetEsme Plan: The Best New Children’s Books from Esme’s Shelf (blog)
A great blog with frequent postings about new and interesting picture books. Well written, opinionated, lively, and sometimes funny, these reviews will help you find some picture books that interest you. Recommended!

Favourite Reads, Children’s Picture Books reviewed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Brief reviews and recommendations of picture books by author Cynthia Leitch Smith. The reviews are organized by title, and there are a lot to look at; you’re sure to find a book you like.

In the Pages…blog
Brief reviews of children’s and teen fiction by a librarian, and discussion about books.

Waking Brain Cells
Brief, thoughtful reviews of new picture books, middle grade books, and YA books.


YA Reviews

YA Book Central
You can add a book to their database–so if your book isn’t there, submit it. 🙂 Press releases, book reviews, bios, and news items can also be submitted here. There are also reader guides, study guides, teacher guides, contests, and a monthly newsletter.
This site has well-written and thoughtful reviews, an author section featuring authors that has interviewed or featured their book on, a book club and reading guide for teens, a message board, and a newsletter.

CM Magazine Canadian Review of Materials
Great reviews, well-written and thoughtful. This site has reviews of books for kids and teens, and mainly focuses on Canadian titles. The site has reviews going back to 1972, as well as current titles, and you can search by title, author, date, age/grade, or read the current issue or the back issues.

Children’s and Young Adult Book Reading Resources by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Cynthia Leitich Smith covers a huge amount of children’s and teen books, giving a summary of the book’s story, and a few succinct lines of review. (In the menu on the left, you can choose to browse by age group, genre, etc. Also, click on one of the subtitles under “Bibliographies.”) Want to find something good to read? Check out her pages. Cynthia is also a writer for children and teens; you can check out her books as well.

Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site
There are lots of reviews of children’s and YA books here, coupled with ideas of how teachers can use them in the classroom. Each book review mentions the grade level, and the books reviewed range from Pre-K all the way up to grade 9. There’s a featured book section, and an archive of all reviewed books. Reviews are also categorized by theme, topic, and subject, and there’s a free monthly newsletter. Great for educators!

Richie’s Picks
More great YA book picks and reviews. Features long excerpts from the books themselves, though not as much commentary. You can also receive the reviews by email.

Free & Cheap Books

AudioBook Sync Every summer, from the end of May to the beginning of August, AudioBook Sync gives away free YA audiobooks, two a week. You sign up, then download free audiobooks! You can only download the audiobooks for free during that week, so make sure you sign up for their newsletter and/or their text message reminders. Borrow ebooks & audiobooks through Overdrive You can borrow a ton of ebooks, audiobooks, even comics online through your local public library or school and Overdrive

Resources For Book Lovers
Can’t find that out of book? Try here first. I buy almost all my out-of-print books here. They bring together over 8800 independent bookdealers selling used, secondhand, rare, and out-of-print books. You can also keep a wish list there and abebooks will email you once that book appears. I’ve never not found a book I wanted there…and at a really reasonable price.

Goodreads is a great book social network to find book recommendations, follow other readers with similar interests, enter contests for free book giveaways by authors and publishers, keep track of books you’ve read or loved, rate and review books, see books readers you follow have read, and more!

BookMooch allows readers to give away the books they no longer want, get points for those books, and request books they want with those points, all for free (aside from shipping).

You can create a list of all your books, movies, and music online, and give and receive book recommendations.

Love to read new books? This is the site for you. They have TONS of excerpts, reviews, author interviews, reading guides, etc. for the newest books, listed by title, author, category, and search. Their categories are very thorough, including books for young adults, children, African Americans, novels with Asian & Indian authors/themes, Self Help, Inspiration, and so much more. Not sure you want a book? Read an excerpt.

Release your used books into the wild for a stranger to find, or do a controlled release for another reader to find.

Children's And YA Book Awards

You can find some great books that you might otherwise have missed through book awards. Authors, you may want to make sure your publishers submitted your books.

Children’s Book Awards at the CLWG
The most comprehensive guide to English-language children’s book awards on the Internet. Does not link to the actual award sites, but lists which books (and authors) won the awards each year.

Children’s & YA Literature: Book Lists And Book Awards (US)
A comprehensive listing of US Children’s & YA book awards compiled by Clemson Libraries.

Canadian Children’s & Teen Book Awards
A comprehensive listing of US children’s and YA book awards compiled by The University of BC.



Mental Health In YA: A Reading List
Discover some YA novels that deal with various aspects of mental health, including depression, suicide, self harm, PTSD, and more.

Bibliotherapy is the use of books to help children/teens get through difficult times and bring healing. Books are read and then discussed. Fiction usually seems to be the most powerful way.

Articles On Bibliotherapy:

Bibliotherapy by Dr. Max Weber
An article on bibliotherapy with children, including what it is, how to use it, and activities.

Bibliotherapy For Teens: Helpful Tips And Recommended Fiction by Erin Moulton, SLJ
An engaging article that discusses the importance of bibliotherapy, mental health, finding the right story, and some recommended reads.

Bibliotherapy Booklists:

Bibliotherapy For Teens: An Expanded Booklist by Ashleigh Williams, SLJ
An expanded list of recommended books last updated in 2014.

Kids & Teen Booklists by Carnegie Library of Pittsburg.

Check out especially their Here to Help: Books for Life’s Big & Small Moments; LGBTQ Booklists; and African American Booklists.

Booklists: Young Adult Fiction at Library Booklists
The bibliotherapy booklists for teens include Body Image; Bullying; Death, Illness and Loss; Divorce; Drugs; Pregnancy and Parenthood; and Dyslexia.

Bibliotherapy For Teens: Recommended Books via Islip Public Library
A short list of books sorted by issues such as abuse, mental health, body image, bullying, and more.

Reading And Book Quotes

GoodReads Quotes On Reading
One of the largest and up-to-date compilation of quotes on books and reading from books, compiled by GoodReads readers. I love the selections, most especially because many come from children’s and YA books such as John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, and children’s and YA authors such as Cassandra Clare, John Green, CS Lewis and so many more.

101 Quotes About Reading on SheReads
Quotes organized by subject including wisdom, necessity, and more.

100 Best Quotes About Reading via Bookroo
There are tons of great quotes on reading here.

YA Authors

YALSA list of US YA Authors By State
A list of some US YA authors by state.

A list of some Canadian YA and Children’s authors and illustrators who are CANSCAIP members.

Reading Is Good For You

How Reading Fiction Increases Empathy and Encourages Understanding. Discover Magazine.
An article on how reading fiction can increase empathy.

Does reading fiction make you a better person? Washington Post.

An article on how reading increases empathy and prosocial behaviour.

Benefits of Reading Books: How It Can Positively Affect Your Life. Healthline.

An article on how reading increases empathy, reduces stress, aids sleep, helps with depression, and more. 

The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction: 9 Ways it Make Us Happier and More Creative

An article on some of the benefits of reading fiction, including increased empathy, reducing stress, improved relationships, improved memory, greater inclusivity, and more!

9 Ways Reading Will Make You Happier And More Successful
Including increasing empathy, reducing stress, improving relationships, and more.

7 Benefits Of Reading Literary Fiction You May Not Know
I don’t think these benefits are limited to literary fiction, but rather to all fiction, including amplifying your creativity, learning how to approach new obstacles, gaining greater inner peace, and more.

Real World Benefits of Reading Fiction
More benefits of reading fiction, including strengthening problem-solving skills, our ability to make connections, and empathy


What To Read Next

Book Series In Order
Want to know which book comes next in a series? Search this site and you’ll likely find it.

Discover new books by typing in three of your favorite authors. You’ll get back a selection of similar authors that you can rate as liking, disliking, or not knowing. I was impressed that it gave me names of some YA authors I like.

Literature Map
Type in the name of an author you love, and see similar authors that other readers enjoy. This is one of the few find-a-book sites that actually worked for me, where it recommended other authors I know I enjoy.

What Should I Read Next?
Type the name of an author or book you loved and see the generated book recommendations.