Iowans love books. Why don’t Iowa Republicans?

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Iowans value our public educators, librarians, and our students receiving an honest and accurate education. Unfortunately, some Iowa Republicans have forgotten these values and are on a crusade against books and our educators. We have seen consistent attacks from some state lawmakers against diverse ideas and books, with the Iowa Senate President even introducing a law earlier this year that would have jailed educators for distributing books with diverse perspectives and stories.

Books help keep us informed, engaged, and expand our perspectives. On this National Book Lovers Day, we want to celebrate and lift up the books that so many want to take off library shelves. 

“It’s not hard to see a pattern in the books some Iowa Republicans want banned. Nearly all of them depict the experiences of those in marginalized communities, most commonly people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ,” said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa. “Censoring books with diverse perspectives will do more harm than good. It’s time our lawmakers stop the attacks on children’s reading material and get to work solving real problems our state is facing.”

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2021 (Source:

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
  2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
  3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
  4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
  10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

You can also click here for a list of classic books most frequently challenged and banned.