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Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022

Text graphic that reads "TOP 13 MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS OF 2022." On the right is a colorful graphic of an open book with text that reads "LET FREEDOM READ"

The 91传媒 condemns censorship and works to defend each person's right to read under the First Amendment and ensure free access to information. Every year, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from reports filed by library professionals and community members and from news stories published throughout the United States.

Because many book challenges are not reported to the ALA or covered by the press, the Top Most Challenged Books lists and 2022 data compiled by ALA represent only a snapshot of book challenges. A challenge to a book may be resolved in favor of retaining the book in the collection, or it can result in a book being restricted or withdrawn from the library.

, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Of the record 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, the most challenged and reasons cited for censoring the books are listed below.

Looking for the most challenged books from previous years? Check out the Top 10 Most Challenged Books Archive for lists and data going back to 2001.

Your support matters now more than ever. Donations strengthen ALA's efforts to fight censorship, support libraries and library workers undergoing challenges, and increase awareness about attempts to the nationwide assault on the freedom to read. If you're able, please consider donating to the Office for Intellectual Freedom today.


Cover image of "Gender Queer: A Memoir" by Maia Kobabe

1. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

Number of challenges: 151

Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir Manifesto" by George M. Johnson

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

Number of challenges: 86

Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison

3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Number of challenges: 73

Challenged for: depiction of sexual abuse, EDI content, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "Flamer" by Mike Curato

4. Flamer by Mike Curato

Number of challenges: 62

Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "Looking for Alaska" by John Green

5. (tie)听Looking for Alaska by John Green

Number of challenges: 55

Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephne Chbosky

5. (tie)听The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Number of challenges: 55

Challenged for: depiction of sexual abuse, LGBTQIA+ content, drug use, profanity, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison

7. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Number of challenges: 54

Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie

8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Number of challenges: 52

Challenged for: profanity, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "Out of Darkness" by Ashley Hope Perez"

9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Number of challenges: 50

Challenged for: depictions of abuse, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J. Maas

10. (tie)听A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Number of challenges: 48

Challenged for: claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins

10. (tie)听Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Number of challenges: 48

Challenged for: drug use, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" by Jesse Andrews

10. (tie)听Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Number of challenges: 48

Challenged for: profanity, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Cover image of "This Book Is Gay" by Juno Dawson

10. (tie)听This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson

Number of challenges: 48

Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, providing sexual education, claimed to be sexually explicit

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Infographic: Top Ten Most Chalenged Books of 2021:The 91传媒 tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1,597 individual books that were challenged or banned in 2021, here are the top 10 most challenged: 1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images. 2.    Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison. Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.     3.    All Boys Aren鈥檛 Blue by George M. Johnson. Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.     4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez. Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit. 5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda. 6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and use of a derogatory term.     7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women.     8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit.     9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson. Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.     10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin. Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.

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Download the two-page 2022 Infographic

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The Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022 infographic was released as part of the 2023 State of America's Libraries Report on Monday, April 24. View the full report.

Find more data about 2022 book ban attempts here.

Text graphic that reads "FREQUENTLY CHALLENGED BOOKS" with a short stack of three colorful books on the right.

ALA analyzes censorship data and compiles lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. Explore challenges of past years with our collection of Field Reports, as well as lists of the most challenged books of the last three decades.


A black and white illustration of the United States in front of a colorful background

Mapping Challenges to the Freedom to Read

Censorship data from 2022 paints a vivid picture of attempts to ban or restrict library books and resources across the United States. We break down censorship by the numbers.

Learn more


Image of the cover of the 2021 Banned Books Week Field Report.

Field Reports

The 2022听Field Report contains descriptions of the 20 most frequently challenged titles from 2022, including Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, All Boys Aren鈥檛 Blue by George M. Johnson, and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. The Field Report also includes a list of the Top 13听Most Challenged Books of 2022. Challenges to library materials occurred at an unprecedented rate in 2022听and children鈥檚 and YA books pertaining to race, gender, and sexual identity remained the titles most targeted by听censorship efforts.

You can also browse for free on the OIF blog.


100 Most Challenged Books of the Past Decades