Here are the Top 13 Most Banned and Challenged Books of 2022

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The American Library Association has released their list of the top 13 most challenged books in 2022. This is usually a top 10 list, but several books tied for their spots this year, so it’s been expanded to the top 13.

According to the ALA, “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.” These numbers reflect challenge attempts, even if they did not result in a ban.

The number of challenges between 2021 and 2022 nearly doubled, and 2021 already had a huge increase from the years before: while the yearly total hovered around 300 from 2003 to 2020, there were 2,571 unique books challenged in 2022. Most of the books challenged are about LGBTQIA+ people and/or by authors of color.

Despite the staggering increase recorded by the ALA, this doesn’t include every challenge or ban: “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.”

Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022:

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe book cover

1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

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

3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

4. Flamer by Mike Curato

5. (TIE) Looking for Alaska by John Green

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

7. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

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

9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

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

10. (TIE) Crank by Ellen Hopkins

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

10. (TIE) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

a graphic of the books listed with the reasons they were challenged (available at the link)
a graphic titled Censorship By The Numbers with charts of censorship statistics

You can read more about this story at the ALA website.

To fight back against censorship, check out our guide on how to fight book bans and censorship. (Hint: reading banned books isn’t enough!)

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.