Today, the American Library Association (ALA) kicked off National Library Week with the release of its highly anticipated list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022 and the State of America’s Libraries Report, which tells the story of how libraries are innovating and adapting to improve the well-being of their communities in the midst of censorship challenges. This year, however, there were multiple books that received the same number of challenges – resulting in the expansion of the list to 13 titles.
Libraries in every state faced another year of unprecedented attempts to ban books. In 2022, ALA tracked the highest number of censorship reports since the association began compiling data about library censorship more than 20 years ago. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted in 2021. Most of the targeted books were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.
Below are the most Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022:
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
In response to the uptick in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, ALA has designated every Monday of National Library Week moving forward as Right to Read Day, a day of action that encourages communities to fight back against censorship and to protect and celebrate the right to read freely. This year’s National Library Week also marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Unite Against Book Bans, a nationwide initiative that empowers readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. More information is available at uniteagainstbookbans.org.