Frequently Challenged Books

Orange flame - logo of the Office for Intellectual FreedomALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools.

Peruse the following pages to explore banned and challenged books by topic, genre, time, and audience.


Top 10 Challenged Books: Compiled from media articles and censorship reports submitted to the office, OIF has published Top 10 lists since 2001.

By Decade: Investigate the 100 most frequently challenged books for 1990-1999 and 2000-2009. OIF has only been collecting data about banned books since 1990, so we don’t have any lists of frequently challenged books or authors before that date.

By Year: These annual bibliographies, written by Robert P. Doyle, include information on books that are challenged, restricted, removed, or banned. The current issue is available on the ALA Store.

Children’s Books: A common reason given for challenging a book is “unsuited/inappropriate for age group.” Authors such as Alvin Schwartz, Mildred D. Taylor and Roald Dahl are listed more than once on this list of 130 frequently challenged children’s books.

Young Adult Books: This list includes books written for YA audiences and those featuring a YA main character.

Classics: At least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the targets of ban attempts.

Books with Diverse Content: OIF found that out of the 2015 Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books, nine of them contained diverse content. The 86 books on this list include content by or about people of color, LGBT people and/or people with disabilities.