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: The Office for Intellectual Freedom has published lists of the most challenged books since 2001, compiled from media articles and censorship reports.

By Decade: Investigate the 100 most frequently challenged books for 1990-19992000-2009, 2010-2019

By Year: These annual bibliographies include information on books that are challenged, restricted, removed, or banned. The current issue is available on the ALA Store as a print handout or a digital download

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.

Infographics and Statistics: These annual infographics — published in the State of America's Library Report — show who initiates challenges, why books are challenged, and where books are challenged.