For immediate release | April 8, 2024

ALA kicks off National Library Week revealing the annual list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books and the State of America’s Libraries Report

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) launched National Library Week with today’s release of its highly anticipated annual list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2023 and the State of America’s Libraries Report, which highlights the ways libraries and library workers have taken action to address community needs with innovative and critical services, as well as the challenges brought on by censorship attempts.

The number of unique titles targeted for censorship surged 65 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, reaching the highest levels ever documented by ALA.

“In looking at the titles of the most challenged books from last year, it’s obvious that the pressure groups are targeting books about LGBTQIA+ people and people of color,” said ALA President Emily Drabinski. “At ALA, we are fighting for the freedom to choose what you want to read. Shining a light on the harmful workings of these pressure groups is one of the actions we must take to protect our right to read.”

Below are the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2023:

  1. Gender Queer,” by Maia Kobabe

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

  1. All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George M. Johnson

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

  1. This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit

  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content, rape, drugs, profanity

  1. Flamer,” by Mike Curato

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

  1. The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Rape, incest, claimed to be sexually explicit, EDI content

  1. (TIE) “Tricks,” by Ellen Hopkins

Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs, rape, LGBTQIA+ content

  1. (TIE) “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” by Jesse Andrews

Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity

  1. Let's Talk About It,” by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, sex education, LGBTQIA+ content

  1. Sold,” by Patricia McCormick

Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, rape

Top 10 artwork is available for download at:

The Top 10 Books are featured in Unite Against Book Bans’ Book Résumé resource. Launched in February, these résumés support librarians, educators, parents, students, and other community advocates when they defend books from censorship. Created in collaboration with the publishing industry and library workers, each book résumé summarizes the book’s significance and educational value, including a synopsis, reviews from professional journals, awards, accolades and more. Where possible, the book résumés also include information about how a title has been successfully retained in school districts and libraries after a demand to censor the book.

“These are books that contain the ideas, the opinions, and the voices that censors want to silence – stories by and about LGBTQ+ persons and people of color,” said ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone. “Each challenge, each demand to censor these books is an attack on our freedom to read, our right to live the life we choose, and an attack on libraries as community institutions that reflect the rich diversity of our nation. When we tolerate censorship, we risk losing all of this. During National Library Week, we should all take action to protect and preserve libraries and our rights.”

Today is also the second anniversary of Right to Read Day, a day of action launched by Unite Against Book Bans that takes place the Monday of National Library Week. This year’s theme is “Don’t Let Censorship Eclipse Your Freedom to Read,” and anyone who supports the right to read is encouraged to take action today by contacting Congress.

ALA is also pleased to debut the theme for Banned Books Week 2024, “Freed Between the Lines,” which honors the ways in which books bring us freedom and that access to information is worth preserving. Banned Books Week will take place September 22-28, 2024.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

American Library Association

Communications, Marketing & Media Relations Office