National Library Week kicks off with the highly anticipated annual list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books and State of America's Libraries Report

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/24/2023


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office

CHICAGO — 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.

“By releasing the list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books each year, ALA recognizes all of the brave authors whose work challenges readers with stories that disrupt the status quo and offer fresh perspectives on tough issues," said ALA President Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada. "The list also illustrates how frequently stories by or about LGBTQ+ persons, people of color, and lived experiences are being targeted by censors. Closing our eyes to the reality portrayed in these stories will not make life’s challenges disappear. Books give us courage and help us understand each other.

It's time to take action on behalf of authors, library staff, and the communities they serve. ALA calls on readers everywhere to show your commitment to the freedom to read by doing something to protect it.”

Below are the most Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022:

  1. “Gender Queer,” by Maia Kobabe
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

  2. “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George M. Johnson
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

  3. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: depiction of sexual abuse, claimed to be sexually explicit, EDI content

  4. “Flamer,” by Mike Curato
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

  5. (TIE) “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green
    Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content

        5. (TIE) “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
             Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content, depiction of sexual       abuse, drugs, profanity

        7.  “Lawn Boy,” by Jonathan Evison
             Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

        8.  “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
             Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity

        9.  “Out of Darkness,” by Ashley Hope Perez
             Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit

       10. (TIE) “A Court of Mist and Fury,” by Sarah J. Maas
              Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit

       10. (TIE) “Crank,” by Ellen Hopkins
             Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs

       10. (TIE) “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” by Jesse Andrews
             Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity

       10. (TIE) “This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson
             Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit

Top 10 artwork is available for download at:

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

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