To kick off National Library Week and the inaugural Right to Read Day, the American Library Association unveiled its highly anticipated list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022. Because multiple books received the same number of challenges, the list was expanded to include 13 titles.
The Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022 are:
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
The Top 13 list was included as part of ALA’s annual 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 a tidal wave of censorship challenges.
In March, ALA released censorship data from 2022, revealing a record number of attempts to censor library books and resources as well as a towering number of unique titles targeted for censorship that dwarfs figures from just two years ago by tenfold. Libraries in every state faced unprecedented attempts to ban or restrict access to books.
Record Censorship and a Troubling Trend
A trend laid bare by the Top 13 list is the type of books and authors challenged: nearly all of the most challenged books in America are written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community or by and about Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
Moreover, the Top 13 list helps paint a broader picture of censorship in libraries and schools across the U.S.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
The release of the Top 13 list is also a call to action. Join us by taking action today on Right to Read Day.