About

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in libraries, bookstores, and schools. Typically (but not always) held during the last week of September, the annual event highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, educators, authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas. 

The next Banned Books Week will be held September 22-28, 2024. The theme of this year’s event will be announced in early April 2024.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. The Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022 are:

  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. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Reasons: depiction of sexual abuse, claimed to be sexually explicit, EDI content
  1. Flamer by Mike Curato Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. (TIE) Looking for Alaska by John Green Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content
  1. (TIE) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content, depiction of sexual abuse, drugs, profanity
  1. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity
  1. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. (TIE) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit
  1. (TIE) Crank by Ellen Hopkins Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs
  1. (TIE) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity
  1. (TIE) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit

The Most Challenged Books of 2023 list will be announced in early April 2024.

Questions about bannedbooksweek.org?

This website is maintained and updated by the Banned Books Week Coordinator and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom in partnership with the Banned Books Week Coalition. For questions concerning the website, please e-mail coordinator@bannedbooksweek.org