A majority of the most challenged books of 2022 were written by or about LGBTQ+ people or people of color, a new report from the American Library Association found.
The association released its annual list of the top 10 most challenged books Monday, with Maia Kobabe’s graphic memoir, “Gender Queer,” being the most targeted for the second year in a row.
In 2022, the association tracked 1,269 challenges, which it defines as a “formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”
The challenges in 2022 targeted over 2,571 unique titles, a significant increase from the 1,858 targeted in 2021.
In fact, 2022 saw the “highest number of censorship reports since the association began compiling data about library censorship more than 20 years ago,” the report reads.
The “top 10” list is a little different than in years past; instead of 10, there are 13 most challenged books because several books tied for being the most targeted.
Here are the top 13 most challenged books of 2022, per the American Library Association.
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.
“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,” association President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada stated.
“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.”