Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2023

The American Library Association (ALA) has released the annual State of America’s Libraries report, which highlights the ways libraries and employees have taken action to address community needs, as well as what obstacles they are facing brought on by censorship attempts.

The ALA documented that 4,240 unique book titles were targeted for censorship in 2023—a 65% surge over 2022 numbers; there was also 1,247 demands to censor library books, materials, and resources. Pressure groups focused on public libraries as well as targeting school libraries.

The number of titles targeted for censorship in public libraries increased by 92% over the previous year, accounting for about 46% of all book challenges in 2023. When a book has been challenged, it means there has been
an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. 

The most challenged books of 2023 are:

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. Number of challenges: 106
  2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. Number of challenges: 82
  3. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson. Number of challenges: 71
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Number of challenges: 68
  5. Flamer by Mike Curato. Number of challenges: 67
  6. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Number of challenges: 62
  7. Tricks by Ellen Hopkins. Number of challenges: 56
  8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Number of challenges: 56
  9. Let’s Talk About It by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan. Number of challenges: 55
  10. Sold by Patricia McCormick. Reasons: 53

“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,” ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone said in a statement. “Each challenge, each demand to censor these books is an attack on our freedom to read, our right to live the life we choose.”

You can learn more about the top 10 most challenged books of 2023 on a website that details each title’s significance and educational value. The website also includes a book’s synopsis, reviews from professional journals, awards, and more.

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