Fight for your right to read!
This week is Banned Books Week, a week-long annual celebration that celebrates the freedom to read. Everyday, books are challenged and banned for their content, just because there is a chance that it might offend someone. So that is why the book community -librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and book lovers alike-come together to celebrate and value of free and open access to information. Everyone has the right to seek and express new ideas, even it turns out to be unpopular to some people.
The ALA (American Libraries Association) documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest since the ALA started collecting data on book challenges. That is why this week is now more important than ever to stop this prevention of censorship and encourage the freedom to read whatever you choose.
Since last year saw so many book challenged, instead of the top 10 most challenged books, ALA increased it to the top 13. So, without further ado, here are the top challenged 13 books of 2022. Make sure to read these books in defiance:
- Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
- Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images.
- Lawn Boy by Jonathan Levison
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
- All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
- Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
- Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
- Flamer by Mike Curato
- Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
- Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
- This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
- Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
- Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
- Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
- A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
- Reasons: claimed to be sexually explicit
- Crank by Ellen Hopkins
- Reasons: drug use, claimed to be sexually explicit
Take a Look at Other Books That Have Been Banned/Challenged:
- The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
- Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- WeirDO Series by Anh Do
- Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi
- Blue Flag Series by Kaito
- Spy X Family Series by Tatsuya Endo
Check out the full index of school book bans on the Pen America website.
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