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Let Freedom Read: Celebrating Banned Books Week 2023

Banned Books Week October 1-7, 2023

Earlier this year the American Library Association released the 2022 State of American Libraries report, which included the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022. If you follow the news, you will not be surprised to learn that libraries and library staff across this country have faced a year of unprecedented attempts to ban books. According to the report, in 2022 the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted in 2021. This is the largest number since the association began compiling data about library censorship in 1982. As has been the trend, most of the targeted books were written by or about people of color or by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

We encourage you to celebrate your freedom to read with a challenged or banned book! Here are a few ways to get started at the Bentley Library:

  • Listed below are the Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022 (13 due to multiple ties). If the book is part of our collection, you can click to check availability and login to your account to place a hold or pin for later. If you are interested in borrowing a book we don't own, please place an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request.
  • In addition to the Top 13, we've curated an online display of more than 100 books that have been challenged or banned over the years. Browse online and login to your account to place a hold or pin for later.
  • Fans of OverDrive/Libby can visit our OverDrive site to browse the Banned Books collection for ebooks and audiobooks to download.
  • Last but not least, stop by the library this week to check out our Banned Books Week pop-up display in the lobby and grab a button to show your support for the freedom to read!

Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022

1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe [check availability]

2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson [check availability]

3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison [check availability]

4. Flamer by Mike Curato

5. (tie) Looking for Alaska by John Green [check availability]

5. (tie) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky [check availability]

7.  Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison [check availability]

8.  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie [check availability]

9.  Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

10. (tie) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas [check availability]

10. (tie) Crank by Ellen Hopkins

10. (tie) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews [check availability]

10. (tie) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson [check availability]

For more information about banned and challenged books, visit the ALA’s Banned & Challenged Books webpage to view censorship by the numberstop 10 challenged books by year (archived back to 2001), Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books by decade: 1990-1999, 2000-20092010-2019, banned and challenged classics, Banned Books Q&A, and more. Don't forget to follow #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Instagram!