Education

Here are the top 10 books banned in 2022

The American Library Association (ALA) kicked off National Library Week on Monday by releasing its State of America’s Libraries Report, which details an increase in book bans in 2022 and the top 10 books that were censored last year. 

The top banned books were censored mostly due to LGBTQ content or claims they are sexually explicit, according to the ALA. Profanity, drugs and sex education were also mentioned in efforts to ban the books on the list. 

“Gender Queer” is at the top of the list, followed by “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” “The Bluest Eye” and “Flamer.” “Looking for Alaska” and “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” are tied for the fifth spot. 

“Lawn Boy,” “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” “Out of Darkness,” “A Court of Mist and Fury,” “Crank,” “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and “This Book is Gay” rounded out the list, which had more than 10 entries due to ties.

Books were removed from shelves due to bans and were also pulled during reviews, the ALA noted.

The organization says it saw the highest number of censorship reports in 2022 since it started keeping track of the phenomena more than 20 years ago. In 2022, 2,571 unique titles were censored compared to 1,858 in 2021, a 38 percent increase. 

“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,” said ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. 

“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,” she added. 

The ALA found that most book challenges take place in public libraries — at 48 percent — then school libraries — at 41 percent. Parents initiated the book challenges 30 percent of the time, followed by patrons at 28 percent, political or religious groups at 17 percent and school boards or administrations at 15 percent. 

The increase in book challenges comes at a time when state lawmakers are getting more involved in what sort of content is allowed in books inside school classrooms. 

Last year in Florida, with the passage of the Parental Rights in Education bill, reports surfaced of teachers and schools preemptively removing books off their shelves out of fear they might all not comply with the new law.

Tags Book bans Book bans

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