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The most censored comics and books of 2022, according to the American Library Association

Familiar titles, including Gender Queer, All Boys Aren't Blue, and Flamer appear on this year's list

Cropped image of Gender Queer deluxe edition cover, showing seated figure on grass, smiling with closed eyes, image is overlayed by a constellation motif
Image credit: Oni Press

It is no secret that, over the past couple years in the United States, books are being banned at an increasing rate. As part of raising awareness about banned books, the American Library Association publishes a list every year that features the top most challenged books. This list is based on information from reports which come from library professionals, the community, and news stories throughout the U.S., and so the list provides "only a snapshot of book challenges," as opposed to a comprehensive one.

Still, this list is a great resourse and a useful look at what is happening right now, as more school districts move to ban books at a faster rate than we've seen in recent history. Probably to very little surprise, there are a few key graphic novels appearing on this list, namely Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer and Mike Curato's Flamer.

Here is the list of the 13most challenged books in the United States, as reported by the ALA.

1. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

Cropped image of Gender Queer deluxe edition cover, showing seated figure on grass, smiling with closed eyes, image is overlayed by a constellation motif, on the flip side of the cover, a figure wearing at tie die shirt running in a field of flowers
Image credit: Oni Press

2. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson

Painted covering featuring a figure wearing a flower crown against a blue and pink background
Image credit: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Grey and blue cover of The Bluest Eye
Image credit: Knopf

4. Flamer by Mike Curato

White cover featuring a boy with his hand upraise surrounded by flames
Image credit: Henry Holt

5. (tie) Looking for Alaska by John Green

Black cover book featuring a plume of smoke
Image credit: Penguin

5. (tie) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Lime green cover featuring a photo of trousered legs against the wall
Image credit: MTV books

7. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Orange and green illustrated cover featuirng a figure on a ladder trimming a large bush
Image credit: Algonquin Books

8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Black cover of book featuring two figures falling
Image credit: Little Brown

9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Illustrated cover featuring two figures looking at each other
Image credit: Holiday House

10. (tie) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Green cover of book featuring yellow font and a crow
Image credit: Bloomsbury Publishing

10. (tie) Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Cover of Crank, featuring a black cover with small crystals scattered
Image credit: Margaret K. McElderry Books

10. (tie) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Lime green cover of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl featuirng three figures
Image credit: Amulet Books

10. (tie) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

Cover of This Book is Gay featuring a pride flag
Image credit: Sourcebooks Fire

To read more about this list and the work the American Library Association is doing, check out the ALA website.


To read more about book bans in the United States, read the articles below:

Comics are under attack. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund shows us how to fight back.

CBLDF: The book ban movement is aiming to demonize the 'graphic' in 'graphic novel'

Oni-Lion Forge is being sued for obscenity related to Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer. This is their response.

Why banned books are the books your children should be reading