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Banned Books Week

Banned books week logo "Let Freedom Read"Banned Books Week, October 1-7, 2023, is a celebration of the freedom to read and the resistance to censorship worldwide. This year’s theme is “Let Freedom Read.” The American Library Association documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Of the record 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, most were by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

“As we’ve seen throughout National Library Week, as long as there are libraries, Americans’ right to read will not be overcome by censorship,” says Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, American Library Association President. “ ‘Let Freedom Read’ – captures what’s at stake for our democracy: that the safety of our right to speak and think freely is directly in proportion to our right to read.”

Top 13 most challenged books of 2022

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. See Censorship by the Numbers to see a map of attempts to restrict access to books across the country in 2022.

Flamer by Mike Curato

Number of challenges: 62
Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit