Most banned books

PEN America counted school book bans in the 2022-2023 school year, and found 3,362 book bans affecting 1,557 unique titles, with more than 40% of the bans occurring in Florida.

This is the list of the most banned books in the 2022-2023 school year, according to the PEN America Index of School Book Bans. Bestselling novelist Ellen Hopkins wrote three of the most frequently banned books, including the most banned book, Tricks. Sarah J. Maas wrote two of the most frequently banned. 

The 2022-23 banned book list also includes The Bluest Eye, by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, and several popular young adult novels that have been made into movies or television series. Gender Queer: A Memoir, the most banned book in the 2021-2022 school year, was fifth on the list for 2022-23, but has the most bans in total across both school years, with 67.

For more on what kinds of bans are happening and where, read Banned in the U.S.A.: The Mounting Pressure to Censor.

Most Banned Books List 2022-2023 School year

1. Tricks, by Ellen Hopkins, 33 bans

“Five troubled teenagers fall into prostitution as they search for freedom, safety, community, family, and love in this No. 1 New York Times bestselling novel from Ellen Hopkins.”

  • New York Times bestseller

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2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, 29 bans

“From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner—a powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity that asks questions about race, class, and gender with characteristic subtly and grace.”

3 (tie). Looking for Alaska, by John Green, 27 bans

“Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A modern classic, this stunning debut marked bestselling author John Green’s arrival as a groundbreaking new voice in contemporary fiction.”

  • Michael L. Printz Award winner
  • New York Timesbestseller
  • NPR’s Top Ten Best-Ever Teen Novels
  • TIME magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time 
  • TV miniseries

3 (tie). A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas, 27 bans

“The seductive and stunning No. 1 New York Times bestselling sequel to Sarah J. Maas’s spellbinding A Court of Thorns and Roses.”

  • New York Times Bestseller

5. Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe, 26 bans

“Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity–what it means and how to think about it–for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.”

  • ALA Alex Award Winner
  • Stonewall-Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award Honor Book

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, 25 bans

“Read the cult-favorite coming-of-age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory.”

    • New York Times bestseller
    • American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and Best Book for Reluctant Readers
    • Major motion picture

7 (tie). Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, 24 bans

“You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.”

    • New York Times bestseller
    • Netflix movie

7 (tie). Sold, by Patricia McCormick, 24 bans

“The powerful, poignant, bestselling National Book Award Finalist gives voice to a young girl robbed of her childhood yet determined to find the strength to triumph.”

  • National Book Award finalist

9. Crank (Crank Series), by Ellen Hopkins, 23 bans

“Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. Then, Kristina meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul–her life.”

  • New York Times bestseller

10. Identical, by Ellen Hopkins, 22 bans

“Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for US Congress. Everything on the surface seems fine, but underneath run very deep and damaging secrets.”

10 (tie). Empire of Storms, by Sarah J. Maas

Kingdoms collide in this fifth book in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.

  • New York Times Bestseller