PEN America counted school book bans in the first part of the 2022-2023 school year, and found 874 different books banned. With some titles restricted in multiple places, the total count of book bans is more than 1,477 instances of individual books banned.

This is the list of the most banned books in the first part of the 2022-2023 school year, according to the PEN America Index of School Book Bans. Gender Queer: A Memoir remained at the top of the list, as it was in the 2021-2022 school year, joined this time by Flamer.

For more on what kinds of bans are happening and where, read Banned in the USA: State Laws Supercharge Book Suppression in Schools.

Most Banned Books List Fall 2022

1 (tie). Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe, 15 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

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1 (tie). Flamer, by Mike Curato, 15 bans

“Award-winning author and artist Mike Curato draws on his own experiences in Flamer, his debut graphic novel, telling a difficult story with humor, compassion, and love.”

3. Tricks, by Ellen Hopkins, 13 bans

“Five troubled teenagers fall into prostitution as they search for freedom, safety, community, family, and love in this #1 New York Times bestselling novel from Ellen Hopkins.”

4 (tie). The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood and Renee Nault, 12 bans

“The stunning graphic novel adaptation – A must-read and collector’s item for fans of “the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction” (New York Times).”

4 (tie). Crank (Crank Series), by Ellen Hopkins, 12 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.”

6 (tie). Sold, by Patricia McCormick, 11 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.”

6 (tie). Push, by Sapphire, 11 bans

“A new 25th anniversary edition of the instant classic that inspired the major motion picture and Sundance Film Festival winner Precious: Based on the Novel ‘PUSH’ by Sapphire, whose power and ferocity influenced a generation of writers.”

6 (tie). A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas, 11 bans

“The seductive and stunning #1 New York Times bestselling sequel to Sarah J. Maas’s spellbinding A Court of Thorns and Roses.”

9 (tie). This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, 10 bans

“The bestselling young adult non-fiction book on sexuality and gender! Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Queer. Intersex. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who’s ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU.”

9 (tie). The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, 10 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.”

9 (tie). Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur, 10 bans

“#1 New York Times bestseller milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.”