What is Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. Below are the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021 (2022's list will be announced in April 2023).

In recognition of Banned Books Week, you'll notice bright orange bookmarks all throughout the bookshop. We've identified titles that have been, or are currently challenged, banned or restricted with information detailing when, where and why. We invite you to take a look; some of these may even surprise you!

Event date: 
Sunday, September 18, 2022 - 12:00am to Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 12:00am
Event address: 
Gender Queer: A Memoir By Maia Kobabe Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781549304002
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oni Press - May 28th, 2019

TOP 10 MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS of 2021

Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images.


Lawn Boy By Jonathan Evison Cover Image
Email or call for price and availability
ISBN: 9781616202620
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Algonquin Books - April 3rd, 2018

TOP 10 MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS of 2021

Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.


All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto By George M. Johnson Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374312718
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - April 28th, 2020

TOP 10 MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS of 2021

Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.


Out of Darkness By Ashley Hope Pérez Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780823445035
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holiday House - September 10th, 2019

The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas, Amandla Stenberg (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Angie Thomas, Amandla Stenberg (Foreword by)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062498540
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 3rd, 2022

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian By Sherman Alexie Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780316013680
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 12th, 2007

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition) By Jesse Andrews Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781419719608
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Books - April 21st, 2015

The Bluest Eye (Vintage International) By Toni Morrison Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780307278449
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 8th, 2007

This Book Is Gay By Juno Dawson, David Levithan (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Juno Dawson, David Levithan (Introduction by)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781728254326
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - September 7th, 2021

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out By Susan Kuklin Cover Image
$15.99
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780763673680
Published: Candlewick - March 10th, 2015

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