Skip to Main Content

Banned Books

Read all about book challenges and bannings including top ten lists and news.

Levar Burton - Banned Books

Artwork Attribution

Nearly all artwork and infographics are courtesy of the American Library Association,


The American Library Association states: "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. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice."

The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) promotes awareness of challenges to library materials and celebrates freedom of speech during Banned Books Week. This event is observed during the last week of September of each year.

OIF compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted to us by librarians and teachers across the country.  For more about books challenged over the last 20 years, as well as information about classic novels that have been challenged and/or banned, please see Frequently Challenged Books.

Source: American Library Association. (2011). Banned & challenged books.

Every day books are still being challenged and removed from shelves, libraries, classrooms and reading lists.  Fight for the Right to Read and read a banned book today.

BANNED BOOKS WEEK October 1-7, 2023

infographic showing who initiates challenges, where do challenges take place, books and beyond and censorship on the rise

Reasons for Challenges 2021

Word cloud of reasons for challenges featuring sexually explicit, LGBTQIA, Woke, Obscene, Critical Race Theory

Censorship By the Numbers 2021

Censorship by the Numbers The who, what, where, and why of censorship. Download and share our Censorship by the Numbers graphics to spread the word about challenges to library and school materials and services.