Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week, October 1-7, 2023: Let Freedom Read

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For more than 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community—librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, writers, journalists, and readers of all types—in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. 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.

Borrow one of the 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022

20 Banned & Challenged Classics

  • Lolita


    Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich
  • The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby

    Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Lee, Harper.
  • 1984


    Orwell, George, 1903-1950.
  • A Clockwork Orange

    A Clockwork Orange

    Burgess, Anthony, 1917-1993.
  • A Farewell to Arms

    A Farewell to Arms

    Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
  • As I Lay Dying

    As I Lay Dying

    Faulkner, William, 1897-1962.
  • Beloved


    Morrison, Toni.
  • Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963.
  • Catch-22


    Heller, Joseph.
  • Gone With the Wind

    Gone With the Wind

    Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949.
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Kesey, Ken.
  • The Call of the Wild

    The Call of the Wild

    London, Jack, 1876-1916.
  • The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    Salinger, J. D. (Jerome David), 1919-2010.
  • The Color Purple

    The Color Purple

    Walker, Alice, 1944-
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    The Grapes of Wrath

    Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.
  • The Lord of the Flies

    The Lord of the Flies

    Golding, William, 1911-1993.
  • The Lord of the Rings

    The Lord of the Rings

    Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973.
  • Tropic of Cancer

    Tropic of Cancer

    Miller, Henry, 1891-1980.
  • Ulysses


    Joyce, James

    2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the publication of this novel by James Joyce.

15 Banned & Challenged Graphic Novels

En español


Demands for Censorship

There were 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since the American Library Association began compiling censorship data more than 20 years ago.


Unique Titles Targeted

A record 2,571 unique titles were targeted for censorship in 2022, a 38% increase from last year. Of the overall number of books challenged, 90% were part of attempts to censor multiple titles.

This is nationwide data. Source: American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom

What Does It Mean When a Book Is …?


A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.


The removal of materials from a library based on the objections of a person or group.


Limiting or removing access to words, images, or ideas.

Intellectual Freedom

Intellectual freedom gives people the right to think for themselves. It respects individual dignity and self-rule. This freedom allows people to form their own ideas and opinions by questioning the world around them. Every person has the right to access information from all points of view.


When we ban books, we're closing off readers to people, places, and perspectives. But when we stand up for stories, we unleash the power that lies inside every book. We liberate the array of voices that need to be heard and the scenes that need to be seen. Let freedom read!

Read Freely with Los Angeles Public Library

The Los Angeles Public Library is making a selection of the most challenged books reported to the American Library Association available to anyone in the United States ages 13 and up through 2023. Sign up to access the titles.