All About Banned Books


Americans love banning books, and the winners of this year’s most banned books have been announced by the American Library Association. John Green’s young adult novel Looking for Alaska takes the top spot, keeping Green in the top ten. He was joined this year by the Bible.

Other big winners on the top ten list include books focusing on LBGTQ issues, such as I Am Jazz, Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, and Two Boys Kissing. Last year’s winner, Sherman Alexie, recently announced he would cancel a stopover in North Carolina over the state’s anti-person law dictating bathroom usage by birth certificate gender.

The winners of America’s most banned books were announced two weeks after the Chinese government scared Hong Kong bookseller Lee Po into swearing off the publication of banned books forever. A group of booksellers mysteriously disappeared from Hong Kong late last year for publishing books banned by the mainland.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →