Top 100 List of Banned Books 2023

The stories that made this list of banned books 2023, are a collection of books from over the years that have been challenged, banned, and sometimes burned. 

These books have been challenged across the world for obscenity, sexual overtones, religious reasons, and more. 

Here is the top 100 list of banned books in 2023.

1. Maus by Art Spiegelman


This is a definitive novel about the horrors of the Holocaust – easy to see why it’s on the list of banned books 2022. The first volume was published in 1986 and the second in 1992. Through his use of cartoons, Art Spiegelman detailed the horrors of the Nazi invasion and Holocaust. The book was banned by some states for profanity and nudity. It is also believed that removing this book from shelves is a convenient whitewashing of tragic historical events.

2. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Gender Queer is an autobiographical graphic novel, that explores coming out to the family as non-binary. It’s no shock that it’s been criticized by religious conservatives since it was published in 2019, for exploring these topics: adolescent sexuality, asexuality, and the differences between gender identity and sexuality.

3. 1984 by George Orwell

1984 is one of the most banned books of all time, therefore it’s on our list of banned books 2022. The book was challenged for being “pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter.” The novel gives insight to those who are under the leadership of oppressive regimes. It’s been banned and burned.

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4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

This book tells the story of Percola Breedlove, a black girl who longs for blue eyes. Her dreams come true, but it isn’t the fantasy she’s hoping for. The book uses graphic descriptions and offensive language.

5. The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank

While you would assume in on this list of banned books 2022 for the obvious reasons of a young girl hiding for her life during the Holocaust, think again. Many felt Anne’s description of her anatomy was “pornographic.”

6. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This book, although it is very well loved, has been said to be unsuitable for young readers because of issues with racism and sexuality. Although it makes the list of banned books 2022, the book is still as popular as ever. 

Argentina

7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This book has been banned in Argentina because of the core: it’s written as a middle-aged narrator obsessed with a 12-year-old girl. 

Australia

8. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

In this book, a Wall Street stiff expresses his true self through torture and murder, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia. It is banned in the state of Queensland and only sold to adults in other parts of the country.

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Austria

9. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

This book was written by Adolf Hitler during his prison term in 1923. This book, which translates to, “my struggle,” was banned to limit Hitler’s influence. 

Brazil

10. Roberto Carlos em Detalhes by Paulo César de Araújo

The author of this biographical book was sued by the singer himself over rights to his life history. In Brazil, it can be easy to land on the list of banned books 2022, because of a strict rule that prohibits people from writing biographies without having permission from the subject or their relatives. 

Canada

11. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Just like To Kill a Mockingbird, parents challenged this book to be taken from shelves and recommended reading lists in Saint John (NB) School District 20, Canada. The issue? Racism in characterization and language. 

12. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

And Tango Makes Three has a spot on this list of banned books 2022 because it’s about two penguins who create a nontraditional family. In 2006, a parent in Calgary Catholic School District complained about this book because two male penguins raise a baby penguin, so her challenge: homosexual parenting. The library asked the Religious Education Department to review the book and eventually removed it from its shelves. 

China

13. No Enemies, No Hatred by Liu Xiaobo

This is a collection of essays and poems by Liu Xiaobo, who writes about peacefully defending human rights. All works by this author are banned in China. 

Egypt

14. Feast for the Seaweeds by Haidar Haidar

This is a book about gender equality, liberalism, and dictatorship in the Arab world.

India

15. Dhundi by Yogesh Master

Dhundi was banned across India in 2013 because it was believed that the book contained materials against the god Ganesha. 

Indonesia

16. Five Cities That Ruled the World by Douglas Wilson

Theologian Douglas Wilson chronicles how the world’s 5 most powerful cities – Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York – have shaped the world’s history. In Indonesia, the book was accused of blasphemy and thousands of copies were burned. 

Ireland

17. The Dark by John McGahern

This book was originally banned in 1965 and the ban was lifted in 1972. The story takes a look at violence, religion, and life in the middle of the century for many Irish young men. It was seen to be “indecent or obscene.” 

Italy

18. Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Leonni

The mayor of Venice banned this picture book about two little circles, one yellow, and one blue, because it undermines “family values.” Have any of these books on our list of banned books 2022 surprised you? 

Kenya

19. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

This novel follows the lives of two migrants, but it was banned in several countries because it challenged the divine nature of the Quran. 

Malaysia

20. Fifty Shades of Grey (and sequels) by E.L. James

These sequels are part of this list of banned books 2022 because of, you guessed it, it’s explicit sexual content. The country believes the film is also “more pornography than a movie.”

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Maldives

21. The Bible

The Maldives is a place with one race, one language, one religion. Islam is the only religion allowed in the country, so it makes sense that the Bible is banned here. 

North Korea

22. The Quran

North Korea has banned most religious texts, and The Quran, the central text of Islam, is no different, giving it a spot on the list of banned books 2022. Psst! Many other countries have banned this text too.

Russia

23. Apocalypse Culture by Adam Parfrey

This book was confiscated and burned to keep people from reading it. It’s hard to describe this one, it’s a doomsday book that emphasizes the idea of a giant catastrophe. But it’s easy to see why it’s a part of this list of banned books 2022. 

Scotland

24. ‘De iure regni apud Scotos’, by George Buchanan

According to the National Library of Scotland, “Humanist scholar and poet Buchanan approved the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots, arguing it was in accordance with the laws of Scotland and of God. In Scotland, politics and religion were inextricably linked, which is also partly the subject of his treatise.” 

United Arab Emirates

25. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

While we know this book has topped the American Library Association’s list of most challenged or censored books in America, it has also been banned in schools in the United Arab Emirates for being un-Islamic. 

Check out these other banned books and comment on why you think they were blacklisted!

26. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (U.S.)
27. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (U.S.)
28. Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev (India)
29. Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry (India)
30. My Father’s Daughter by Hannah Pool (Eritrea)
31. One Day of Life by Manlio Argueta (El Salvador)
32. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (Cuba)
33. Fahrenheit 451 (U.S.)
34. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (U.S.)
35. All Boys Aren’t Blue (U.S.)
36. Heather Has Two Mommies? (U.S.)
37. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (U.S.)
38. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez (U.S.)
39. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (U.S.)
40. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (U.S.)
41. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (U.S.)
42. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison (U.S.)
43. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson (U.S.)
44. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin (U.S.)
45. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (U.S.)
46. The Giver by Lois Lowry (U.S.)
47. The Call of the Wild by Jack London (U.S.)
48. Where’s Waldo? (U.S.)
49. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (U.S.)
50. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (U.S.)
51. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (U.S.)
52. George by Alex Gino (U.S.)
53. His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman (U.S.)
54. In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado (U.S.)
55. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones (U.S.)
56. Animal Farm by George Orwell (U.S.)
57. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (U.S.)
58. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (U.S.)
59. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (U.S.)
60. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel by Zora Neale Hurston (U.S.)
61. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman (U.S.)
62. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (U.S.)
63. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (U.S.)
64. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (U.S.)
65. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (U.S.)
66. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (U.S.)
67. The Devil’s Discus by Rayne Kruger (Thailand)
68. The History of the Russian State by Boris Akunin (Ukraine)
69. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (U.S.)
70. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (U.S.)
71. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (U.S.)
72. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (U.S.)
73. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (U.S.)
74. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Iran)
75. All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan (Israel)
76. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman (Japan)
77. The Joke in the Arab World by Khaled Qashtin (Jordan)
78. Better to Stand and Die by Chang Lin and Shu Yang (Myanmar)
79. Into the River by Ted Dawe (New Zealand)
80. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie (Nigeria)
81. Jinnah of Pakistan by Stanley Wolpert (Pakistan)
82. The Boys by Garth Ennis (Qatar)
83. Queen of Sheba and Biblical Scholarship by Bernard Leeman (Saudi Arabia)
84. Bad Samaritans by Ha-Joon Chang (South Korea)
85. Farina by Nacho Carretero (Spain)
86. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds (U.S.)
87. The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle (U.S.)
88. How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi (U.S.)
89. I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel (U.S.)
90. We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (U.S.)
91. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Canada & U.S.)
92. China Dream by Ma Jian (China)
93. Beartown by Fredrik Backman (U.S.)
94. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (U.S.)
95. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
96. A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (U.S.)
97. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (South Africa)
98. For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (Spain)
99. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence (U.K.)
100. Letters From Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma)

Now that you’ve seen our list of banned books 2023, what did you think? Did any of these surprise you? Leave us a comment below!

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