For the second year in a row, Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer was the most challenged book in the U.S. in 2022, according to the American Library Association’s list of the most challenged books in 2022.  Book challenges are attempts to remove books from school or public libraries, and there were 151 such attempts on Gender Queer last year. Mike Curato’s memoir Flamer, published by Henry Holt in 2020, was the fourth most challenged book, with 62 recorded attempted removals. Gender Queer is an adult title, although it won the ALA’s Alex Award for best adult books for teens, while Flamer is a young adult graphic novel. Both books were challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and were alleged to be sexually explicit.

Book challenges soared in 2021 and 2022 (see “Library Book Challenges Up 8X Since 2020”), and in 2022 the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recorded 1,269 separate challenges covering 2,571 unique titles.  While the ALA usually releases a Top Ten list, this year they had to expand to 13 titles because several books received the same number of challenges.

Gender Queer was not only the most challenged book of 2021 (see “Most Frequently Challenged Book of 2021”), it was the subject of an obscenity case in 2022, when a Virginia attorney tried to have it declared obscene.  The judge in that case struck down the obscenity statute as unconstitutional (see “‘Gender Queer’ Case”).

Kobabe is currently working on a middle-grade graphic novel (see “‘Gender Queer’ Creator Moves from Oni to Graphix”), while Curato will contribute a story featuring Wiccan to the upcoming anthology of kids’ stories featuring Marvel characters to be published by Abrams (see “Marvel, Abrams Team Up for Middle-Grade Superhero Anthology”).