As there is a lack of consistent and reliable sources regarding book banning for most of recorded history, it’s impossible to determine which books and authors have been banned the most. It’s also important to note that, even with the more accurate and reliable reports over the last few decades, over 80-90% of all book bans and challenges remain unreported.
We used the most extensive available database on book-banning efforts, ALA’s list of banned and challenged titles, to compile this report that shows the most banned authors since 1990. We calculated our WordsRated Ban Score to rank authors by the frequency and the number of banned titles during this period.
Who is the most banned author of all time?
- Toni Morrison has been the most frequently banned author since 1990. Her books have been on the list of the 100 most banned titles in each of the previous 3 decades, reaching the top 10 between 2010 and 2019.
- Judy Blume is the second most banned author since the 90s, appearing on the 100 most banned list from 1990 to 1999.
- Robert Cormier’s titles appeared on the list of the 10 most frequently banned books between 1990 and 2009, making him the third most banned author of all time.
- Books written by the 10 most banned authors since 1990 account for 33% of all top 10 most banned titles for each of the past 3 decades.
The list of the 25 most frequently banned authors, according to our metrics, is presented in the table below:
|Author||Banned titles||WordsRated ban rank|
|Toni Morrison||The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Song of Solomon||155|
|Judy Blume||Forever…, Blubber, Deenie, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret., Tiger Eyes||141|
|Robert Cormier||The Chocolate War, We All Fall Down, Fade||118|
|Alvin Schwartz||Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (series), Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat||106|
|Robie Harris||It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, It’s So Amazing||104|
|Lois Lowry||The Giver, Anastasia Krupnik (series)||99|
|Dav Pilkey||Captain Underpants (series), The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby||98|
|Katherine Paterson||Bridge to Terabithia, The Great Gilly Hopkins||96|
|Mark Twain||Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer||88|
|Phyllis Reynolds Naylor||Alice (series)||88|
|John Steinbeck||Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath||86|
|Harper Lee||To Kill a Mockingbird||75|
|J. D. Salinger||The Catcher in the Rye||74|
|Alice Walker||The Color Purple||72|
|Maya Angelou||I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings||68|
|Walter Dean Myers||Fallen Angels, Monster||64|
|Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson||And Tango Makes Three||63|
|Aldous Huxley||Brave New World||61|
|Lauren Myracle||Internet Girls (series)||60|
|Stephen Chbosky||The Perks of Being a Wallflower||58|
|Chris Crutcher||Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories, Whale Talk, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Running Loose||56|
|Lois Duncan||Killing Mr. Griffin, Daughters of Eve||53|
|James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier||My Brother Sam Is Dead, Jump Ship to Freedom||52|
|Anonymous||Go Ask Alice||52|
|Maurice Sendak||In the Night Kitchen||51|
- Judy Blume’s books have appeared on the list of the most banned books of the decade 9 times since 1990, the most among all banned authors.
- Toni Morrison appeared 8 times on the top 100 most banned books list over this period, second-most of all time.
- Robert Cormier, Lois Lowry, and Chris Crutcher appeared on the lists of the most banned 5 times, tied for the 3rd spot.
- Out of 224 authors whose books appeared on the list of the most frequently banned titles since 1990, 33% of all titles come from only 25 authors.
|Author||Times appeared on the 90s most banned list||Times appeared on the 00s most banned list||Times appeared on the 10s most banned list|
|Walter Dean Myers||1||1||2|
|Phyllis Reynolds Naylor||1||1||1|
|J. D. Salinger||1||1||1|
|James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier||2||1||0|
|R. L. Stine||1||1||1|
Which author has most of their books banned?
- From 1990 to 2019, 33 authors had multiple of their titles appearing on the list of the most banned books of the decade.
- Their books account for 30% of all most banned titles over this period.
- Judy Blume is the author with the most banned books since 1990, as 5 of her titles appeared on lists of the 100 most banned over the past 3 decades.
- Chris Crutcher, Ellen Hopkins, and Stephen King have 4 of their titles appearing on the most banned list over this period.
- Toni Morrison, Robert Cormier, S. E. Hinton, Bret Easton Ellis, Ernest Hemingway, and D. H. Lawrence has 3 books included on the most banned list since 1990.
The list of authors with the most titles appearing on the most banned books list from 1990 to 2019 is presented in the table below:
|Author||Titles among the most banned||Banned titles|
|Judy Blume||5||Forever…, Blubber, Deenie, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret., Tiger Eyes|
|Chris Crutcher||4||Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories, Whale Talk, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Running Loose|
|Ellen Hopkins||4||Crank, Burned, Glass, Tricks|
|Stephen King||4||Cujo, Carrie, The Dead Zone, Christine|
|Toni Morrison||3||The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Song of Solomon|
|Robert Cormier||3||The Chocolate War, We All Fall Down, Fade|
|S. E. Hinton||3||The Outsiders, That Was Then, This Is Now, Taming the Star Runner|
|Bret Easton Ellis||3||American Psycho, Less than Zero, The Rules of Attraction|
|Ernest Hemingway||3||A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises|
|D. H. Lawrence||3||Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love|