Maryland’s Most Infamous Challenged and Banned Books

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Digging into a good book is a great way to expand your knowledge and keep your mind sharp.

Of course, states more and more are banning certain books and Maryland is no exception.

World Book Day will be upon us shortly, on Tuesday, April 23. To acknowledge the day, paused from constant Maryland sports betting coverage and decided to see what are the favorite banned or challenged books of state residents.

To do so, we started with a list of the top 13 most banned and challenged books, according to the American Library AssociationWe then used Google Trends to see how often those books were searched in Maryland. The search period was between March 8-April 8, 2024. 

Maryland’s Most Popular Banned Books

RankBookAuthorSearch Interest Score
1The Perks of Being a WallflowerStephen Chbosky33
2A Court of Mist and FurySarah J. Maas11
3 Out of Darkness Ashley Hope Perez10
4CrankEllen Hopkins8
5 Gender Queer Maia Kobabe6
6 Looking for Alaska John Green5
7All Boys Aren’t Blue George M. Johnson4
8Lawn BoyJonathan Evison3
9FlamerMike Curato2
10This Book Is GayJuno Dawson1


Getting a Reading on Most-Searched

At the top of the list when it comes to search volume around books that are banned in the state, you will find Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which redefined the young adult literary genre in 1999 by chronicling the thinking of an adolescent boy named Charlie. 

That 1999 novel (33 search interest score) beat out Sarah J. Maas’ 2015 young adult romance novel, “A Court of Mist and Fury,” which is part of the author’s “A Court of Thorns and Roses” quintet of novels, which were released between 2015 and 2021. The series made its way onto The New York Times Best Seller list, while also getting picked up as a TV series by Hulu. The Maas book finished second with a search interest score of 11.

Trailing those two seminal young adult novels was Ashley Hope Perez’s “Out of Darkness” (10 search volume score). “Crank,” by Ellen Hopkins, was fourth in the state, with a score of eight.

Rounding out the Maryland banned books list was “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe (six search interest score), “Looking for Alaska” by Josh Green (5), “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson (4), “Lawn Boy”by Jonathan Evison (3), Mike Curato’s “Flamer” (2) and “This Book is Gay”by Juno Dawson (1).

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Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.2021-08-02

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