North Carolina’s Most Infamous Challenged and Banned Books

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

There is nothing like cozying up with a blanket, a hot tea, and a good book. The selections are vast. However, school districts and legislators across the Tar Heel State are banning various novels more and more.   

Most of those books have to do with “mature” themes such as LGBTQ+ and gender-based topics, which have been deemed to be out of bounds for young adults by leaders across North Carolina.  

World Book Day is Tuesday, April 23. In celebration, BetCarolina is coming off its celebration of North Carolina sports betting and decided to see what NC residents' favorite banned or challenged books are. Using a list of the top 13 most banned and challenged books according to the American Library Association, we used Google Trends to see how often those books were searched in North Carolina. The search period was between March 8 – April 8, 2024. 

See for Terms. Must be 21+ to participate & present in NC only. New Customer Offer. Subject to eligibility requirements. Rewards are non-withdrawable bonus bets that expire in 7 days. Gambling problem? Call 877-718-5543 or visit

North Carolina’s Most Popular Banned Books

Rank Book Author Search Interest Score
1 The Perks of Being a WallflowerStephen Chbosky22
2 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman Alexie9
3 Lawn BoyJonathan Evison8
4 CrankEllen Hopkins6
5 FlamerMike Curato5
T-6 A Court of Mist and FurySarah J. Maas3
T-6 Gender QueerMaia Kobabe3
T-8 Looking for AlaskaJohn Green2
T-8 All Boys Aren’t BlueGeorge M. Johnson2
10 Out of DarknessAshley Hope Perez1

Which Banned Books Are The Most Popular?

At the top of the list when it comes to search volume around books that are banned in the state, you’ll 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, who navigates his own sexuality, in addition to drug use, sexual assault and topics surrounding mental health.  

Chbosky’s 1999 novel was the top banned book in North Carolina, with a search interest score of 22, ranking well ahead of Sherman Alexie’s 2007 novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," which was written about a 14-year-old named Junior’s time spent on the Spokane Indian Reservation for its descriptions surrounding a host of hot-button subjects, from sexuality to alcohol use and eating disorders.  

Alexie’s 2007 book was second in North Carolina with a search interest score of nine, while Jonathan Evison’s "Lawn Boy" (eight search interest score), Ellen Hopkins’ "Crank" (six search interest score) and "Flamer" by Mike Curato (five search interest score) rounded out the top five banned books in the state.  

Throw in "A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J. Maas and "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe (three search interest scores each), "Looking for Alaska" by John Green, and "All Boys Aren’t Blue" by George M. Johnson (two search interest scores each) and "Out of Darkness" by Ashley Hope Perez (one search interest score) and you have the full rundown on the most popular banned books in the Tar Heel State this year.  

Stay with as we not only cover North Carolina sports betting apps, but lifestyle stories like this around the Tar Heel State.


Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as: