Banned Books Week 2017

Hi Everyone! I’m blogging outside the box today because it is #BannedBooksWeek! I decided to do a little research on the honorary week, and suggest you check out the American Library Association (ALA) list of banned and challenged books!

I did so myself, and wasn’t surprised at what I saw on the banned books list- mostly books that were ahead of their time or had controversial points of view. As it is, some of these are still talked about in controversy! What did surprise me is that the novels have I read, were read between middle and high school ages- formative years. Each one has broadened my understanding of the time periods, taught me to see both sides of conflicts and resolutions, helped me sort where my moral values stand, and fueled my love for historical fiction!

Those with asterisks (*) denote that I have read the book, and those with links are ones I have reviewed on this blog.

Banned Classics:

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Ulysses, by James Joyce*
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
1984, by George Orwell
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
Native Son by Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London*
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Sophie’s Choise by William Styron
Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Women in Love by DH Lawrence
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run by John Updike

Then we reach the challenged books. This list really surprised me. I know I read about a third of these before I even entered middle school, and I haven’t read any of these post high school graduation. To think of a child reading challenged books- *gasp*! Of course, when I skimmed through the entire selection of challenged books, I understand many of them had adult themes- sex, mostly, but also drugs, violence, strong language and other controversial content that would make any movie “Rated R”. But some of these on my list- Junie B. Jones, REALLY?!- were shocking.

Those with links are ones I have reviewed on this blog.

Top Ten Challenged Books from 1990-2009 That I Have Read:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine

The Witches, by Roald Dahl

Blubber, by Judy Blume

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

Carrie, by Stephen King

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer


So there you have it- I’m completely guilty of reading these books, and I’m thankful that I’ve had the freedom- AND HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGED- to read them all. I think that reading has helped me become the mature, well-rounded, educated woman that I am, and every book has allowed me to open my mind, experience life through someone else, and ingrained the moral of the stories into my body. I’ll always carry a bit of Scout, Scarlett, Ponyboy , The Golden Trio, Tom and Huck, and Gatsby and Daisy… all of them along within me. And, above all, I encourage others to do the same- to learn from these characters, to express their thoughts and ideas, and to keep their minds open.

Now, it’s your turn! Feel free to share what banned books you’ve read!

Categories: Growth & Discussion

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4 replies

  1. I can understand why some of those books were challenged, but why in the world was Junie B. Jones challenged?? I love her!

  2. Great post and I am always intrigued by banned books and their history!

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