20 books worth your reading time that have been banned at some point

20 books worth your reading time that have been banned at some point

Every September the American Library Association celebrates the freedom to read with Banned Books Week, happening now, conveniently timed with our next category for the 2018 MMD Reading Challenge: “a book that was banned at some point.”

First off, what do we mean by “banned?” We’re talking a book that was removed from circulation at a library or school because somebody complained about it.

For this category, I’ve chosen twenty books that have been banned at some point for your TBR consideration. As you can see, these books have been banned—and continue to be removed from the shelves—for a wide variety of reasons. The American Library Association compiles these each year, and the accumulated stats make for very interesting reading.

The ALA isn’t saying these books are for everyone, or that everyone should read them. They are saying readers and their families should have the opportunity to decide for themselves.

Scan the list, load up your TBR, and tell us what you are reading for this category in comments.

Books That Have Been Banned At Some Point
The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale

Author:
This dystopian novel, set in a future where women have no control over their bodies, is a staple of high school reading lists ... and banned books list. It's made the list of the American Library Association's most frequently banned and challenged books for the past few decades. Reasons for censoring the novel include profanity, violence, sexual content, and suicide. I'd been meaning to read this classic for years, and after hearing good things about Claire Danes's narration, I gave this a try on audio. SO GOOD (although definitely hard in places, because of the nature of the content. The understated narration made the story compulsively listenable (is that a word?) and extra-creepy. More info →
Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Author:
This book has been repeatedly banned over the years, which is ironic, given that the book itself is about book-banning. Bradbury's slim sci-fi/fantasy novel revolves around a fireman who hates his job set in the saddest of dystopian settings: a future with no books. Firemen start the fires in Bradbury's future, to burn any and all books as they are found. One of these books is the Bible, which is what most often triggers the censorship. When it was published, Bradbury was outspoken about the fact that he in fact had the growing influence of television over Americans in mind when he wrote it. More info →
Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Author:
John Green's 2005 novel and Printz Award winner was the most challenged book of 2015; according to the American Library Association, the most frequently cited reasons for the requests to remove it from a school or library were "offensive language and "sexually explicit descriptions." John Green responded, "What usually happens with Looking for Alaska is that a parent chooses one page of the novel to send to an administrator and then the book gets banned without anyone who objects to it having read more than that one particular page.” More info →
Huck Finn

Huck Finn

Author:
Hemingway had strong words for this novel, saying, "It's the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since." And yet it was banned just one month after its publication, and the American Library Association says it continues to be one of the most challenged books in U. S. schools because of its charged use of the "n" word to engage slavery. More info →
Catch-22

Catch-22

This classic 1961 war novel was banned for "indecent" language. This is the story of a WWII bomber named Yossarian who is desperate to evade the war but trapped by the military rule from which the novel takes its title: a pilot is believed to be insane if he continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he requests to be excused because they're dangerous then he's obviously sane enough to fly. This title frequently appears on "best of the century" reading lists. More info →
The Giver

The Giver

Author:
Welcome to the "ideal" future, where a perfect society embraces Sameness. But something sinister lurks beneath the surface of this tightly controlled community. At a much-anticipated ceremony, the resident twelve-year-olds are sorted into vocational assignments, Harry Potter-style. Jonas is skipped over, and the Chief Elder soon reveals why: instead of receiving a typical assignment, Jonas has been chosen to be the next receiver of memory. When he begins his training with the old man known as The Giver, he discovers books, colors, snow, and love—and he begins to understand what his people lost when they gave away their memories. More info →
The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

Salinger's 1951 novel introduced us to Holden Caulfield, who has served as the prime symbol of adolescent angst ever since. In 1960, a Tulsa high school teacher was fired for assigning the work: his job was reinstated, but the book stayed off the reading list. This American classic has remained on the American Library Association's "most challenged works" list for years. The work has been banned for a variety of reasons, including sexual content, language, inappropriate slang, moral issues, and references to occult practices. More info →
Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country

Author:
This novel has been called the most famous and important novel in South Africa's history, and was an Oprah Book Club selection. It was an immediate international bestseller when it was first published in 1948. It was banned in Paton's home country of South Africa due to its "politically dangerous" material. Through this story of a man who sets out on a journey to find his lost son, Paton vividly portrays what it is like for those of any race to live in a starkly divided society. More info →
The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

Author:
Hosseini's critically acclaimed, bestselling novel is about an unlikely friendship between two boys growing up in Afghanistan: one from a privileged family, one the son of that family's servant. It's been frequently challenged since its 2003 publication for violence, including sexual violence. I abandoned this one because an early scene made me queasy, but I think I need to try again. Despite the mature themes, many of you call this the best book you ever read. More info →
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Author:
Marjane Satrapi, in her graphic memoir, tells her bittersweet tale woven together with the history of Iran. The clash between her life in public and her home life comes as a perplexing change to childhood as she had known it. Persepolis introduces us to the cost of the Islamic Revolution through her own eyes. Reasons it's been banned: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. More info →
Beloved

Beloved

Author:
This isn't an easy book to read (and if you struggle through the first half, you're not alone), but persevering readers will be rewarded with one of the most important and beautifully written historical novels in the American canon. Reasons it's been banned: sexually explicit, religion, violence. More info →
Lolita

Lolita

After dismissing this novel for years, it's re-earned a place on my TBR, because so many great readers I know admire it as a testament to the power of the written word. (I have my eye on the audio edition, narrated by Jeremy Irons, because I keep hearing Nabokov's superbly-crafted prose is even better when read aloud.) Some critics argue that Humbert Humbert is the best example of the unreliable narrator in literature; others argue that he's not unreliable, just painfully honest. More info →
The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

Author:
This has been called "the Black Lives Matter novel," for good reason. Thomas seamlessly blends current events with lower-stakes themes common to teens everywhere, with great success. At age 16, Starr Carter has lost two close friends to gun violence: one in a drive-by; one shot by a cop. The latter is the focus of this novel: Starr is in the passenger seat when her friend Khalil is fatally shot by a police officer. She is the sole witness. Fun fact: the title comes from a Tupac lyric. Despite being showered with awards and nominations, including the Edgar (YA) and Odyssey Award (Audiobook), this YA novel was banned in some schools and libraries because it was considered "vulgar" and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language. More info →
Invisible Man

Invisible Man

Author:
I'm a sucker for a good first line, and Ellison delivers: "I am an invisible man." Not because he's not made out of flesh and blood, but because no one has much interest in seeing Ellison's protagonist, an African-American man in 1950s Harlem, for who he actually is. Published in the 1952, this book has been challenged in the 70s, 90s, and as recently as 2013 for concerns about language, violence, and sex. More info →
As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying

The story, again set in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, is narrated by 15 different characters over 59 chapters. The backstory on this slim novel is truly astounding. Faulkner claimed that he wrote it in 6 weeks, working from midnight to 4:00 a.m., and that he didn't change a word. Consistently cited as one of the best novels of the 20th century, both for its own sake and for the great influence it had over subsequent fiction, and banned numerous times for profanity, sexuality, and religious elements. More info →
Brave New World

Brave New World

Author:
This novel, originally published—and banned—in 1932, has been banned repeatedly over the years, right up to the present time, for sexual content, offensive language, and insensitivity. Irony alert: the problem with banning a dystopian novel that envisions a totalitarian future world where literary content is strictly regulated is that it provides even more Brave New World discussion fodder delighted English teachers. While it's been removed from many libraries and reading lists, it still makes frequent appearances on others. More info →
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Author:
In her debut, Angelou tells the haunting story of her childhood in the American South in the 1930s. The prose is incredible, and the story is by turns heartwarming ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") and utterly heartbreaking. Though considered a modern classic by many, this novel has been repeatedly banned since its 1969 publication, primarily for sexual content. More info →
The Sun Also Rises

The Sun Also Rises

Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley are two of Hemingway's most well-known characters. The novel examines the disenchantment of the post-war generation as it follows the expatriates through Spanish bullfights to Paris jazz clubs. Hemingway's classic story of the Lost Generation has been banned around the US, and Hemingway's works were burned in Germany in the 1930s, for being "monuments to modern decadence." More info →
Animal Farm

Animal Farm

Author:
Irony alert: The author who brought us the term "thought police" has had multiple books of his own find their way onto banned books lists. Animal Farm is his satirical allegory of the Russian revolution as told through the eyes of farm animals. But some of the text of the animals' manifestos got Orwell himself labled as a communist. More info →
Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter Series

Author:
Beloved, bestselling, and still making frequent appearances on the American Library Association's list of most challenged books. Orphaned Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is until he turns 11 and receives his invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which is exactly like any other British boarding school, but for the subject matter. When the series opens Harry and friends are young and innocent, and the reader delights in leaving the muggle world to learn about this strange reality occupied by witches and wizards. But as the series progresses the plots escalate, drawing us into an overarching battle of good versus evil. More info →

Any surprises on this list? Which banned book are YOU choosing for your reading challenge?

 

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68 comments

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  1. Pretty proud of how many of these I’ve read–though I will say Looking for Alaska was NOT okay for my 14 yo to be reading. But I also should have vetted it first because I bought it for her! Led to an interesting conversation and her quitting because she recognized she was not ready for a book with that sexually explicit a scene. Funny story–I was telling this story at your event, Anne, and the girl in line with me knew which book I was talking about without me saying the title.

  2. Jennifer Geisler says:

    Excellent list. I’m proud to say I have read many of them (my mother was a librarian…) It would be a boon to parents if you would post a list of children’s books that have been banned – some quite recently. My library is featuring them and I was shocked by the choices……how do we help our children approach life with an open mind if we think our role is to hide different ideas from them?

      • Kara Middleton says:

        That is absolutely my very favorite childhood books, and it among others sparked my love of reading. Do you know why it was challenged/banned? I can’t imagine!

        • I applied to be a summer worker at the children’s library and when I was asked about my favorite book, I told them. I was told with disdain that it had been banned because it encouraged children to eavesdrop on adults and to sneak into places they didn’t belong. LOL that was my life! I carried around my own notebook and copied down dialogue I heard. I’m pretty sure my parents knew what I was doing. They bought the notebooks and let me check out the book over and over. I say Harriet the Spy is why I became a writer. 🙂

      • Darla Rennegarbe says:

        I LOVED Harriet the Spy!! It was brought to mind recently, because I was wondering what would be on my “Ideal Bookshelf” I think Harriet inspired many present day authors….you mean EVERYONE didn’t carry around a notebook? 😉 I mean, I still do!

    • Nichole says:

      I think it was one the or Mr. Limoncello’s library books that had an entire list of banned books in it. My daughter asked if she could read them and my answer was “yes, any and all.”

        • Nichole says:

          Mr. Limoncello is a series of kids’ books. There’s Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Library, Mr. Limoncello’s Library Olympics, and Mr. Limoncello’s Great Library Race…or something along those lines. 🙂 Cute stories that my kids and I read together. Anyway, I think it’s in the back of the Library Olympics that they give a list of children’s books that have been banned over the years. It has been a little while since I read it, but I’m almost positive that’s the book I’m thinking of!

  3. This is an excellent list and I’ve read (and taught) many of these books; however, a list of “books worth your reading time that have been banned at some point” must included To Kill a Mockingbird!

  4. Nichole says:

    I don’t know what it says about me that some of my favorite required reading from high school and college is on this list…specifically Farenheit 451 and Catch 22, but a lot of these titles were required reading for me. I’ve read two of these this year: The Giver (reread and I still love it) and The Handmaid’s Tale (creepy, but not a true hit for me) and overall read 12/20. I must have had some language arts teachers who likes to push limits. 😂

    • Lolita is one of my all-time favourites; it’s SO confronting and very challenging, but SO BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely masterful <3 I've been a bit obsessed with banned books this year, and looking over my read list, almost all of them have been banned somewhere at some point, for one ridiculous reason or another… My favourite has to be Brave New World, which was challenged for "making promiscuous sex look like fun". HA!

  5. Definitely have read most of these, and I am always surprised to see Harry Potter on these kinds of lists. I mean…there’s an entire set-up in Disney World/Universal Studios generated from this series!! And it’s the ultimate “good triumphs over evil” story! I honestly don’t understand how anyone can read this series and not fall in love with it and the amazing world that Rowling created — and, even if for some reason you DON’T love it, how could you even consider banning it?!? Wackadoos.

    • Halie says:

      While I myself LOVE the HP series (and all of the ensuing “stuff” that goes with it), some people are so conservative, every form of “magic” is seen as evil. They don’t care to hear about the amazing themes of friendship, love, perseverance, and as you stated “ultimate good triumphs over evil” story, because they believe anything with magic is bad! Again, I don’t agree with this, just thought I’d try to shed some light as to the “why” with HP & magic.

      • Jenelle says:

        I have a friend that is selectively religious and she did ban HP from her home until her kids were confident in their relationship with God because of magic. It was all very Salem witch trials 🙄🙄🙄

        • Natalie says:

          Sounds like she was a mom doing her job. 😉 (BTW, I have read all the HP books and love them. I just think that parents, in general, don’t take enough interest in what their kids watch or read these days.)

    • d says:

      The HP books 1-3 were out when I did a paper on this in college. Yes, I found a way to make reading Harry Potter equivalent with studying for college!

      At that time, most of the censure was not about the “good triumphs over evil” theme of the books, but its link to witchcraft in general, and a fear that it would normalize, condone, or serve as a gateway to occultist practices.

      The censorship requests were also heavy-loaded toward elementary school libraries, with parents feeling that their kids were not yet mature enough for the content or that the books were just too scary for their child.

      Parents do this all the time for their kids, and we even have parental tools set up to help them decide what’s appropriate for their kids in other forms of media, like movie ratings and parental advisories on video games and music. I almost wish we had a similar system for books because my kids have chosen books for themselves that they found too explicit, too late.

      • I hear ya about flagging material for kids that might be inappropriate for their age. I just reviewed the new Kiersten White novel on my blog, and although I looooooved it, I truly felt it was a little intense for a YA audience, especially since I think many tweens (not just teens) are reading YA these days. As an adult, I found parts of the novel downright disturbing; I certainly wouldn’t want to recommend a 12 year-old read it. And I don’t even have children of my own! LOL.

        However, the Harry Potters feel like a totally different issue! Though, I guess some of the later books get a little intense when Voldemort really amps up the action. I can see a rating system being in place for books, but I would never want to censor a book — especially not Harry Potter! The magic is what makes it fun. 😀

  6. Cathy says:

    I came over to load up my TBR (who am I kidding? I buy them all on Amazon) and I realized I have actually read every one of them. I am a rebel and didn’t know it. And my 15-year-old has, as well. I am raising one, too.

  7. Cameo says:

    So interesting to see Harry Potter on the banned books list. I always thought that it really provided children with powerful life lessons of acceptance and the power of love.

  8. sarah says:

    I wouldn’t have said this a few years ago, but as a parent of an 11 year old I can somewhat understand parents who flip out over content of books their kids read at school. My kid will probably read 20-30 books over the course of a school year that never come home and I don’t even know the titles of. That is a great thing of course, but his is at point where he is not limited by reading level and yet, he is only 11.

  9. Trisha says:

    I plan on reading Fahrenheit 451 for this challenge. It wasn’t assigned reading in high school and it’s been on my list of TBR classics for ages so it’s time! As a side note, I found myself checking the boxes for most of the other challenge categories with my natural reading habits, but this is a category where I had to consciously think about what to read this year… it stretched my reading life (which of course is the goal) so thanks!

  10. Guest says:

    I’m posting this anonymously but my kids’ school does not have ANY Harry Potter books in the school library because, you know, witchcraft or whatever but then they have a ton of Rick Riordan books. Very odd.

    • sarah says:

      That is odd. I’ve read all the Harry Potter books and I have a hard time imagining a parent objecting to them. Although the latter books may be a little dark or scary for young kids particularly if they are very sensitive.

      My second grader is reading them and she is on the 4th book, but this morning she told me she woke in the night after having dreams that spiders were in her bed.

  11. Sylvia King says:

    Wonderful list, and I have read most of these books. The notion of books being banned from libraries and reading lists is strange to me. I have not heard of anything like this here in Germany.

  12. Ashley says:

    I feel a little better that I’m not the only one who couldn’t get through kite runner. That scene was WAY too much for me. I don’t think I’ll ever have the heart to start it again. Anne if you do get brave and finish reading it, let me know how it is for us HSP’s!

    • Darla Rennegarbe says:

      LOVED Black Beauty as a kid! I’m pretty sure it was the first book I owned and can’t recall how many times I read it. I recently bought a new, beautiful hardback copy for my shelves….and think a re-read is in order.

  13. Mary says:

    I have read many of these. I must say that I intensely disliked The Handmaid’s Tale… it just made me feel yucky and uncomfortable while reading it. I wouldn’t ban it – because I think banning books is a slippery slope, but I would ban my own kids from reading it!

    • Colleen says:

      I read it back in 1989, so I can safely say my opinion of it has nothing to do with current politics. I disliked it intensely, as well. I’ve read another Atwood novel and didn’t like that, either. So very bleak. I don’t mind – and even like some – dystopia. But it has to be done right. It’s got to end with hope, or redemption. But, without question, I would never BAN a book because I don’t like its style.

  14. Maggie says:

    I have read 12 of these, and look forward to reading the remaining titles. As a woman in her sixties, and a former English teacher, I can remember some of the bans on these. It is really sad to see Harry Potter on the list. I now serve on the board of a small-town library and for the past several years, we have held a Harry Potter event and each year the number of children who attend grows and grows. It is awesome to the see the imagination these kids bring.

  15. I’m glad I’ve read several of these! I picked up a copy of Beloved at a recent library book sale, so that is next on my list. I was fortunate enough to go to a school that never limited our reading choices; The Kite Runner was our high school’s required reading one year. And despite that one scene, I cannot imagine it being completely banned. It is such a powerful book.

  16. Kerry says:

    This is an interesting discussion for me. I am a librarian at a K-8 parochial school. I have been accused of banning books, although I don’t think that is quite what I do. As parents, we are all concerned about the content that our children read at certain ages. My stance is this: while it is up to the parent to decide what their child should read, it is up to me, as a SCHOOL librarian, to monitor books. I know the books, and the parents know their children. Consequently, there are worthwhile books that I choose to not buy with my (miniscule) budget because I know a parent will have an issue (for example. Peck’s The Best Man). Because I made the decision to not buy that book and have it available, I “banned” the book. (Although, in my defense, I tell the students whom I think would love it, and other “banned” books, to go to the public library and check them out. I NEVER discourage reading!)

    • Lorraine says:

      Yay for NEVER discouraging reading. My mother always said, “I don’t care what you read, so long as you are reading” and I appreciate that now. Did I read a few things that were probably too mature/too intense/too explicit for my age at the time? Yep. Did it “damage” me in any way? Nope. Reading broke open my world, in good and bad ways, but that’s why books are so great.

    • Colleen says:

      Thanks for sharing your unique perspective! This is the kind of (non-family) adult influence I like to have in my children’s lives! Even if you’ve been accused of banning books, I’m sure the majority of parents appreciate what you do, they just don’t speak up.

      I don’t know that I have ever banned any of my children from a book. When I’ve seen a questionable choice come home from the library, I will have a chat/give a spoiler alert, so they know what’s coming. Besides, as has been discussed about adults on MMD, I think books come to kids when they’re ready, too. When my kids aren’t ready for it, they lose interest in the first few chapters and don’t finish the book anyway.

  17. Birgitta Qvarnström Frykner says:

    Have read a couple of these as they were school assignments. The 60- 70ths was a very political and modern era in Swedish schools and so many of these books was a must read during high school. Beg to remind you that the Bible has been and still are banned today.

  18. Anne,
    As a recent subscriber to your emails, I find your recommendations help to widen the scope of my reading choices when I head to the library or bookstore. I have found so many interesting and thought provoking reads that I may never have taken off the shelf. One thing that would help out would be if you would allow your subscribers to print a just a list, without the graphics or descriptions, so that we can take that list with us when shopping or perusing the stacks in the library.
    Thanks

  19. Barbara says:

    I was an avid reader as a child and was so fortunate to have a librarian at our local library take an interest in me and allow me to borrow anything I wanted from the adult stacks as I outgrew the children’s room. The only book my mother raised an eyebrow about was “The Crucible.” My mother never graduated from high school and was proud of my reading and success.

  20. Colleen says:

    Hey, fellow readers! I am enjoying the comments here.

    Thinking of human nature, it seems counter-productive to ban a book. Banning it just makes it more fun for people to read, in a “stick it to the man” sort of way. If it’s a good book, it will stand the test of time. And if it’s a bad book? Ignoring it helps a sub-par book go away faster, in my opinion.

  21. judy h says:

    Isn’t this insane? When my daughter and son were in 7th and 6th grade, respectively, the 3 of us read “The Giver” aloud together. We had so many incredible and enlightening discussions after we finished the book. The story is utterly thought-provoking and introspective, quite a reflective reading experience particularly for middle school students.

  22. Sasha says:

    For this year’s challenge, the banned book I read was “The Absolutely True Diary Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It is part of my goal this year to learn more about First Nations/Metis/Inuit perspectives. It’s part of a book flight that will also include There, There by Tommy Orange. I’d love another recommendation if anyone’s got one.
    Last year, I focussed on the Black perspective, and I was so glad I did. That flight included Homegoing, The Hate U Give and as an audiobook, Born a Crime.
    I find these book flights not only get me out of readin ruts, but out of my own euro-centric thinking ruts too (I live in a predominantly white community and my book tastes usually run along the lines of Kristin Hannah, Anthony Doer, Chris Cleave, etc – all excellent authors, but not very diverse).

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve read almost all of these and am surprised by many of them having been banned!!

    One note based on what you said about The Kite Runner. I read the Kite Runner and absolutely hated it (though don’t think it should be banned—but it was NOT for me.) As a HSP, I found more than just the one horrific scene you reference unbearable; toward the end there is more torture, abuse, and violence and I do NOT recommend you pick it back up, Anne. I read it over 10 years ago and am still haunted by images from those scenes. I did not find the ending worth enduring the bulk of the book, nor did I find it that uplifting or redemptive an ending. Based on what you’ve said before about books where you just don’t go there, I would stay away. If I ever come on the podcast, this may be the book I hate! Don’t do it!

    • Valerie says:

      I’m sorry you “hated” the Kite Runner. Not every book is for everybody. Having said that, I absolutely loved the Kite Runner, it’s one of my favorites and I am not too sensitive about those things. It wasn’t an easy read by any means, but still remains one of my favorites, sorry to hear you had a negative experience.

    • Hannah says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with you, Elizabeth! I was going to leave a similar comment and thought I was going to be the only one until I read yours. I hated The Kite Runner to the very last word.

  24. Erica says:

    I’m a school librarian for a public charter middle/high school. Remember when Fifty Shades of Grey came onto the scene a while back? Well, I can’t tell you how many students, boys and girls, came up to me to ask if we had it in the library (we did not have it!). I explained to the students that we didn’t carry it because I felt that it wasn’t appropriate in content,that was too mature for our library and that it wasn’t well written. Like the librarian who commented earlier, I too told students who wanted to read it that they could find it in the public library. Yet, I’m slightly unsettled by this. Wasn’t I banning a book by doing this? We carry every single one of the books on the list above. Don’t many of those books have mature content similarly explicit? Is it okay to ban or exclude books because they are in poor taste? Who is the arbiter of taste? And here’s the question I ask myself that really makes me cringe, am I going against my ideals of letting every person think and decide for themselves by purposefully excluding this book?

    • Valerie says:

      I don’t think you are necessarily banning a book; however, I’m surprised it’s not on the banned book list considering, as you said, the sexual content in some of the other banned books. Certainly “Fifty Shades” doesn’t just have sexual scenes the book is based solely on that concept.

      I don’t think any book should be banned, but as I said, I’m surprised it’s not.

      I buy a banned book or two every year to add to my collection.

  25. Jillian says:

    I’ve read and enjoyed many of these – most in college after I realized the huge gaping void in my literary education left from attending Catholic high school. May I suggest adding Tess of the D’Urbervilles to the list? I read it between Junior and Senior year of high school because I could not get into Return of the Native and thought it was pretty awesome.

  26. Ellen says:

    I recently read that someone in Toronto wanted Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop banned because “it encourages children to commit violence against their fathers.” Personally, I have fond memories of “hopping on pop–” that roughhousing-type play where all three of us kids ganged up on dad is one of my best, laughter-filled memories!

  27. Cheryl B. says:

    Wow I can’t believe how many of these I have read. The Kite Runner was at the rental house in North Carolina that we rented in Swansboro when our first grandchild was born. I devoured it. I really loved it. You should try it again.

  28. Tiffany says:

    I’ve read several of these banned books, as – SURPRISE! – they were required reading during school. I enjoyed most, and I’m not permanently scarred!

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