Do You Read Banned Books?

Recommended Reading for September 2009BannedBooksWeekPin

It’s all about Intellectual Freedom!

Each year, the last week of September is designated Banned Books Week. During this time, we celebrate our democratic freedom to read whatever we want to read. This year marks BBW’s 28th anniversary.

According to the ALA’s Banned Books Week web site: “BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.”

Wonder what the difference is between a challenged book and a banned book?

According to the American Library Association, a challenge is “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.”

Below is a list of frequently challenged books.  While all of the books and other media on this list were challenged by various organizations and individuals, people concerned with intellectual freedom were able to uphold and maintain public access to most of them.

Banned or Challenged Books

A wrinkle in time / Madeleine L’Engle

Absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian / by Sherman Alexie.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain.

Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Twain, Mark

Bell jar. Biographical note by Lois Ames. Drawings by Sylvia Plath.

Beloved : a novel / Toni Morrison.

Black Hawk down : a story of modern war / Mark Bowden.

Bless me, Ultima / Rudolfo A. Anaya.

Bluest eye / Toni Morrison.

Brave new world / Aldous Huxley.

Canterbury Tales / Chaucer, Geoffrey

Catch-22, a novel. / Heller, Joseph.

Catcher in the rye / J.D. Salinger.

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Chocolate war / Robert Cormier.

Color purple / Alice Walker.

Grapes of wrath / John Steinbeck.

Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets  / Rowling, J.K.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire / Rowling, J.K.

Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix / Rowling, J.K.

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban / Rowling, J.K.

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone / Rowling, J.K.

I know why the caged bird sings / Maya Angelou.

James and the giant peach : a children’s story / Roald Dahl

Kite runner / Khaled Hosseini.

Lolita / Vladimir Nabokov.

Lord of the flies / William Golding.

Lord of the rings / J.R.R. Tolkien.

Lovely bones : a novel / Alice Sebold.

My brother Sam is dead / James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier.

Native Son / Wright, Richard

Nineteen eighty-four / George Orwell.

Of mice and men / John Steinbeck.

Satanic verses / Salman Rushdie.

Slaughterhouse-Five / Vonnegut, Kurt

Sons and lovers by D. H. Lawrence.

Sun also rises / Ernest Hemingway.

The diary of a young girl / Anne Frank.

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Reference Books: Reference Collection, Plaza East

Banned books : 1994 resource guide / Robert P. Doyle.

Literature suppressed on religious grounds / Margaret Bald;

Literature suppressed on sexual grounds / Dawn B. Sova

Literature suppressed on social grounds / Dawn B. Sova

Electronic Books: access from a computer

Animal Farm [electronic resource] / George Orwell

Lady Chatterley’s Lover [electronic resource] / D.H. Lawrence.

Outspoken [electronic resource]: free speech stories / Nan Levinson.

Scarlet letter [electronic resource] / Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Banned in the U.S.A. [electronic resource]: a reference guide to book censorship in schools and public libraries/Herbert N. Foerstel.

Video/DVD – Banned Books Turned Into Movies: Media Collection

Clockwork orange [videorecording].

Color purple [videorecording] /.

Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury.

Gone with the wind [videorecording].

Naked lunch [videorecording].

Of mice and men (DVD)

One flew over the cuckoo’s nest [videorecording].

To kill a mockingbird [videorecording].


Banned and/or Challenged Books: Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century

American Library Association Banned Books Week

The Online Books Page: Banned Books Online

Beacon for Freedom of Expression

Banned Classic Literature


1 Comment

Filed under General Info, Recommended Reading/Viewing

One response to “Do You Read Banned Books?

  1. No books have been banned in the USA for about a half a century. See “National Hogwash Week.”

    Also see “US Libraries Hit Back Over Challenges to Kids Books,” by Sara Hussein, Agence France-Presse [AFP], 6 September 2009.

    Given “American Library Association Shamed,” by Nat Hentoff, Laurel Leader-Call, 2 March 2007, I ask anyone reading this to explain why the ALA views book burnings, bannings, and jailed librarians in Cuba as NOT censorship, and why people legally keeping children from inappropriate material IS censorship.

    Why does the ALA not only refuse to assist jailed Cuban librarians, but go further and actually thwart efforts by others to assist them? Why should members of the public consider the ALA to be authoritative on the definition of what is censorship in local public libraries?

    Indeed, why should local libraries care one whit about an organization actively blocking efforts to assist jailed and beaten Cuban librarians and associated censorship and book burnings?

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