Celebrating Banned Books Week!

Recommended Reading for September 2012

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 September 30 – October 6 marks BBW’s 30th anniversary.

In celebration of Banned Books Week 2012, libraries and bookstores can upload videos to the  Banned Books Week YouTube Channel. Participants can submit either a reading, or a description of a local book challenge.

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.”

What is the difference 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. 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.”

A banning is the removal of those challenged materials.

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 and 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

Always running : la vida loca, gang days in L.A. / by Luis J. Rodriguez.

The bell jar / Sylvia Plath.

Beloved : a novel / Toni Morrison.

Black boy; a record of childhood and youth. Illustrated by Ashley Bryan.

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.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Candide; or, Optimism: a new translation, backgrounds, criticism.

Canterbury Tales / Chaucer, Geoffrey

La Casa de los espíritus / Isabel Allende.

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

Catcher in the rye / J.D. Salinger.

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Chocolate war / Robert Cormier.

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

Close Range by Annie Proulx

Color purple / Alice Walker.

The diary of a young girl / Anne Frank.

The divine comedy: the inferno, the purgatorio, and the paradiso by Dante Alighieri

Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury.

Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais

Girl, interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Grapes of wrath / John Steinbeck.

Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Grendel [by] John Gardner.

The handmaid’s tale / Margaret Atwood

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.

Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

Gulliver’s travels by Jonathan Swift

I know why the caged bird sings / Maya Angelou.

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

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Killed cartoons: casualties from the war on free expression edited by David Wallis

Kite runner / Khaled Hosseini.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

The letters of Abelard and Heloise translated by Betty Radice

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Lolita / Vladimir Nabokov.

Lovely bones : a novel / Alice Sebold.

Lord of the flies / William Golding.

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

Lysistrata / Aristophanes

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

Native Son / Wright, Richard

Nineteen eighty-four / George Orwell.

The Odyssey of Homer translated by Richmond Lattimore

Of mice and men / John Steinbeck.

One flew over the cuckoo’s nest / Ken Kesey

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Paradise lost by John Milton

Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

A prayer for Owen Meany : a novel / John Irving

The prince and other political writings by Niccolò Machiavelli

Roll of thunder, hear my cry / Mildred D. Taylor

Satanic verses / Salman Rushdie.

The scarlet letter /Nathaniel Hawthorne

Slaughterhouse-Five / Vonnegut, Kurt

Snow Falling on Cedars / David Guterson

Song of Solomon / Toni Morrison

Sons and lovers by D. H. Lawrence.

Sun also rises / Ernest Hemingway.

A time to kill / John Grisham

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Ulysses / James Joyce

Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel

The upstairs room / Johanna Reiss.

Reference Books

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

Banned in the U.S.A: a reference guide to book censorship in schools and public libraries by Herbert N. Foerstel

Intellectual freedom manual compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association 2006

Libraries, access, and intellectual freedom: developing policies for public and academic libraries by Barbara M. Jones 1999

Libraries, erotica, & pornography edited by Martha Cornog

Banned books, 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D. by Anne Lyon Haight 098.1 H149b 1978

Bookbanning in America: who bans books? – and why by William Noble 098.1 N753b 1990

Suppressed books: a history of the conception of literary obscenity by Alec Craig 176.8 C885s

Literature suppressed on religious grounds / Margaret Bald;

Literature suppressed on sexual grounds / Dawn B. Sova

Literature suppressed on social grounds / Dawn B. Sova

Censorship, Inc: the corporate threat to free speech in the United States by Lawrence Soley

Outspoken: free speech stories by Nan Levinson

Electronic Books: access from a computer

The awakening, and selected stories [electronic resource] / by Kate Chopin

Candide, or, Optimism [electronic resource] / Voltaire ; translated by Burton Raffel

Fanny Hill : memoirs of a woman of pleasure [electronic resource] / John Cleland

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

Lysistrata [electronic resource] / Aristophanes

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

Scarlet letter [electronic resource] / Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Ulysses [electronic resource] / James Joyce

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

Zhu Xi’s Reading of the Analects: canon, commentary, and the classical tradition by Daniel K. Gardner [electronic resource]

The Odyssey of Homer: a new verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum [electronic resource]

The Odyssey of Homer translated by Alexander Pope [electronic resource]

Memorabilia / Xenophon  [electronic resource]

The Birds / Aristophanes [electronic resource]

The art of love: bimillennial essays on Ovid’s Ars amatoria and Remedia amoris  [electronic resource]

The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter [electronic resource]

Abelard and Heloise by Constant J. Mews [electronic resource]

The Monarchia controversy: an historical study with accompanying translations of Dante Alighieri’s Monarchia, Guido Vernani’s Refutation of the Monarchia composed by Dante and Pope John XXII’s bull, Si fratrum [electronic resource]

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume 1: Inferno  [electronic resource]

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume 2: Purgatorio [electronic resource]

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume 3: Paradiso [electronic resource]

Obscene in the extreme: the burning and banning of John Steinbeck’s ‘The grapes of wrath’ by Rick Wartzman [electronic resource]

Access denied: the practice and policy of global Internet filtering edited by Ronald Deibert [electronic resource]

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

From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: a history of the fight for free speech in America by Christopher M. Finan [electronic resource]

The Discourses by Niccolo Machiavelli [electronic resource]

Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais [electronic resource]

Essays by Michel de Montaigne [electronic resource]

A discourse on the method of correctly conducting one’s reason and seeking truth in the sciences by René Descartes  [electronic resource]

Areopagitica by John Milton [electronic resource]

Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress by Daniel Defoe [electronic resource]

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].

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

Snow Falling on Cedars [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

American Civil Liberties Union




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