Monday, October 5, 2009

The 100 Most Banned (or challenged) Books in America

These are the books people don't want you to read.  I just posted this in case you want to plan your winter reading.

It's a list of the "Most challenged books" in the United States from 1990-2000, as compiled by The Library Association of America (ALA).

What does "challenged" mean?  While we allegedly don't have a formal censorship, the public library system lists these titles as the most "challenged", meaning groups of people have actively sought (sometimes successfully) to keep the general public from reading them, and have hit the library system as one of it's means.

Some of the listings are titles removed from community or school libraries, or removed from high school curriculums. 

I'm amused since 3 of my favorite books are on this list.   

In order to fight the attempt to ban books by individuals and organizations, The ALA has created BANNED BOOK WEEK (it just ended), celebrating the books that are banned every year. Their motto is "Read.  Speak.  Know."


  • Scary Stories (Series), by Alvin Schwartz
  • Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  • The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  • Forever, by Judy Blume
  • Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  • Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  • The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  • My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  • It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
  • Alice (Series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Goosebumps (Series), by R.L. Stine
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  • Sex, by Madonna
  • Earth’s Children (Series), by Jean M. Auel
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
  • In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
  • The Witches, by Roald Dahl
  • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The New Joy of Gay Sex, by Charles Silverstein
  • Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
  • The Goats, by Brock Cole
  • The Stupids (Series), by Harry Allard
  • Anastasia Krupnik (Series), by Lois Lowry
  • Final Exit, by Derek Humphry
  • Blubber, by Judy Blume
  • Halloween ABC, by Eve Merriam
  • Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
  • Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
  • The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  • What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters, by Lynda Madaras
  • Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
  • The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
  • Deenie, by Judy Blume
  • Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
  • Annie on my Mind, by Nancy Garden
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  • The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
  • Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat, by Alvin Schwartz
  • Harry Potter (Series), by J.K. Rowling
  • Cujo, by Stephen King
  • James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  • A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein
  • Ordinary People, by Judith Guest
  • American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  • Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  • Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
  • Asking About Sex and Growing Up, by Joanna Cole
  • What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons, by Lynda Madaras
  • The Anarchist Cookbook, by William Powell
  • Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
  • Boys and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy
  • Crazy Lady, by Jane Conly
  • Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
  • Killing Mr. Griffin, by Lois Duncan
  • Fade, by Robert Cormier
  • Guess What?, by Mem Fox
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies, by Nancy Friday
  • Curses, Hexes and Spells, by Daniel Cohen
  • On My Honor, by Marion Dane Bauer
  • The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende
  • Jack, by A.M. Homes
  • Arizona Kid, by Ron Koertge
  • Family Secrets, by Norma Klein
  • Mommy Laid An Egg, by Babette Cole
  • Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  • Where Did I Come From?, by Peter Mayle
  • The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney
  • Carrie, by Stephen King
  • The Dead Zone, by Stephen King
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
  • Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  • Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
  • Private Parts, by Howard Stern
  • Where’s Waldo?, by Martin Hanford
  • Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
  • Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
  • Little Black Sambo, by Helen Bannerman
  • Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
  • Running Loose, by Chris Crutcher
  • Sex Education, by Jenny Davis
  • Jumper, by Steven Gould
  • Christine, by Stephen King
  • The Drowning of Stephen Jones, by Bette Greene
  • That Was Then, This is Now, by S.E. Hinton
  • Girls and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy
  • The Wish Giver, by Bill Brittain
  • Jump Ship to Freedom, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  • 5 comments:

    citizen spot said...

    "Where's Waldo" is on the list? Really?!?!

    Anonymous said...

    I'm soooooo glad someone out there is trying to protect me from being exposed to books written by evil people like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.

    JD, it's time for the rest of us to establish a colony on the moon and get away from these insane philistines.

    Fernando said...

    I counted at least 7 books I love. And I'll be adding some of these to my reading list. Good stuff.

    Elenáro said...

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

    Now this is a surprise. What could possibly be wrong with this book? Besides this is over a century old!

    In 100 years it never harmed anyone (if we don't count with any possible "book throwing" session that is) and yet it's on the list... I'm appalled!

    In any case I wonder... is it just me or is there a somewhat repetitive pattern there on that list?

    TheSmokingCocktail.com said...

    Two of my favorite books of all time are Song of Solomon and Slaughterhouse Five.