Ten Best Banned Books for BB Week!

This week is banned books week. While I do not (yet) have a book that has had the privilege of being banned, I have read many, many banned books and have enjoyed most of them.

Here is a list of the most commonly banned/challenged books in the U.S.  How many have you read?

Italics = I’ve read it.
Bold = My personal top 10!

Nineteen Eighty-four (1984) – George Orwell
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby – Dav Pilkey A
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
Alice series – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren
Always Running – Luis J. Rodriguez
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser
The Anarchist Cookbook – William Powell
Anastasia Again! – Lois Lowry
And Tango Makes Three – Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison
Annie on My Mind – Nancy Garden
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume
Arming America – Michael Bellasiles
Arizona Kid – Ron Koertge
As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
Asking About Sex and Growing Up – Joanna Cole
Athletic Shorts – Chris Crutcher
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Black Boy – Richard Wright
Bless Me, Ultima – Rudolfo A. Anaya
Blood and Chocolate – Annette Curtis Klause
Blubber – Judy Blume
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
The Boy Who Lost His Face – Louis Sachar
Boys and Sex – Wardell Pomeroy
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson
Bumps in the Night – Harry Allard
The Call of the Wild – Jack London
Captain Underpants – Dav Pilkey
Carrie – Stephen King
The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier
Christine – Stephen King
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Crazy Lady! – Jane Conly
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat – Alvin Schwartz
Cujo – Stephen King
Curses, Hexes and Spells – Daniel Cohen
Cut – Patricia McCormick
Daddy’s Roommate – Michael Willhoite
A Day No Pigs Would Die – Robert Newton Peck
The Dead Zone – Stephen King
Deenie – Judy Blume
Detour for Emmy – Marilyn Reynolds
The Drowning of Stephan Jones – Bette Greene
Earth’s Children (series) – Jean M. Auel
The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
The Face on the Milk Carton – Caroline B. Cooney
Fade – Robert Cormier
Fallen Angels – Walter Dean Myers
Family Secrets – Norma Klein
A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
Final Exit – Derek Humphry
Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
Forever – Judy Blume
Girls and Sex – Wardell Pomeroy
The Giver – Lois Lowry
Go Ask Alice – Anonymous
Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin
The Goats – Brock Cole
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Goosebumps (series) – R. L. Stine
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gilly Hopkins – Katherine Paterson
Guess What? – Mem Fox
Halloween ABC – Eve Merriam
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter (series) – J. K. Rowling
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Heather Has Two Mommies – Lesléa Newman
The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
How to Eat Fried Worms – Thomas Rockwell
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
In the Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
It’s Perfectly Normal – Robie Harris
It’s So Amazing – Robie Harris
Jack – A. M. Homes
James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
Jay’s Journal – Anonymous
Julie of the Wolves – Jean Craighead George
Jump Ship to Freedom – James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Jumper – Steven Gould
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Kaffir Boy – Mark Mathabane
Killing Mr. Griffin – Lois Duncan
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D. H. Lawrence
A Light in the Attic – Shel Silverstein
Little Black Sambo – Helen Bannerman
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Mommy Laid An Egg – Babette Cole
My Brother Sam Is Dead – James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer
Naked Lunch – William S. Burroughs
Native Son – Richard Wright
The New Joy of Gay Sex – Charles Silverstein and Felice Picano
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
On My Honor – Marion Dane Bauer
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
Ordinary People – Judith Guest
The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
The Pigman – Paul Zindel
Private Parts – Howard Stern
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
The Rabbit’s Wedding – Garth Williams
Rainbow Boys – Alex Sanchez
Running Loose – Chris Crutcher
The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
Scary Stories (series) – Alvin Schwartz
A Separate Peace – John Knowles
Sex – Madonna
Sex Education – Jenny Davis
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
The Sledding Hill – Chris Crutcher
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy – A. N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Song of Solomon (novel) – Toni Morrison
Sons and Lovers – D. H. Lawrence
The Stupids (series) – Harry Allard
Summer of My German Soldier – Bette Greene
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
That Was Then, This Is Now – S. E. Hinton A
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
Tiger Eyes – Judy Blume
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
Ulysses – James Joyce
View from the Cherry Tree – Willo Davis Roberts
We All Fall Down – Robert Cormier
Whale Talk – Chris Crutcher
What My Mother Doesn’t Know – Sonya Sones
What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons – Lynda Madaras
What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents &Daughters – Lynda Madaras
Where Did I Come From? – Peter Mayle
The Wish Giver – Bill Brittain
The Witches – Roald Dahl
Women in Love – D. H. Lawrence
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Sexual Fantasies – Nancy Friday
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

And, even though it’s not on this list, I recommend The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson, which was challenged in 2007.

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4 Comments

  1. Liz

    I’ve read Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Bridge to Terabithia (what a sad, sad book, and yet one of my favorites), Cat’s Cradle, A Clockwork Orange, The Color Purple, Cut, The Face on the Milk Carton, The Giver, Go Ask Alice, most of the Goosebumps books (which rock), all of the Harry Potter books (the Catholic church needs to shushy with their hatin’), I think I’ve read James and the Giant Peach, Julie of the Wolves is one of my all-time favorites (and I never knew it was banned), Killing Mr. Griffin, Of Mice and Men, The Outsiders, and A Wrinkle in Time. I’ve also read The Bermudez Triangle, and I think it’s one of the best LGBT novels out there.

    So, not counting Maureen Johnson’s book since it wasn’t actually banned, I’ve read at least twenty-four banned books. I know there are a lot of Goosebumps books and I’ve read most or all of them, but I’m not sure of exactly how many, so I only counted them as one. Still, I think that’s quite an accomplishment. Many of the books on this list are ones I’d like to read eventually.

    Thank you for posting this!

  2. Liz

    Oh! I didn’t even see A Light in the Attic there. I loved Shel Silverstein as a kid.

    • De

      A Light in the Attic was one of my, “Why on EARTH would anyone ban that?” books on the list.

      These are only the top 100, too…

  3. Chris Scena

    Embarrassed to say I’ve only read 14 of these (counting Harry Potter 1-7 as one). I won’t read any just because they are banned, but there are quite a few that I want to read.

    Agree that A Light in the Attic is a puzzler.

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