Best Banned, Censored, and Challenged Books

This is a list of books that have at one point either been banned, censored, or requested for removal from libraries.
1

by
4.27 avg rating — 3,937,375 ratings
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2

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4.47 avg rating — 5,956,727 ratings
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3

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4.17 avg rating — 2,601,357 ratings
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4

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3.92 avg rating — 2,352,547 ratings
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5

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3.98 avg rating — 1,417,962 ratings
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6

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4.13 avg rating — 2,395,761 ratings
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7

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3.80 avg rating — 2,432,634 ratings
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8

by
4.62 avg rating — 2,302,041 ratings
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9

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,534,292 ratings
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10

by
3.98 avg rating — 1,263,945 ratings
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11

by
4.55 avg rating — 2,351,452 ratings
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12

by
4.07 avg rating — 421,802 ratings
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13

by
4.55 avg rating — 2,201,442 ratings
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14

by
4.41 avg rating — 2,304,801 ratings
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15

by
4.01 avg rating — 902,142 ratings
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16

by
4.49 avg rating — 2,152,963 ratings
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17

by
4.56 avg rating — 2,100,665 ratings
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18

by
3.67 avg rating — 1,966,964 ratings
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19

by
3.81 avg rating — 1,079,384 ratings
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20

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,100,301 ratings
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21

by
3.99 avg rating — 85,895 ratings
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22

by
4.33 avg rating — 5,741,483 ratings
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23

by
3.99 avg rating — 396,170 ratings
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24

by
3.89 avg rating — 590,228 ratings
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25

by
4.07 avg rating — 820,759 ratings
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26

by
3.95 avg rating — 656,566 ratings
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27

by
4.11 avg rating — 417,413 ratings
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28

by
4.29 avg rating — 995,504 ratings
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29

by
3.95 avg rating — 866,601 ratings
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30

by
3.90 avg rating — 174,650 ratings
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31

by
4.19 avg rating — 460,064 ratings
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32

by
4.19 avg rating — 566,776 ratings
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33

by
3.99 avg rating — 532,581 ratings
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34

by
4.01 avg rating — 435,381 ratings
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35

by
4.37 avg rating — 817,986 ratings
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36

by
4.26 avg rating — 120,307 ratings
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37

by
3.82 avg rating — 1,723,942 ratings
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38

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 332,409 ratings
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39

by
3.98 avg rating — 661,258 ratings
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40

by
4.08 avg rating — 35,906 ratings
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41

by
4.29 avg rating — 2,199,972 ratings
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42

by
4.07 avg rating — 1,017,252 ratings
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43

by
4.34 avg rating — 344,314 ratings
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44

by
4.22 avg rating — 347,878 ratings
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45

by
3.95 avg rating — 323,303 ratings
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46

by
4.37 avg rating — 383,159 ratings
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47

by
3.95 avg rating — 216,188 ratings
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48

by
3.49 avg rating — 173,018 ratings
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49

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,008,124 ratings
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50

by
3.86 avg rating — 1,730,155 ratings
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51

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,103,076 ratings
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52

by
3.85 avg rating — 290,599 ratings
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53

by
4.42 avg rating — 197,714 ratings
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54

by
3.76 avg rating — 220,306 ratings
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55

by
3.91 avg rating — 681,448 ratings
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56

by
4.01 avg rating — 652,300 ratings
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57

by
4.05 avg rating — 982,722 ratings
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58

by
3.80 avg rating — 146,093 ratings
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59

by
4.03 avg rating — 2,071,295 ratings
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60

by
4.19 avg rating — 442,356 ratings
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61

by
3.76 avg rating — 198,187 ratings
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62

by
3.78 avg rating — 1,022,935 ratings
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63

by
4.20 avg rating — 1,105,931 ratings
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64

by
4.06 avg rating — 14,868 ratings
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65

by
4.06 avg rating — 57,968 ratings
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66

by
3.50 avg rating — 164,644 ratings
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67

by
4.12 avg rating — 576,154 ratings
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68

by
3.80 avg rating — 139,240 ratings
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69

by
4.33 avg rating — 8,349 ratings
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70

by
3.50 avg rating — 89,785 ratings
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71

by
3.80 avg rating — 525,366 ratings
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72

by
4.03 avg rating — 73,046 ratings
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73

by
3.82 avg rating — 207,363 ratings
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74

by
3.76 avg rating — 42,899 ratings
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75

by
4.11 avg rating — 205,017 ratings
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76

by
3.71 avg rating — 48,606 ratings
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77

by
3.62 avg rating — 49,987 ratings
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78

by
4.03 avg rating — 357,427 ratings
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79

by
4.13 avg rating — 85,757 ratings
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80

by
3.85 avg rating — 33,092 ratings
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81

by
4.05 avg rating — 15,208 ratings
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82

by
3.72 avg rating — 124,507 ratings
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83

by
3.73 avg rating — 99,796 ratings
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84

by
3.57 avg rating — 288,634 ratings
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85

by
3.73 avg rating — 120,816 ratings
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86

by
4.08 avg rating — 809,091 ratings
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87

by
3.66 avg rating — 219,187 ratings
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88

by
3.82 avg rating — 1,328 ratings
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89

by
3.79 avg rating — 29,645 ratings
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90

by
3.76 avg rating — 177,854 ratings
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91

by
4.49 avg rating — 500,310 ratings
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92

by
4.03 avg rating — 8,950 ratings
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93

by
4.12 avg rating — 7,308 ratings
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94

by
4.22 avg rating — 16,365 ratings
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95

by
4.35 avg rating — 2,103,428 ratings
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96

by
3.48 avg rating — 37,206 ratings
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97

by
4.30 avg rating — 544,158 ratings
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98

by
3.89 avg rating — 36,857 ratings
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99

by
3.87 avg rating — 29,330 ratings
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100

by
4.16 avg rating — 11,062 ratings
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484 books · 2,108 voters · list created January 15th, 2009 by Theresa (votes) .
554 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Theresa 39 books
25 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3110 books
816 friends
Bevin 1413 books
56 friends
Eva 6060 books
134 friends
Kelly 330 books
4 friends
Kim 173 books
62 friends
Lindsey 1045 books
19 friends
Annie 49 books
8 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 109 (109 new)


message 1: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Kelley I feel that it is crazy to ban a book at all, and I can't believe some of the books that are on this list. Oh the ignorance and shallow mindedness of people.


message 2: by Helena (new)

Helena I bookmarked the list under "to-read books"... if someone does not want us to read it, well it must be interesting stuff.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm amazed at the number of children's books listed; and, of those so listed, the number I shared for many years with my students...


message 4: by Poietes (new)

Poietes I know that I shouldn't be, but I am simply amazed by some of the titles that are still on this list. Anytime someone mentions banning a book in the news, I always think back to those images of Nazi' bonfires made from banned books. Don't people get it: Being able to read without censorship is one of the more treasured things of belonging to a democracy. Just think of all of the countries in the world that censor what a person can read. Banned Book Week should be banned.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Uh, Banned Book Week celebrates the books that some people try to ban. And urges people to go read a banned book.


message 6: by Poietes (new)

Poietes Meant the need for banned book week should be banned...


message 7: by Adam (last edited Oct 09, 2009 01:50PM) (new)

Adam i do not believe in "banned" books. that is just pure junk that a book would be "banned"


message 8: by Adam (new)

Adam who would want to ban how to eat fried worms? the giver? the giver is AMAZING. i dont get "banned books"


message 9: by Mikayla (new)

Mikayla A wrinkle in time is pretty interesting.It's like my favorite book!!!!!


message 10: by David (new)

David Censhorship in any form, outside of an elemantary school, is intolerable. Everything should be avalible to everyone.


message 11: by Barb (last edited Dec 12, 2009 05:56PM) (new)

Barb Johnson Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall


message 12: by Darius (last edited Feb 17, 2012 10:31AM) (new)

Darius 1984 by George Orwell was banned in Eastern Europe between 1950-1980 and people were prosecuted and went to jail for having it at home.
Also Gulag Archipelagos, Master and Margarita and many, many more.


message 13: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Um darius, I believe Adam meant that the idea of banning books is 'pure junk'. Not that it didnt/doesnt happen.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I love writing and hope to get a book published someday. If my book were banned, I would feel I was doing something right. Only books with something to say get banned. Be it for religious, moral or magick reasons.


message 15: by Imani ♥ ☮ (new)

 Imani ♥ ☮ It's pretty ironic Fahrenheit 451 is on this list since it IS about censorship.


message 16: by Elana (new)

Elana im sorry but most of these r not never mind...


message 17: by Rachael (new)

Rachael i think it's horrible to ban books!!!! i can't belive eaast of eden is banned thats my favorite book in the world


message 18: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell I'm not sure why Robert Munsch's book I have to Go is a banned book. Why was it banned?


message 19: by Mina^_^ (new)

Mina^_^ Imani wrote: "It's pretty ironic Fahrenheit 451 is on this list since it IS about censorship."

LOL!!! i thought the exact same thing...I also didnt understand why Shel Silverstein's A Light In The Attic was banned.Well i kind of see cause i think there was something about somebody dying or something along the lines like that in there but come on, really? Does anybody know why this book was banned? And i have to agree banning books are horrible well unless...hmmm i see clearly now why they ban so many books...its still not cool though


message 20: by Adaji (new)

Adaji Victor i think if a writer is inspired and write a book there should be no reason or whatsoever to banned that bbook


message 21: by Ariel (new)

Ariel The Giver is one of the best books ever written. It has a TRUE meaning and shows us what can happen if we let everything in our world become undistinct and without a unique quality. The Messenger and Gathering Blue are also extremely good books, some of my favorites. His Dark Materials is just showing everyone the fallacies and faults in some organized religion, and it is up to the reader to decide whether the author is right or wrong.


A book should never be banned! Books allow us to explore places we havenot been and extends the mind of children to where they understand more and think freely and without restraints. Reading should have no consequences nor should we have barriers. Even in schools, books with erotic or romantic scenes shouldn't not be kept on the shelves. All literature is to be enjoyed by all ages.


message 22: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Mina wrote: " Imani wrote: "It's pretty ironic Fahrenheit 451 is on this list since it IS about censorship."

LOL!!! i thought the exact same thing...I also didnt understand why Shel Silverstein's A Light In T..."


Even if someone dies, what about Wizard of Oz, where a man is hanging from a noose in the background? Banning book just shows the true trophies of modern society, entertainment in the form of watching and being told rather than reading and figuring out. I am apalled that there are banned books at all, especially books as creative as Shel silverstein's Light in the Attic.


message 23: by Daria (new)

Daria Darius wrote: "Adam wrote: "i do not believe in "banned" books. that is just pure junk that a book would be "banned"

"you are an idiot !!!
read some history books or have a conversation with a foreigner or two for a change

the USA is not the center of the world you moron!

just for example the book 1984 by George Orwell was banned in Easter Europe between 1950-1980 and some people were prosecuted and some went jail for having it at home."


I completely agree with you


message 24: by Karolina (new)

Karolina Where's "Master and Margarita"?!?


message 25: by Diane (new)

Diane Quist Freedom of Press, Freedom of speech .... You best not be banning ANY book. You don't like a book? Don't read it! Simple as that ....


message 26: by Gaile (new)

Gaile I was a teen in the fifties and back then, when we were told NOT to read a book, it was a sure thing we would read it! I can remember Lady Chatterly's Lover and Peyton Place being slipped from locker to locker. I didn't vote for all the books on the list because some I didn't read but I do think if you ban a book or tell a kid not to read it, he will READ it!


message 27: by Georgi (new)

Georgi Norris Gaile...I was just going to say the same thing. If someone said we couldn't read it, that was the first book I was going to find a way to get my hands on. LOL

It's unimaginable to me that some of these books are in/have been on the banned list. Many of them were required reading when I was in high school, and there were several that I purchased for my kids.

Just my opinion, but I have always felt that those who ban books are either of the closed minded group or those who fear that people will learn from them (i.e. Eastern Europe with 1984).


message 28: by Karen (new)

Karen Some of the best books ever!!!!on this list!


message 29: by Janet Flora (new)

Janet Flora Corso I was trying to vote for them all, starting with the children's picture books and poetry (that are harmless!) and the diaries and memoirs and classics and essays and freaking important contributions to literature and culture, all the way down to the ones that I haven't read and don't even want to, but which I would never limit someone else's choice or ability to read, but GR put a limit on my votes so... :(
STOP BOOK BANNING! Books are for reading, not burning!


message 30: by Howard (new)

Howard Clark the "man hanging from a noose" in the Wizard OZ movie is actually a peacock walking around in the background of the scene (when they find the tin man). I studied that portion of the film over and over until I figured it out.


message 31: by Gaile (new)

Gaile Karen wrote: "Some of the best books ever!!!!on this list!"

I had to look at your photo twice to make sure it wasn't Jamie Lee Curtis.


message 32: by Maja (new)

Maja who the f'ck would bann harry potter?! i thought it should be on list of awfully most profitable books of all time or something like that


message 33: by ♥Xeni♥ (new)

♥Xeni♥ Amazing how many dystopian novels make it onto banned lists... perhaps that should be looked into more deeply and not just used as a means to ban wonderful books?


message 34: by Morgan (new)

Morgan i agree wuth Xeni. A few of these books I can see why they were banned or chanllenged, but for the most part those are books I've wanted to read and there were TONS more I couldl think of that aren't on this list. I dont think people are idiots for saying that books shoudlnt be banned. It depends. there are some subject realy young kids shouldn't be subjected to. The fact is, these books are peoples opinions, maybe even people you know and it's un fair to keep these books away from people, when they;ss fund a way to read then anyway


message 35: by Morgan (new)

Morgan i agree wuth Xeni. A few of these books I can see why they were banned or chanllenged, but for the most part those are books I've wanted to read and there were TONS more I couldl think of that aren't on this list. I dont think people are idiots for saying that books shoudlnt be banned. It depends. there are some subject realy young kids shouldn't be subjected to. The fact is, these books are peoples opinions, maybe even people you know and it's un fair to keep these books away from people, when they;ss fund a way to read then anyway


message 36: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Maja wrote: "who the f'ck would bann harry potter?! i thought it should be on list of awfully most profitable books of all time or something like that"
its mostly just because it talks about witchcraft. that's the only reason


message 37: by ♥Xeni♥ (new)

♥Xeni♥ Morgan wrote: "its mostly just because it talks about witchcraft. that's the only reason"

Surprisingly enough, it's not the only reason. Harry Potter revolts against the current government (Ministry of Magic) and governments feel that this could rouse today's youth into revolting against them.


message 38: by Morgan (new)

Morgan ♥Xeni♥ wrote: "Morgan wrote: "its mostly just because it talks about witchcraft. that's the only reason"

Surprisingly enough, it's not the only reason. Harry Potter revolts against the current government (Minist..."

ahh i see.


message 39: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I remember when the Harry Potter books came out when I was in grade school. I began to read them and fell in love with them, but whenever my best friend would come over I had to hide them because her parents thought they were satanic. I'm STILL scared of her parents finding out I've read Harry Potter. That's how bad it is.


message 40: by Janie (last edited May 22, 2011 09:28AM) (new)

Janie I'd really like more information on where, when and why these books were censored or banned. Some we know about but Harry Potter, Blubber (Judy Blume) and Catcher in the Rye (Salinger) are just three for which I cannot fathom why - there are plenty more mysteries on this list. Even those that I know the reasoning behind I just cannot understand!

In the words of Walt Whitman: Damn all expurgated books; the dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.

As for banning - it says far more about those doing the banning than the book itself or those who might read it.


message 41: by Gaile (new)

Gaile The kids see worse on TV and on the computer than they would in books.


message 42: by Katie (new)

Katie Janie wrote: "I'd really like more information on where, when and why these books were censored or banned. Some we know about but Harry Potter, Blubber (Judy Blume) and Catcher in the Rye (Salinger) are just thr..."

I don't know about Judy Blume (I thought she was a 4th grade-ish level book writer??), but I know that Harry Potter was banned from some area Catholic schools because there's magic and that goes against the Bible. Heaven forbid!! As for Catcher in the Rye, I'd assume it's because of the profanity. They think that the kids will actually say the cuss words if they read it.

It's nonsense, really.

I'm not sure anybody really understands except for the ones who do the banning.


message 43: by Bobbie (last edited Jul 20, 2011 01:08AM) (new)

Bobbie The more they ban / challenge a book, the more interested people--especially teenagers--are in the book. Young adults are curious, as well as mutinous. When an organization bans a book, young adults realize the "power" the book holds because of how it scares authorities. Hence, they get curious. Hence, they get more interested. Hence, they read.

Thanks to book-banning, I'm discovering more of the best contemporary books written. :)


message 44: by Varian Rose (new)

Varian Rose The Anne Rice books, when I read the reason they were banned I laughed. All I can say is look at the genre, it's supposed to be like that.


message 45: by Becky (new)

Becky I go alonge with my locol book store: cencership is the assanation of a good idea.


message 46: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Ceo These are good decent books. How dare the goverments try to force us to be alike. Not everybody likes/dislikes these books nor is there ANY reason why people should try to censor something they "think" is not good to read. Ofcourse you wouldn't give a ten year old "Lord of the flies" to read but they are banning the books appropraite for high schoolers too. Freedom of speech. Its in the constitution. Read it!


message 47: by Loveliest Evaris (new)

Loveliest Evaris People have banned books like "Huckleberry Finn" because it features the "N" word and has racism towards blacks. That was the times! And if you censor that, you're basically censoring history. You're making it too "politically correct". And history was NOT politically correct back then. And if you hide the truth, what else will you hide from the public that it NEEDS to know happened?


message 48: by Clíodhna (new)

Clíodhna It is depressing to see how far the human race hasn't come in the freedom of speech and expression. So what if a book talks about revolting or witchcraft or the absolute wreck that past governments have made of countries? For revolting, REVOLUTIONS HAPPENED BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT WAS BAD! So making -- no wait make that trying to make us unable to read about when the government was bad or when a government would be bad is stupid! The people should know whether they're being fleeced or not. As for witchcraft, yes, there are some people who believe in it, including me (in a way) if you don't like, don't believe in it!! People should also know that things in the past were bad but we have come a long way in knowing what is right and what is wrong but if they try to ban these books then clearly we haven't come far enough.


message 49: by Meels (new)

Meels Where the Sidwalk Ends was banned? Who made this list?


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

I remember when I was younger my dad would get me the Harry Potter books when they came out. My very Catholic grandmother who I lived with at the time took them away from me and hid them (citing witchcraft and all that jazz). Luckily my mom went and got them back for me, but I remember feeling so puzzled because I obviously knew the books were fiction and that magic isn't real. I may have been a kid, that doesn't mean I was stupid, haha. A lot of times I feel like adults go to unnecessary lengths to "shield" children, simultaneously underestimating them and not allowing them to grow and learn on their own.


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