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Book Banned

Updated on June 28, 2015

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Book Banned

Book Banned is a list of some of the most commonly banned books and links to purchase these books. These books have been banned, in different areas of America, for many reasons. Typically, they contain sex, violence, religion, racial views, profanity, or something that has offended parents, organizations, or churches. Consequently, you might be wise to preview this list before selecting a novel to read with your child or class. I might note, however, that many of these books are considered to be among the best ever written. Somebody, given the opportunity to do so, will ban virtually every book every published. It would truly be a sad world if every book on this list were dropped from reading lists. Don’t be afraid to read any of these books. I would caution you to preview these books first if you intend to read it to or with a child or a class. Once you have previewed the book, you can make an informed decision about whether the book is appropriate.

Book levels are based on reading difficulty, not content or plot. Many books are highly readable but challenging in different ways, typically incorporating symbolism and other important literary devices. It is entirely appropriate to read books above or below the reading level you are targeting if the book challenges the reader in other ways, perhaps in a provocative way. With many of the books on this list, I would certainly push them to a higher level because of content. For example, The Catcher in the Rye is certainly a push for fourth grade in terms of content. Perhaps pushing it to seventh or eighth grade may be an option.

Censorship and Banning Books

"Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear."
- Judy Blume

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"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage."
- Winston Churchill

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"Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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"Every burned book enlightens the world."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Editor's Choice and a Comprehensive List

This site contains two lists. The first list is an abbreviated list of the essential books. These "Editor's Choice" books are must-read books and are available for quick sale through Amazon. For a comprehensive, detailed list, simply page down a bit, and enjoy!

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The

1984

1984 (Grade 8)

Editor's Choice - Must Read

The book is considered immoral and sexual. Some even consider it pro-communist.







Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The (Grade 6)

Editor's Choice - Must Read

Racial themes have been controversial and continue to plague this American classic along with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.




Brave New World

Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The

Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (Grade 8)

Editor's Choice - Must Read

Racial themes have been controversial and continue to plague this American classic along with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.





Brave New World

Brave New World (Grade 7)

Editor's Choice - Must Read

The dystopian view shows people dulling their senses with sex and drugs.





Of Mice and Men

The Great Gatsby

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men (Grade 4)

Editor's Choice - Must Read

Language, violence, and racial themes are in the book.






Great Gatsby, The

Great Gatsby, The (Grade 7)

Editor's Choice - Must Read

The book is considered sexual, and it has profanity.





To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird (Grade 5)

Editor's Choice - Must Read

Racial themes have been controversial.








Banned Books

1984 (Grade 8)

Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, The (Grade 2)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The (Grade 6)

Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (Grade 8)

All the King's Men (Grade 6)

Always Running (Grade 6)

Anastasia Again! (Grade 4)

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret(Grade 3)

Blubber (Grade 3)

Brave New World (Grade 7)

Bridge to Terabithia (Grade 4)

Call of the Wild, The (Grade 8)

Captain Underpants (Series – Grades 4-5)

Carrie (Grade 5)

Catcher in the Rye, The (Grade 4)

The Color Purple (Grade 4)

Cujo (Grade 6)

Day No Pigs Would Die, A (Grade 4)

Dead Zone, The (Grade 5)

Farewell to Arms, A (Grade 6)

Flowers for Algernon (Grade 5)

For Whom the Bell Tolls (Grade 5)

Giver, The (Grade 5)

Go Tell It on the Mountain (Grade 6)

Gone with the Wind (Grade 7)

Goosebumps (series) (Typically Grade 3)

Grapes of Wrath, The (Grade 4)

Great Gatsby, The (Grade 7)

Great Gilly Hopkins, The (Grade 4)

Harry Potter (series - Grades 5-7)

Heart of Darkness (Grade 9)

How to Eat Fried Worms (Grade 3)

Invisible Man, The (Grade 7)

Jack (Grade 4)

James and the Giant Peach (Grade 4)

Julie of the Wolves (Grade 5)

Jumanji (Grade 3)

The Jungle (Grade 8)

A Light in the Attic

Lord of the Flies (Grade 8)

My Brother Sam is Dead (Grade 4)

Of Mice and Men (Grade 4)

On My Honor (Grade 4)

The Outsiders (Grade 4)

Rabbit, Run (Grade 5)

Sleeping Beauty

Summer of My German Soldier (Grade 5)

Sun Also Rises, The (Grade 4)

To Kill a Mockingbird (Grade 5)

Wrinkle in Time, A (Grade 4)


Why Books Are Banned

This, along with the list above, is merely an abbreviated list. Unfortunately, many additional books have been banned or challenged within America. Additional books have been banned in other nations. Does anybody find it ironic that books like Brave New World and 1984 are being banned?

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The - Racial themes have been controversial.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Sexual themes are in the book.

Blubber - There is cursing in the book, and the main character, a mean-spirited character, is never punished.

Brave New World - The dystopian view shows people dulling their senses with sex and drugs.

Bridge to Terabithia- This book is often banned for cursing, witchcraft, disobedience of authority, and anti-religious sentiments.

Catcher in the Rye - Language and sexual themes make this a very controversial book.

Flowers for Algernon - The book has sexual themes.

Giver, The - Social, political, and a sexual theme make this a controversial book.

Grapes of Wrath, The - The main character is vulgar.

Great Gatsby, The - The book is considered sexual, and it has profanity.

Harry Potter - Sorcery/witchcraft is promoted, and the books are considered too dark.

James and the Giant Peach - Violence, language, and disobedience to adults make this a banned book.

Light in the Attic, A- An illustration encourages kids to break dishes.

Lord of the Flies - Violence, language and the devaluation of life make this a commonly banned book.

1984 - The book is considered immoral and sexual. Some even consider it pro-communist.

Of Mice and Men - Language, violence, and racial themes are in the book.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Racial themes have been controversial.

Wrinkle in Time, A - The book has religious concepts, good versus bad.

Banned Books in American Schools and Interest Levels

There has long been a debate between phonics and whole language. Google “whole language”, and you’ll find almost 20,000,000 articles about the subject. Google “phonics’, and you’ll find almost 9,000,000 articles. Google “novels”, and you’ll find over 81,000,000 articles!

There are numerous opposing beliefs when it comes to teaching reading. Ultimately, regardless of how a child is taught to read, the reading material largely dictates his/her interest level. Can anybody truly be interested in the reading material contained in most reading texts? At what point is a child’s interest level as important as the method in which they are being taught to read? In my twenty years of teaching, I’ve found that the single best way to improve in reading is to read. I know that sounds simple, but it’s true. The problem with reading texts is that they really don’t provide a lot of reading opportunities that are interesting, so students never read from them on their own. Novels, on the other hand, are far more engaging and tend to motivate students to read both in groups and independently. As a result, I highly recommend novel reading over text reading when it comes to increasing student interest.

Please Make a Comment!

My intent is to continue adding titles, links, and free resources to this list.  Please help me improve this free resource by recommending titles, reviewing books already on this list, providing lessons that can be shared with others, and helping me find additional links to existing sites that are beneficial.  Your comments are greatly appreciated by all. 

Comments

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    • Dewey Stack profile image

      Dewey Stack 

      5 years ago

      I think that part of the reason people want to ban certain books is that they can't look past the book's imagery and see its underlying message. Or maybe they can but don't think children can

    • arizonataylor profile imageAUTHOR

      arizonataylor 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Yes, these are all banned books. Classics or not, they have been banned at some point and in some place in America. Age and value of text seem to mean nothing.

    • profile image

      mominamerica 

      7 years ago

      They list these classic books and authors along side of a book like "The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby"??? Hmmmmm

    • arizonataylor profile imageAUTHOR

      arizonataylor 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Well said. Well said.

    • profile image

      TransScribbler 

      8 years ago

      Banning books? I thought that sort of thing went out with a certain vertically challenged Austrian in 1945.

      It has to be an American thing.

      In Australia students study a large number of the titles on your list.

      Why deny children access to great minds like Rowling, Orwell, Lee, Hemingway and Twain?

      I would rather my nieces looked up to Scout Finch, Albus Dumbledore and Piggy than Paris Hilton, Zac Effron and Lindsay Lohan!

    • arizonataylor profile imageAUTHOR

      arizonataylor 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      I couldn't agree more. Isn't it ironic that books like 1984 and Brave New World are being banned? It seems like something that would be in those books. Best wishes.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      8 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Amazing and sad that so many of the great books are being banned in this country. I, at least, will never understand the thinking of some people to deny the enjoyment of great literature to others.

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