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5 Banned Books Every Teen Should Read

Updated on March 12, 2012

Banned Book lists are great. I support mothers who don’t want their gifted children getting nightmares from kids fighting to the death on reality TV and I support churches against two male penguins adopting an egg together. I’m all for teachers who don’t want to teach about a phony with an underage drinking problem and more power to the fathers who fear their daughters will stumble across the pages of awkward adolescent sex. I support banned books and I support the fact that their is no such thing as bad press. Banned books are banned because they are GOOD. But the fact of the matter is that, once banned, they are viewed as bad and inappropriate and what else dose a teen want to do more that the opposite of what adults are telling them. Banned book s get read and the more reading a teen dose the better because they are exposed to new worlds, thoughts and ideas which then influence their own world, their own thoughts and their own ideas that will follow them into an adulthood not governed by school boards and parents. (But that’s an article for another day).

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • Charged of being “sexually explicit” and violent parents have complained that their children have been given nightmares and has been desensitized to violence. (Have these parents never turned on the TV? I think the book isn’t the cause of this)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • Language. Seriously, people don’t like it because of the foul language. Never mind the fact the fact that it’s a beautiful clever work of genius and reading it would do nothing but improve the readers sense of voice and writing style

Looking For Alaska by John Green

  • Containing a brief, mildly sexual scene and quite a bit of drinking this book has been banned from being taught in schools across the county. (people who have read the books response to the banning: “If looking for Alaska is porn it’s the worst porn ever.”) Watch the video for the author's response to being banned.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  • Yes the use of racial slurs is appalling and if it bothers you it would be a book to skip but it is ironic that it is banned for the “N” word while in other places it is taught for the reason that it is one of the first literary examples of the fight for equal rights and treating people as important and valued no matter what they look like. It is a book about turning against the tide and doing the right thing.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  • Banned because one of the books burned in the novel is The Bible is it silly considering no books were in fact harmed during the witting of this book and the entire thing is a testament to NOT burning books, books including The Bible.


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    • profile image

      Spk5367 5 years ago

      Great hub. I love Gatsby and TKAM, but Fahrenheit 451 is my favorite book of all time! These should be mandatory before one gets a high school diploma. Bradbury speaks so clearly on the destruction wrought by censorship and then his book gets banned! How ironic!

      I remember teaching Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men to high schoolers. The language is pretty rough, but appropriate to the story. I can see why it gets banned (sexual content plus language) but I think it belings in this list as well!

    • inevitablesecrets profile image

      inevitablesecrets 5 years ago from California

      Lol, I actually am a goody-goody I mean when my idea of rebellion is reading off the banned books list...

    • Larry Okeke profile image

      Larry Okeke 5 years ago from Enugu, Nigeria

      i should have guessed as much. i knpw no goody-goody girl would go around bearing the name "inevitablesecrets". another unorthodox teenager... kinda reminds me of larry..

      thanks for sharing. voted up and useful!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Gatsby is an American classic.That goes for Fahrenheit 451 as well, and To Kill A Mockingbird is a great novel about prejudice and people standing up to it. I was expecting to see Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller on the list too. Many books have been banned by narrow minded and ignorant people.

      Really a good and important Hub. Censorship is where the evil lies.

    • SMD2012 profile image

      Sally Hayes 5 years ago

      Sounds good then, I'll have to check them both out!

    • inevitablesecrets profile image

      inevitablesecrets 5 years ago from California

      I've had professors that have read and enjoyed The Hunger Games so even though the characters are teens doesn't mean that the book is just for teens. The same goes for Looking For Alaska, it's a really good book but I'd recommend John Green's newest book The Fault in Our Stars even more. It's not banned but it is brilliant.

    • SMD2012 profile image

      Sally Hayes 5 years ago

      I'm too old for/haven't read "The Hunger Games" so I have no idea why that book was banned. I grew up reading all the others in high school except for "Looking for Alaska", but not because it was banned. I remember having to read Lord of the Flies and thinking that book was scary and disturbing, but of course it was all within the context of the story's subtext, so at the same time, the scary parts made sense; it was never gratuitous violence.