Banned Books Awareness Week

(I posted this on The Homeschool Reading Diary)

I never realized that there were "banned" books until I was in 11th grade. My Lit teacher told us that we were going to read classical books that were not on the banned list but we could read books on the banned list on our own outside of class! I asked after class what were "banned" books because I had no clue! I would have loved to have had access to the Internet at that time because I would have Googled "banned books."
I just heard that there is Banned Books Awareness Week, September 26- October 3. This is what Half Price Books has to say about this week: Speak freely. Write candidly. Read endlessly. Celebrate your First Amendment rights during Banned Books Awareness Week, September 26 - October 3. And remember that Half Price Books buys and sells anything ever printed or recorded, including banned and challenged books. We applaud the courageous authors who open our eyes to controversial topics.

Here is a list of the top 100 banned books as listed by 100bannedbooks .

1. 1984 by George Orwell

2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain

3. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

4. Age of Reason by Thomas Paine

5. Andersonville (1955) by MacKinlay Kantor

6. Animal Farm by George Orwell

7. 1001 Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean

8. As I Lay Dying (1932) by William Faulkner

9. The Bastard by John Jakes

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

11. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

12. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya

13. Blubber by Judy Blume

14. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

15. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

16. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

17. Call of the Wild by Jack London

18. Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce

19. Candide by Voltaire

20. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

21. Carrie by Stephen King

22. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

23. Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J. D. Salinger

24. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

25. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

26. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

27. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

28. Color Purple by Alice Walker

29. Confessions by JeanbyJacques Rousseau

30. Christine by Stephen King

31. Cujo by Stephen King

32. Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen

33. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite

34. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck

35. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

36. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

37. Decameron by Boccaccio

38. Dubliners by James Joyce

39. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

40. Fallen Angels by Walter Myers

41. Fanny Hill by John Cleland

42. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

43. Forever by Judy Blume

44. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

45. The Goats by Brock Cole

46. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

47. Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck

48. Grendel by John Champlin Gardner

49. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

50. Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

51. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

52. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

53. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

54. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

55. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

56. House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

57. Howl by Allen Ginsberg

58. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

59. I Have to Go by Robert Munsch

60. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

61. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

62. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

63. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

64. King Lear by William Shakespeare

65. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

66. The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks

67. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

68. Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov

69. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

70. Lysistrata by Aristophanes

71. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

72. Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

73. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

74. Monk by Matthew Lewis

75. Native Son by Richard Wright

76. Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad

77. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

78. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

79. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

80. Ordinary People by Judith Guest

81. Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

82. Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective

83. Portnoy's Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth

84. Private Parts by Howard Stern

85. Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

86. Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

87. Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

88. Separate Peace by John Knowles

89. Silas Marner by George Eliot

90. SlaughterhousebyFive by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

91. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

92. Sons & Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

93. The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman

94. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

95. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

96. Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller

97. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

98. Ulysses by James Joyce

99. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

100. Wrinkle in Time byMadeleine L'Engle

I found a great site that goes into why books are banned. Go to Delete Censorship for more information. Some books stay on the list. Others get added or deleted over time.

Motivation to ban a book stems from an individual feeling that their family values, religion, political views and or minority rights are being threatened. From there they just gather supporters and up it climbs the chain to get it banned. If you don't like the book for whatever reason then don't read it. Simple as that. FYI- The Harry Potter Books are the #1 most challenged books of the 21st century!

My opinion is that as a mother there might be books that I do not want my children to read. I do not feel a need to impose that on every child in America. As I looked over this list I see may books my daughters have already read. Some of the books on the list we are reading for High School Literature! This is something we will be discussing as we read and study together.


  1. Pete W. from facebook:
    I just went through that list. Most I had to read...Why are they banning classic books...No one gives them the right to do that!!!

  2. JoAnn S. from facebook:
    Wow! Several of those books were REQUIRED when I was in high school...Of Mice and Men, Separate Peace, and Scarlet Letter to name a few.

  3. Marc M. from facebook:

    Were the banned books banned by the state or federal government, I would be furious. But who are they banned by? I figure if I don't allow my children to read a certain book because I don't want them exposed to what's in it or influenced by it, that is not only my right as a parent, but my duty as a parent. Some would call that censorship. It... Read More is, so they can get over it. Were I the head of a school, I would "ban" some books from the library for the same reason, since as the principal of a school, the parents who choose to send their children there have in fact made me in loco parentis, and while they may choose to let their children be exposed to homosexuality, Al Gore, graphic sexuality, or racism at home, I see no reason to make it part of young people's lives. Just another reason why people should homeschool their children, and make the banned book list irrelevant.

  4. JoAnn & Pete I know that I have read a huge chunk of those books. Marc- I agree with you totally. My point is always that the parent is the one who should be making the decisions being that books, movies, Al Gore, etc.

  5. Don D. from facebook:
    The idea of 'banned' books is so Draconian to me, especially when many of us had these books as required reading in our educational past. Too many kids can't read now, and there shouldn't be something like the list to prevent them from exercising their reading skills. Too many educational pundits hide behind "protect the children" anymore, and ... Read Morethe kids aren't as well read as we were. I'd rather my kids learn about some of the subjects these books contain, so they understand the real world a little better.

  6. Anna B. from facebook: I can't believed there is such a week as Banned Book week.. I can't even believe some of the books that are listed here

  7. Motivation to ban a book stems from an individual feeling that their family values, religion, political views and or minority rights are being threatened. From there they just gather supporters and up it climbs the chain to get it banned. If you don't like the book for whatever reason then don't read it. Simple as that. FYI- The Harry Potter Books are the #1 most challenged books of the 21st century!

  8. Marc M
    I've read about a quarter of those books. My question is: banned by whom? Should we care that they who have chosen to ban a book have done so? Who do I see to get into the book-banning business, since it seems clear to me that banning a book is a whole lot less work than going to the trouble to write one? Just imagine, some poor sod works for a year to write a book, while I could ban, say, 30 or 40 an hour!

  9. Check out the American Library Association-


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