Banned and Challenged Books

Banned Books Week 2014

When I started looking into the most popular challenged books, or the ones that are challenged most frequently, some of the ones I found really surprised me. I decided to do a short compilation post – which of these have you read? What other challenged/banned books have you read and loved?

Anne Frank – Diary of a Young Girl – Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s diary has become a worldwide classic that is a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. I read this book for the first time when I was quite young and it definitely made an impression on me. I’d like to reread it as an adult to see if it has as much impact.

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman has a huge following. Admittedly, I’ve yet to read any of his work, but I’m sure his fans would greatly protest his books being challenged or banned. Neverwhere is the story of what happens under the streets of London, a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. A city of people who have fallen through the cracks.

Looking For Alaska – I’ve read The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, but John Green makes the list for Looking for Alaska, a story that focuses on an MC called Miles “Pudge” Halter and Alaska Young. Pudge meets Alaska at boarding school and nothing is ever the same again. I’m hoping to read this one in the month of September.

Eleanor and Park – This has been on my TBR for a while, and I’m going to read and review it this month. I haven’t read any Rainbow Rowell yet, I was put off by the hype, but I think now is the time to dive in and I’ve heard great things about E&P. Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

The Colour Purple – I vaguely remember reading this when I was quite young, very early teens I think. I do remember there were parts of it that I didn’t enjoy, I think it may have been a little graphic? So, I stopped reading it. See? People can make their own judgements without having to ban books! I’d really like to try this one again.

Of Mice and Men – I read this book when I was 15/16 for my GCSE English Literature exam. We all really enjoyed it, but it was a little death-by-analysis. It’s a really short book though, and I wouldn’t mind reading it again, except I’m pretty sure I can remember the entire story because we basically had to know it inside-out for the test!

Harry Potter – Thee number one most challenged book between 2000-2009 according to the American Library Association…

bitch please

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About Rachel

Avid reader & book blogger. Lover of Business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

22 Responses

  1. thebookheap

    banning harry potter because it “promotes witchcraft”, to kill a mockingbird and the colour purple because it “promotes racism” …how bloody stupid though, I mean really. They aren’t promoting anything, they are questioning it!

    Neverwhere is one of my favourite books, ugh so good.

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  2. I read Anne Frank when I was 10, then tried to reread it a few years ago but found it too upsetting… I knew what was going to happen and it broke my heart when she’d talk about her dreams for the future. I’ll definitely try and pick it up again soon, as her writing is great and her story so important. The scandal surrounding it (particularly the most recent one I heard of) is just ridiculous!

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      1. That’s the one!

        I saw The Storyteller at the local bookstore this afternoon but they wanted $35 for the paperback so I’ll wait till I see it on sale 😉 I recently gave away a whole lot of my old Jodi Picoult books that I didn’t like… never giving away Plain Truth or 19 Minutes though!
        Thanks for the recommendation!

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  3. I cannot believe Diary of Anne Frank os banned. That is history, something that actually happened. I remember reading and doing a report on it in 7th grade. Harry potter is one I can understand for religious purposes, although I am a christian and my grandma didnt mind us reading it in school, because I understood it was fiction. a lot of parents dont think that way. A kid in my class wasnt able to read it because his mother thought it would “convert” him which caused bullying to the young boy and it put an end to our class continuing it. I dont understand Eleanor and Park. Kids hear worse everyday, so that one is weird to me. Another one that doesnt shock me is The Color Purple, while it is sad and touching and I think very informative, it is Very graphic and probably better for more hs aged children. I dunno sorry about rambling, I jist dislike that books are banned. Its sad we as people cant make reading decisions on our own

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  4. Misha

    I also read the Diary of Anne Frank when I was really young (about 10) and it has definitely stuck with me, especially the bit at the end where it described what happened to each member of the attic. I desperately want to re-read again though, I actually don’t know why haven’t yet.
    Carpe Noctems

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  5. I was really let down by Alaska, so unlike JG… I think it’s his lamest work to date :L
    As for Anne Frank… I just read today how there are people believing the holocaust a hoax, and how there are websites that ‘prove’ it. And how some schools use that as actual reference in history. OFC in America… mental!
    As for HP, don’t get me started. It has wizards so ofc the religious world will get mental about it. -.-‘

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  6. So crazy to think these are all banned books. I just can’t understand the concept of banning books as it only makes them more appealing anyway. And the reasons that these books are banned are ridiculous.
    I much prefer Looking for Alaska to TFIOS (which I also love) but I just think LFA is so much better and a bit under-rated.
    I have E&P to read too. Sitting on my bookshelf with way too long now so I hope to get to it soon.
    And I re-read The Diary of Anne Frank every few years. I love it and it’s such a powerful book, it never fails to move me.
    Harry Potter, bwahahah, how could anyone think of banning this. I know it’s mostly religious organisations, with even a previous pope giving out about it. Please! Have they nothing better to focus on!

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  7. Wow. I’ve read about half of those books, and some of these are really surprising. Harry Potter, though, I’ve heard of complaints about that before. I don’t think it would’ve been such a thing if it hadn’t gotten so popular.

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  8. […] As part of Banned Books Week (or month on my blog) I’m participating in the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader and BookHounds. Feel free to check out my other posts – Why I Believe in The Freedom to Read and Popular Banned and Chllenged Books. […]

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