20 Challenged Books to Kickoff Banned Books Week

Did you know that today is the start of Banned Books Week? From September 24-30, bibliophiles, teachers, librarians, publishers, journalists, and all readers will celebrate the freedom to read and shed light on the freedom of expression (for all; even those who challenge the books) as well as the harms of censorship. Throughout the week, I wanted to shed light on books that have been challenged or banned from libraries and schools. “Challenged” means that there has been an effort to remove or restrict these books from readers.  After some research, I found that a lot of the books on these lists were books that I have read and owned, thanks to advocacy organizations, teachers, librarians, and other community members who oppose censorship.

Here is the first installment of the most challenged/banned books (in no particular order).

  1. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
  2. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
  3. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
  4. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
  5. “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller
  6. “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
  7. “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell
  8. “Harry Potter” (series) by J.K. Rowling
  9. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  10. “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville
  11. “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman
  12. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  13. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
  14. “Forever” by Judy Blume
  15. “His Dark Materials” series by Phillip Pullman
  16. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  17. “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson
  18. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
  19. Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
  20. “Goosebumps” (series), by R.L. Stine


Which titles jump out at you? What are your thoughts on censorship? Share in the comments!




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