banned books and why censorship makes me laugh

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
—Harper Lee

The Pulitzer Prize winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been banned from school libraries and denounced for so-called racial slurs and profanity.

The American Library Association keeps a database of objectionable reads and publishes a ‘Most Frequently Challenged Books List’. The list is a melting pot of celebrated authors including Harper Lee, Judy Blume, JK Rowling, Roald Dahl and Toni Morrison.

The ALA have teamed up with Yahoo! to promote Banned Books Week and to encourage “free people to read freely”.

If you’d like to join the rebellion may I recommend one of my personal favourties, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. Maya Angelou’s autobiographical masterpiece has been near the top of The list for over two decades.

If that doesn’t illicit a jaw-dropping ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’ response, maybe this will.

In no particular order
, a selection of the most controversial, most challenged and yes, pity upon pity, most banned books of the last ten years.

1. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
2. “Harry Potter” (the series) by JK Rowling
3. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
4. “The Outsiders” by SE Hinton
5. “Lolita” by Vladmir Nabokov
6. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
7. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
8. “How to Eat Fried Worms” by Thomas Rockwell
9. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
10. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

Go on. Knock yourself out.

*See More Challenged/Banned Classics. Also, for giggles check out the ALA. You’ll find Worms between “Girls and Sex” and “View from a Cherry Tree”.

You may also like


  • continuitygirl
    Oct 10, 2006 at 10:59

    I might make it my mission in life to read all these banned books – to be fair i’ve already read a lot of them!

  • andrew
    Apr 2, 2007 at 23:50

    that quote is misleading, harper lee did not say that,she wrote it “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” – scoutFinch

  • Buffy
    Apr 3, 2007 at 0:18

    Ok. Sorry. Nitpicky I know. And I shouldn’t engage. But it doesn’t say she said it. Just that they are her words. And they are.

    You’re correct in that she wrote them for Scout.

  • Lucky
    Nov 5, 2007 at 1:21

    These books are GREAT CLASSICS. People that ban books are people with no imagination… did you know that they banned “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” just because they thought it put people and animals on the same level!! Then they said that animals should not speak the human language! Excuse me!! Are humans plants, then? or protist, or fungi, or monerans? NO! We are classified as animals by nature. I just read “To Kill A Mockingbird”, and IT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST BOOKS EVER! No imagination…everything that is in these books are on tv nowadays. So why don’t we just blindfold the kids? BTW… the Bible is banned. Along wiht Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach… practially all the kids books. What has this world come to?

  • Caitlynn
    Jul 9, 2008 at 0:11