Banned Books Week

It’s that time of year again.  No, not Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas… It’s Banned Books Week!

According to the American Library Association (ALA), the reported Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books for 2008 were as follows:

  • And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  • His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  • TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  • Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  • Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group
  • And the Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books between 1990-1999 were:

  • Scary Stories (Series), by Alvin Schwartz
  • Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  • The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  • Forever, by Judy Blume
  • Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  • Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  • The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  • My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  • It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
  • Alice (Series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Goosebumps (Series), by R.L. Stine
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  • Sex, by Madonna
  • Earth’s Children(Series), by Jean M. Auel
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
  • In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
  • The Witches, by Roald Dahl
  • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The New Joy of Gay Sex, by Charles Silverstein
  • Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
  • The Goats, by Brock Cole
  • The Stupids (Series), by Harry Allard
  • Anastasia Krupnik (Series), by Lois Lowry
  • Final Exit, by Derek Humphry
  • Blubber, by Judy Blume
  • Halloween ABC, by Eve Merriam
  • Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
  • Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
  • The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  • What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters, by Lynda Madaras
  • Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
  • The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
  • Deenie, by Judy Blume
  • Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
  • Annie on my Mind, by Nancy Garden
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  • The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
  • Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat, by Alvin Schwartz
  • Harry Potter (Series), by J.K. Rowling
  • Cujo, by Stephen King
  • James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  • A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein
  • Ordinary People, by Judith Guest
  • American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  • Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  • Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
  • Asking About Sex and Growing Up, by Joanna Cole
  • What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons, by Lynda Madaras
  • The Anarchist Cookbook, by William Powell
  • Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
  • Boys and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy
  • Crazy Lady, by Jane Conly
  • Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
  • Killing Mr. Griffin, by Lois Duncan
  • Fade, by Robert Cormier
  • Guess What?, by Mem Fox
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies, by Nancy Friday
  • Curses, Hexes and Spells, by Daniel Cohen
  • On My Honor, by Marion Dane Bauer
  • The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende
  • Jack, by A.M. Homes
  • Arizona Kid, by Ron Koertge
  • Family Secrets, by Norma Klein
  • Mommy Laid An Egg, by Babette Cole
  • Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  • Where Did I Come From?, by Peter Mayle
  • The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney
  • Carrie, by Stephen King
  • The Dead Zone, by Stephen King
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
  • Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  • Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
  • Private Parts, by Howard Stern
  • Where’s Waldo?, by Martin Hanford
  • Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
  • Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
  • Little Black Sambo, by Helen Bannerman
  • Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
  • Running Loose, by Chris Crutcher
  • Sex Education, by Jenny Davis
  • Jumper, by Steven Gould
  • Christine, by Stephen King
  • The Drowning of Stephen Jones, by Bette Greene
  • That Was Then, This is Now, by S.E. Hinton
  • Girls and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy
  • The Wish Giver, by Bill Brittain
  • Jump Ship to Freedom, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  • How many banned books have you read?

    Your challenge is to choose at least one book from either list that you have not yet read, and read it.


    1. Hang on. Where’s Waldo? As in the book that goes in the UK by “Where’s Wally”, featuring the stripy bobble-hat and shirt bedecked chap inclined to wander off into the picture?


    2. You mean you didn’t challenge “Where’s Wally” in the UK? Honestly, I don’t know why it was challenged here in the U.S. either. Last year’s list was the first I had heard of such absurdity, though I’m one to shake my head in shame when I read this list at all. You’re right though — Who would want to ban “Where’s Waldo?” I suppose that guy can be pretty frustrating to find for some people!


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