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Banned books

September 29, 2010 - Meg Alexander

I found out, after posting my Lolita blog, that this is Banned Books Week. What a coincidence! I decided to do a little research to see what other books have been banned in U.S. history.

According to, the following were at one time banned somewhere in the United States, perhaps at a school or community library, or maybe throughout the country by decree of our mighty government. The list I've included below is by no means comprehensive and I've included only the ones I've actually read. Lolita may have been too obvious for them to even bother naming. Another one of my favorite books that wasn't mentioned but was pretty controversial and frequently banned in its day — along with many of Sinclair Lewis's other novels — is Kingsblood Royal. I've starred the books below that rank among some of my all-favorites, books that moved me, challenged me or just entertained me. Where we would be without such things? "Boo" to book banning, I say!

*A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
*Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
*Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
*Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
*Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
*I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
*James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
*Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
*One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
*Separate Peace by John Knowles
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
*The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
*The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
*The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
*The Witches by Roald Dahl
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
*To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare


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