Books, Bans and the Fight for Reading Freedom

So, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but our American mates love a good ol’ National Day – there’s National Dress Up Your Pet Day  (Jan 14), National Take Your Pants for a Walk Day (July 27), there’s even a National Pizza With The Works Except Anchovies Day (Nov 12). Last week saw banned books get a run. But because books are totes amazeballs, they got more than a day; they got an entire week dedicated to them! Yep, 21-27 September is National Banned Books Week in the US of A. This annual event is all about celebrating one’s freedom to read and aims to highlight the value of free and open access to books and information and the negative repercussions of censorship. You can find out more about National Banned Books Week here).

In honour of the special event, we thought we’d put together a list of the books that are much-loved around the world … and also commonly banned in places such as schools, libraries etcetera.

 

 The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby Film Tie In cover – F.Scott Fitzgerald

Main reasons for bans:

 Violence
 Offensive language
 Sexually explicit

 

 

 

 The Catcher in the RyeCatcher In The Rye , J.D. Salinger – J.D Salinger

Main reasons for bans:

  Sexual content
  Offensive language
  Unsuitable for school-aged readers

 

 

 

 To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill A Mockingbird , Lee Harper – Harper Lee

Main reasons for bans:

  Racism
  Language

 

 

 

 

 

 Why the Cage Bird SingsI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , Maya Angelou – Maya Angelou 

Main reasons for bans:

  Offensive language
  Sexually explicit
  Violence
  Unsuitable for school-aged readers

READ  Go Wild at Sydney Uni's O-Week!

 

 

 

 The Adventures of Captain UnderpantsThe Adventures Of Captain Underpants (#1) , Dav Pilkey series – Dav Pilkey 

Main reasons for bans:

  Offensive language
  Unsuitable for age group (this is kids’ book series)
  Violence

 

 

 

 

 Harry PotterHarry Potter and Philosophers Stone , J.K. Rowling series – J.K Rowling

Main reasons for bans:

  Promotes the occult/Satanism
  Anti-family
  Violence

 

 

 

 

 Looking for Alaska Looking For Alaska , John  Green – John Green

Main reasons for bans:

  Drugs, smoking and alcohol use
  Sexually explicit
  Unsuitable for school-aged readers

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge To Terabithia , Paterson

 Bridge to Terabithia –  Katherine Paterson 

Main reasons for bans:

  Promoting occult/Satanism/secular humanism/new age religion
 Offensive language
  Violence

 

 

 

The Kite RunnerThe Kite Runner , Hosseini, Khaled – Khaleed Hosseini

 Homosexuality
 Offensive language
  Religious viewpoint
  Sexually explicit

 

 

 

 

 The Hunger Games seriesThe Hunger Games (Adult Edition) : The Hunger Games Trilogy Book 1 , Suzanne Collins– Suzanne Collins 

 Violence
  Offensive language
  Occult/Satanic
  Anti-ethnic
  Anti-family

 

 

There are some really interesting articles out there on the topic of censorship and book banning throughout history – type it into Google and have a browse. The American Library Association also has a heap of data on the subject as well as several lists on banned books in history. Here are just a few:

Banned & Challenged Classics
Frequently Challenged Books of the 21st Century
100 Most Frequently Challenged Books: 1900-1999
Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

 

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