I Read Banned Books


This week to show my support, I wore my “I Read Banned Books” bracelet: 
Banned Books Week is a time to celebrate our freedom to be able to read whichever books we choose as well as being able to access these books. Many of the challenges/bans that happen in the US are on young adult books which are deemed “unsuitable to age group” and are often challenged by parents. As a teacher, I completely understand the right to protect our own children and that some books are more appropriate for different ages; however, I will never understand the need to try to push these beliefs onto others by completely banning a book in a library, school or city. To learn more about banned and censored books and Banned Books Week check out ALA’s Banned & Challenged Books and Banned Books Week.


I wanted to share with you some of my favorite challenged books (taken from the ALA Frequently Challenged Books list)—some you will recognize and some that may be new to you, but they are all books that should be accessible. If you want to learn more about each book, click on their cover and it’ll take you to their Goodreads pages.


ttyl (series) by Lauren Myracle
Reasons for challenges: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

ttyl (Internet Girls, #1)

Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
Reasons for challenges: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Reasons for challenges: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

What My Mother Doesn't Know (What My Mother Doesn't Know, #1)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons for challenges: offensive language; racism

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons for challenges: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
Reasons for challenges: Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

Olive's Ocean

Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Reasons for challenges: homosexuality and offensive language

Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher

Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
Reasons for challenges: anti-family content, unsuited to age group, violence

The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants, #1)

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Reasons for challenges: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

In the Night Kitchen

Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
Reasons for challenges: occult/Satanism

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Reasons for challenges: offensive language

Of Mice and Men

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Reasons for challenges: occult/Satanism, offensive language

Bridge to Terabithia

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Reasons for challenges: drugs

Go Ask Alice

Crank (series) by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons for challenges: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit

Crank (Crank, #1)

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry (series) by Mildred D. Taylor
Reasons for challenges: offensive language

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Reasons for challenges: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group


Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reasons for challenges: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

looking for alaska

These are some of my favorite challenged books—what are yours?
How did you celebrate Banned Books Week?



6 thoughts on “I Read Banned Books”

  1. Some of my favorites are here, too, Kellee. I posted some of the links on Facebook and to those in my school. An old favorite is The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, new one is Feed by M.T. Anderson. Both about freedom of choice. Thanks for this list too!

  2. Whaaaaat?? Olive’s Ocean is sexually explicit? Did I miss something? Weren’t the main characters like 13? And Bridge to Terabithia…SATANISM??? Seriously I wonder if we all live on parallel planes when it comes to interpreting the things we read (or in some cases…clearly haven’t read)


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