Each day, all across the country, one of our most basic freedoms — the right to read — is in danger. In communities large and small, censorship attempts to threaten and undermine our freedom to read. Without our constant support, the First Amendment freedoms that we so often take for granted — the right to read, explore ideas, and express ourselves freely — are at risk.
--American Library Association
This is a list of just SOME books that have been challenged, removed from schools and libraries, or BANNED. Is your favorite book safe? Librarians, teachers, and other concerned people fight to keep these and all books safe from censorship (safe from being removed from libraries and schools).
Celebrate your freedom to read! How? By READING!
Fight against censorship--read a banned book today!
*Books alphabetized by TITLE*
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
A feisty young boy fakes his own death to escape his abusive father and heads off down the Mississippi River with his newfound friend Jim, a runaway slave.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The adventures of Tom Sawyer is the story of a boy's adventures growing up in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi river in Missouri over a hundred years ago. The cheerful, adventurous hero plays truant to form a pirate band and, together with his best friend, Huckleberry Finn, finds fun and excitement, and buried treasure, along the shores of the great river.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period.
Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume
Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to the suburbs, and she's anxious to fit in with her new friends. When she's asked to join a secret club she jumps at the chance. But when the girls start talking about boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret starts to wonder if she's normal. There are some things about growing up that are hard for her to talk about, even with her friends. Lucky for Margaret, she's got someone else to confide in . . . someone who always listens.
Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
The friendship of three high school girls and their relationships with their friends and families are tested when two of them fall in love with each other. "Their friendship went so far back, it bordered on the Biblical-in the beginning, there was Nina and Avery and Mel." So says high school senior Nina Bermudez about herself and her two best friends, nicknamed "The Bermudez Triangle" by a jealous wannabe back on Nina's eleventh birthday. But the threesome faces their first separation when Nina goes away the summer before their senior year. In ten short weeks, everything changes. Nina returns home bursting with stories about Steve, the quirky yet adorable eco-warrior she fell for hard while away. But when she asks her best friends about their summer romances, an awkward silence follows. Nina soon learns the shocking truth when she sees Mel and Avery - kissing. Their friendship is rocked by what feels like the ultimate challenge.
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Antonio embarks upon a spiritual journey under the watchful guidance of Ultima, a healing woman, that leads him to question his faith and beliefs in family, religion, and other aspects of his Chicano culture. Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will test the bonds that tie him to his people, and discover himself in the pagan past, in his father's wisdom, and in his mother's Catholicism. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world-and will nurture the birth of his soul.
Blubber by Judy Blume
Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting a classmate and then finds out what it's like when she, too, becomes a target. Blubber is a good name for her, the note from Caroline said about Linda. Jill crumpled it up and left it on the corner of her school desk. Jill wanted to think about Halloween. But Robby grabbed the note, and before Linda stopped talking it had gone halfway around the room. That's where it all started...there was something about Linda that made a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they could go...but nobody, Jill least of all, expected the fun to end where it did.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove -- a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others -- who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Hundreds of years in the future, the World Controllers have created an ideal civilization. Its members, shaped by genetic engineering and behavioral conditioning, are productive and content in roles they have been assigned at conception. Government-sanctioned drugs and recreational sex ensure that everyone is a happy, unquestioning consumer; messy emotions have been anesthetized and private attachments (like having a girlfriend or boyfriend) are considered obscene. Only Bernard Marx is discontented, developing an unnatural desire for solitude. When he brings back a young man from one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old unenlightened ways still continue, he unleashes a dramatic clash of cultures that will force him to consider whether freedom, dignity, and individuality are worth suffering for.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys' side and outruns everyone. That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits. Then one morning a terrible tragedy occurs. Only when Jess is able to come to grips with this tragedy does he finally understand the strength and courage Leslie has given him.
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Telling the story of Buck, a domesticated dog, whose wild instincts begin to kick-in while serving as a sled dog in the treacherous Yukon. Life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and sleeping in the golden sunshine. But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his kidnap, and he is forced into a life of toil and danger. Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must fight for his survival.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Stunned by his mother's recent death and appalled by the way his father sleepwalks through life, Jerry Renault, a New England high school student, ponders the poster in his locker-Do I dare disturb the universe? Part of his universe is Archie Costello, leader of a secret school society-the Virgils-and master of intimidation. Archie himself is intimidated by a cool, ambitious teacher into having the Virgils spearhead the annual fund-raising event-a chocolate sale. When Jerry refuses to be bullied into selling chocolates, he becomes a hero, but his defiance is a threat to Archie, the Virgils, and the school. In the inevitable showdown, Archie's skill at intimidation turns Jerry from hero to outcast, to victim, leaving him alone and terribly vulnerable.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Once again, the Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who? Ender Wiggin is a brilliant, ruthless, cunning, a tactical and strategic master, and a six-year-old child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender's childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game. Isn't it?
Forever by Judy Blume
There's a first for everything . When you build up something in your mind -- really imagine it, wish for it -- sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn't live up to your expectations. True love is nothing like that. Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can't get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven't been together all that long, they know it's serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom. But it's senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead. Michael and Katherine are destined for another big "first": a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's monstrous creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense.
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
Gay and lesbian teenagers find mutual support when they form the "Geography Club" at their high school. --I knew that any wrong action, however slight, could reveal my true identity. Russel is still going on dates with girls. Kevin would do anything to prevent his teammates on the baseball team from finding out. Min and Terese tell everyone they're just really good friends. But after a while, the truth's too hard to hide, at least from each other, so they form the "Geography Club." Nobody else will come. Why would they want to? Their secret should be safe.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives. Now, it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
After you've had it, there isn't even life without drugs.... It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth -- and ultimately her life. Read her diary. Enter her world. You will never forget her. For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl's harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful -- and as timely -- today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.
Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
A landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling. Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. However, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing--victims of so-called "Gobblers"--and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.
Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
The Goosebumps series is youth fiction, horror and thriller subjects, although author R.L. Stine characterizes the series as "scary books that are also funny." Each book features different young characters and settings. The primary heroes of a Goosebumps story are often situated in a remote location or somehow isolated from typical society. This can range anywhere from comfortable suburban areas to boarding schools, foreign villages or campsites. Books typically feature characters who either recently moved to a new neighborhood or are sent to stay with relatives. The books are mostly written in first person narrative, often concluding with twist endings. They contain surreal horror, with characters encountering the strange and supernatural.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
One of Shakespeare's most well-known and most-studied tragedy. Hamlet, the main character and Prince of Denmark, has to deal with murder, a ghost, people he can't trust, people trying to kill him, and MORE! Tragic indeed.
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of a wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aims are to become immortal, conquer the wizarding world, subjugate non-magical people, and destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry Potter.
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
This is the story of Billy, who, because of a bet, is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat 15 worms in 15 days. The worms are supplied by his conniving opponent whose motto is "the bigger and juicier, the better."
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
A little magic can take you a long way. When James Henry Trotter accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it's as big as a house. Then James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit, and when he crawls inside, he meets a bunch of marvelous oversized friends -- Old Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Miss Spider, and more. After years of feeling like an outsider in the house of his despicable Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, James has finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the exciting adventure begins!
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared. Once upon a time, my name was not Alice. Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was. When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her. This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This gripping adventure tale is about a group of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island after a plane crash. None of the adults on the flight survived. Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin, and evil. Lord of the Flies is perhaps the most memorable tale about "the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart." When they are marooned on a deserted island, a group of English schoolboys soon lose their civilized ways.
Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary by Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
How could a dictionary be challenged?! For containing words some people disapproved of. Have you ever read a dictionary? Open one up every now and then and learn a new word! Words have power, and the more you know, the better off you will be.
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
The first time that Ken McLaughlin sees Flicka galloping past him on his family's Wyoming horse ranch, he knows she's the yearling horse he's been longing for. But Flicka comes from a long line of wild horses, and taming her will take more than Ken could ever have imagined. Soon, Ken is faced with an impossible choice: give up on his beautiful horse, or risk his life to fight for her.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
They are an unlikely pair: George is "small and quick and dark of face"; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a "family," clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. Laborers in California's dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him. "A thriller, a gripping tale . . . that you will not set down until it is finished."
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Ponyboy can count on his brothers and his friends, but not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids who get away with everything, including beating up greasers like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect--until the night someone takes things too far. Written forty-five years ago, S. E. Hintons classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was written.
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The book begins with 15-year-old Charlie writing letters to an unknown recipient about his life. He discusses how he is beginning high school and his fear of it because his only friend, Michael, committed suicide the year before. Charlie is a wallflower and he is befriended by a senior named Patrick who introduces him to Sam, Patrick's step-sister. Charlie is attracted to Sam, but says nothing for a while.
He starts dating Mary Elizabeth, a member of the group but soon despises how one-sided the relationship becomes. During a game of truth or dare, he is dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room, and kisses Sam, which causes the group to alienate him. Charlie comes to terms with his past saying "We don't get to choose where we came from, but we can choose where we go." He stops writing letters and decides instead to participate in life.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane's child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolisis at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
When sophomores John and Lorraine played a practical joke a few months ago on a stranger named Angelo Pignati, they had no idea what they were starting. Virtually overnight, almost against their will, the two befriended the lonely old man; it wasn't long before they were more comfortable in his house than their own. But now Mr. Pignati is dead. And for John and Lorraine, the only way to find peace is to write down their friend's story -- the story of the Pigman.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The most famous romance in history. Romeo and Juliet are young and truly in love, but their families are bitter enemies. This does not make for a fine romance! The couple come up with a secret plot so they can be together...but things don't quite work out as planned. Will they find a way to be together...or will it all end in tragedy? See what happens to this love-struck couple in the most EPIC romance ever.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
This spooky book is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.
There is a story here for everyone -- skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. The splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories -- and even scary songs -- all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green
The summer that Patty Bergen turns twelve is a summer that will haunt her forever. When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, Patty learns what it means to open her heart. Even though she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi, but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own. In Anton, Patty finds someone who softens the pain of her own father's rejection and who appreciates her in a way her mother never will. While patriotic feelings run high, Patty risks losing family, friends -- even her freedom -- for this dangerous friendship. It is a risk she has to take and one she will have to pay a price to keep.
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The ultimate adventure story, The Three Musketeers tells the story of the of the young Gascon gentleman, D'Artagnan and his three friends from the regiment of the King's Musketeers - Athos, Porthos and Aramis. The four defend the honour of the regiment against the guards of Cardinal Richelieu, and the honour of the queen against the secret plots of the Cardinal himself as the power struggles of seventeenth century France are vividly played out in the background. But their most dangerous encounter is with the Cardinal's spy, Milady, one of literature's most memorable female villains, and Dumas uses all his fast-paced writing skills to bring this enthralling novel to a breathtakingly gripping and dramatic conclusion.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Atticus Finch is a southern lawyer who is appointed by the court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. Although many of the town's citizens disapprove, Atticus agrees to defend Tom. Other children taunt Jem and Scout for their father's actions of defending a black man. Scout is tempted to stand up for her father's honor by fighting, even though he has told her not to. For his part, Atticus faces a group of men intent on lynching Tom. Atticus puts an end to the situation with only words. Atticus establishes that the accusers—Mayella and her father, Bob Ewell, the town drunk—are lying. It also becomes clear that the friendless Mayella was making sexual advances towards Tom and her father caught her and beat her. Despite significant evidence of Tom's innocence, the jury convicts him. What happens after that? Read this classic to find out!
Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
Vampire Academy (series) by Richelle Mead
Two races of vampires walk our world. One, the Moroi, are alive and wield elemental magic. The other, the Strigoi, are undead and evil--feeding on the innocent to survive. Rose Hathaway--a half-vampire with poor impulse control--is training to be a bodyguard for a Moroi princess. Learning to decapitate and stake is hard enough, but Rose's real danger may lie in an illicit romance with one of her instructors...
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. "Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract." A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. A Wrinkle in Time, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.