Banned-Books-SquareBanned Books Week is “celebrated” by the American Library Association this week of Sept 21-27. However, it’s sad that we even have to draw attention to the fact that books are still being banned today — in the 21st century! Unfortunately, it’s true — even in 2014, books are still being challenged and banned by parents, educators and even government officials.


Books open our hearts to another human being’s experience of the world. I find it inconceivable that some hearts would not be open to that growth. So to celebrate that enrichment, let me draw your attention to a few books I have loved that continue to be challenged. Here’s my top 30 list of banned and challenged books — and when I read them!

  1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling  (READ: in my 20s, insatiably!)
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain  (READ: 14 years old)
  3. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger  (READ: finally, at 24 years old)
  4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee  (READ: 12 years old)
  5. The Giver, by Lois Lowry  (READ: 10 years old)
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini  (READ: 36 years old, when it first appeared)
  7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (READ: 13 years old)
  8. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle  (READ: 11 years old)
  9. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell  (READ: still haven’t read it!)
  10. Moby-Dick; or The Whale, Herman Melville  (READ: 22 years old)
  11. Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak  (READ: 4, 5, 6, 7, 34, 41, and ongoing…)
  12. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford  (READ: really? this was challenged? seriously?)
  13. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne  (READ: 4, 5, 6, 7, 34, 41, and ongoing…)
  14. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl  (READ: 9 years old)
  15. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank  (READ: 16 years old)
  16. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson  (READ: 11 years old)
  17. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White  (READ: 10 years old)
  18. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll  (READ: 7, 15, 34, 41, and ongoing…)
  19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl  (READ: 11 years old)
  20. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum  (READ: 13 years old)
  21. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary  (READ: seriously people? A dictionary?)
  22. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein  (READ: 7 years old)
  23. Lord of the Flies by William Golding  (READ: knocked my socks off at 12 years old)
  24. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck  (READ: 16 years old)
  25. Little Red Riding Hood, Trina Schart Hyman  (READ: 15 years old)
  26. Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare  (READ: I’ve seen this on stage 5 times, but never read it)
  27. Animal Farm, by George Orwell  (READ: 14 years old, and hated it, frankly, but it shouldn’t be banned)
  28. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)Suzanne Collins  (READ: when they came out, like last year)
  29. The Outsiders S. E. Hinton  (READ: 13 years old)
  30. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe  (READ: 32 years old)


When did you read these excellent (banned!) books?