50 Banned Books Everyone Should Read - Mister Linky Carnival

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This is a list of 50 books that have been banned in schools at one time.

Banning books is no less than manipulation of a people, no good can come of it. But still it goes on to this day, maybe I can't stop it but I can talk about it and that is what I intend to do here. That's what I want all of you to do too.

I received this list through a tweet from @mrskutcher (yep, I follow her now get over it) , the list was posted on onlinecollegedegree.org I still don't know the purpose of them posting the list but it brought back to the surface something that was first brought to my attention by Mrs. Ball my 10 and 11th grade English teacher. I loved her, she really seemed to understand and love reading and writing and she believed that everyone (the good kids, the bad kids) could get something out of both. I mentioned I loved her, right? She was by far without a doubt my favorite teacher in all my years of school from Kindergarten to 12th grade. One day Mrs. Ball passed out a list very similar to this one, everyone in the class received one and at the top it said "Banned Books" it was a list of books that had been banned in the past for one reason or another. Our next reading assignment was to pick anyone of the books on that list and read it. I picked "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells. I really liked that book and had a very hard time figuring out why it was banned, though I am sure time travel offends someone. Then the list intrigued me and made me a little sad but now I think about my son and the great reading he might not get to experience because of a list like this and if makes me mad.

The Lorax - Dr. Seuss
Out of all the books on this list why did I choose to write about the one for the youngest audience? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that I have a two year old who loves Dr. Seuss books but then again it might not. As soon as I see a banned book list I think about people and all they are missing out on by not having the opportunity to read these titles. The Lorax follows the Once-ler who comes to a forest then cuts it down to make "Thneeds" a versatile garment. The Lorax beg him to stop cutting down trees but his greed pushes him forward until all the trees are gone and the air is filled with smog. His company goes under and he ends up alone.
I'm sorry but isn't this something we want our children to learn, that you need to be good to the environment? Even before the big "green" movement it just seems like a case of do unto others and being a "nice" person. I look at it this way; you are standing on the sidewalk with a sword, there's another guy standing on the other side of the street predicable he is unarmed. Do you walk over and cut him in half or do you let him go about his business? Well, since I don't want to be cut in half myself then I am going to leave the dude alone and that is what I would like to teach my kids to do. To me that is what this book is really about, sure the other guy is the environment but Dr. Seuss gave the environment a voice in the Lorax themselves so in the story it is easy to see the environment as a living breathing thing that should be treated as you would like to be treated. So, to me this doesn't have as much to do with big business (the reason it was banned) as it does being nice to your fellow man which just like women includes plants and animals.

So here is the list, copied from this website and the reason why "they" said each book had been banned.

Protect the Children

These books have all been at the heart of controversy over their appropriateness for children and youth to read.

  1. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
  3. Forever by Judy Blume.
  4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.
  5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
  6. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
  7. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.
  8. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
  9. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
  10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.
  11. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier.
  12. The Giver by Lois Lowery.

Religion and Politics

Banned by governments, taken off shelves at libraries, and removed from schools, these books have been contested because of the way they portray religion or politics.

  1. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.
  2. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
  4. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe.
  5. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
  6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
  7. 1984 by George Orwell.
  8. Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  9. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
  10. Candide by Voltaire.


Perhaps the most popular reason a book is banned or challenged, the following books all portray sexuality in a way that has made some uncomfortable.

  1. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence.
  2. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.
  3. Fanny Hill by John Cleland.
  4. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
  5. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.
  6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
  7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
  8. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
  9. The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
  10. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
  11. Rabbit, Run by John Updike.
  12. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
  13. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov.

Race and Gender Issues

Racism or the treatment of women are the driving forces behind having these books removed from the public eye.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
  2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
  3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
  4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.
  5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
  6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

Multiple Reasons

Sometimes a book is so controversial or so powerfully written that it hits people on several different levels. These books have been banned for many different reasons, usually including profanity, violence, and sexuality.

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
  2. Native Son by Richard Wright.
  3. Beloved by Toni Morrison.
  4. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.
  5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kessey.
  6. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
  7. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.
  8. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
  9. East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

What I want you to do is this, write about any one of these books, your favorite one, your least favorite one, the one that is on your to-read list or maybe you want to say why you think one of these books should or should not be on the banned book list. Whatever you choose is totally fine just pick a book from the list and go for it. Then come back here and leave a comment telling everyone what you think about this post and where we can all go read (and comment on) your post. I can't wait to read all about your thoughts on these banned books.

Mr. Linky is have technical difficulties so the original one that I am sure you have all seen on other sites isn't working right now meaning we have this one. You can still use it, it just shows up in another window and everyone can still access it just from the other window (you'll see when you use it). When Mr. Linky gets up and running I will transfer the links over so everyone can see them on this page. For now I ask that you leave a comment with your info and use Mr. Linky that way we ensure everyone sees your post.

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