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Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

So many banned books are favorites of mine because they don’t just skim the surface of things, but dig deep, ask questions, and make me curious enough to go looking for other books on the subject.  They arouse emotions and inspire me.  They are courageous and take on hard topics.  Many of them have beautiful, memorable language and unforgettable images.

The characters in the books below have stuck with me and these books are the ones most often spoken about when people speak of books that meant a lot to them.  They are a common language and often alluded to in other books.  

Wiki has the list of the most commonly challenged books in the United States:

My favorites from the wiki list:

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling

The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Nineteen Eighty-four (1984) by George Orwell

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Ulysses by James Joyce

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

From other lists:

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Sophie's Choice by William Styron

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Another list of books A-I


Shakespeare? Of course, Shakespeare.

The Savannah Morning News reported in November 1999 that a teacher at the Windsor Forest High School required seniors to obtain permission slips before they could read Hamlet, Macbeth, or King Lear. The teacher's school board had pulled the books from class reading lists, citing "adult language" and references to sex and violence. Many students and parents protested the school's board's policy, which also included the outright banning of three other books. Shakespeare is no stranger to censorship: the Associated Press reported in March 1996 that Merrimack, NH schools had pulled Shakespeare's Twelfth Night from the curriculum after the school board passed a "prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction" act. (Twelfth Night includes a number of romantic entanglements including a young woman who disguises herself as a boy.) Readers from Merrimack informed me in 1999 that school board members who had passed the act had been voted out, after the uproar resulting from the act's passage, and that the play is now used again in Merrimack classrooms. The Library at Occidental College has an online exhibit on the censorship of Shakespeare through history.
More lists:

The cynic in me suggests that if there is a book you loved once because it challenged your mind, it is on some banned list somewhere.  I have only listed a few so now it is your turn to mention the ones you love.

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Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


Which is your favorite banned book?

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| 37 votes | Vote | Results

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