Banned Books to Read During Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week 2019 featured image

Banned Books Week 2019 banner via bannedbooks.orgBanned Books to Read During Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is just around the corner; a week spent celebrating the books that have been banned or contested. It’s hard to believe that so many books have had a rough time in libraries and schools (and sometimes even counties and so much more). But it’s important to keep sight of the struggle.

This year, Banned Books Week is occurring from September 22nd to the 28th. To help you out, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of banned or challenged books. We hope you enjoy them!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

banned booksFahrenheit 451 is a volatile novel, following a fireman—a man whose job it is to track down and burn books. It’s a classic dystopian tale designed to teach a lesson – and horrifying readers everywhere.
Reason Banned: It is truly ironic that Fahrenheit 451 has been banned, but it happens. The reason varies, some schools citing the language, others the Bible-burning, and yet others its mature content.

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

banned booksThis series is so popular and well-loved, we probably don’t even need to provide a description for you. But many will likely be happy to have the excuse to read the series again, so that’s something. Join our beloved hobbits during Banned Book Week.
Reason Banned: Considered “satanic” in some areas. There was even a book burning session as recently as 2001.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

banned booksThe novel that many say created science fiction. In this thrilling tale, we see Victor Frankenstein in his quest to create something new—and something ultimately much larger than himself
Reason Banned: Considered “objectionable and obscene” to some.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

banned booksThe first novel in a beloved series about young Harry Potter, the boy who lived. This first book introduces us to a world of magic and wonder, bringing us to Hogwarts alongside this unique boy.
Reason Banned: Some religious schools and organizations consider the subject of magic offensive.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

banned booksYet another classic tale that needs no description or introduction. We may consider this to be a story we all grew up with, which is why it can be difficult to see others trying to ban or challenge it.
Reason Banned: There are three main reasons for this one: first, the references to sexual fantasies (based on the author himself in this case). Second, China banned the book because of the human traits given to animals. And finally, the recreational use of drugs shown within the pages.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

banned booksAnother beloved classic. This is the first novel in the Time Quintet, where we dive into the world alongside the Wallace children and their friend. It’s a tale of time and dangerous in the best combinations.
Reason Banned: Mostly due to religious controversy in some regions.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

banned booksLord of the Flies is a dark tale of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island—with no adults to supervise and intervene. The following events will chill readers—and leave many questioning about the purpose of rules and order.
Reason Banned: Two main reasons, the first being the graphic violence. The second being some of the language.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

banned booksThe first novel in a trilogy, The Hunger Games was an instant hit. Here is the tale of North America in ruins, and in its place a civilization that forces children to fight to the death as a twisted form of punishment and entertainment.
Reason Banned: A variety of reasons: violence against children, belief that it is anti-family/anti-ethnic, or otherwise insensitive. Other reasons include the language and violence, religious views, and the belief that it’s satanic.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

banned booksA classic—yet heartbreaking—tale that many of us are so familiar with. Here we see a friendship brings imagination to a whole new level: a magical kingdom hidden in the woods.
Reason Banned: Once again, there are two main reasons for this book being banned so frequently. The first has to do with the believed references to witchcraft. The second is the language.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

banned booksThe Picture of Dorian Gray is a well-known novel. It’s the tale of one self-obsessed man and a painting that so perfectly captured his essence. Until he simply couldn’t take it any more.
Reason Banned: There were a couple of major factors in this book being banned. The first was the “corrupting influence” in the novel, with the second being its sexual undertones. Not only did this book end up getting banned, but Oscar Wilde was even arrested for writing/publishing it.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

banned booksA Clockwork Orange is Anthony Burgess’ picture of the future. It’s twisted and dark, showing a battle between good and evil, freedom and rules. This is arguably one of the darker novels on our list, but it is still a very important read.
Reason Banned: Mostly banned due to the graphic content inside, which was considered inappropriate for younger audiences.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

banned booksHis Dark Materials is comprised of three novels: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Together they tell a tale of Lyra, Will, and a variety of worlds and their struggle for balance. And oh so much more.
Reason Banned: The trilogy has been banned in multiple libraries and schools because it is believed to promote atheism and incite attacks on Christianity.

For more Word of the Nerd reading lists, book reviews, and features, click here.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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