Banned Books Resources
located in the Curriculum Lab
Harry. BUMPS IN THE
NIGHT. Dudley Stork
enlists his friends to help rid his house of things that go bump in the
night. c1979. Challenged for its description of families in a
derogatory manner and encourages disrespectful language and disobedience
Harry. THE STUPIDS DIE.
The Stupid family think they are dead when the lights go out.
1981. Challenged for its description of families in a derogatory
manner and encourages disrespectful language and disobedience to
Harry. THE STUPIDS HAVE
A BALL. The Stupid
family celebrates the children's awful report cards by inviting their
relatives to a costume party. c1978. Challenged for its
description of families in a derogatory manner and encourages
disrespectful language and disobedience to parents.
Harry. THE STUPIDS TAKE
OFF. In an attempt to
avoid a visit from Uncle Carbuncle, the Stupids fly off in their
airplane and visit several other relatives who are just as stupid as
they are. c1989 Challenged for its description of families in a
derogatory manner and encourages disrespectful language and disobedience
Martin. WHERE'S WALDO?
The reader follows Waldo as he hikes around the world and must
try to find him in the illustrations of some of the crowded places he
visits. c1987. Challenged for a tiny drawing of a woman lying oh
the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top.
Eve. HALLOWEEN A B C.
A poem for each letter of the alphabet introduces a different,
spooky aspect of Halloween. c1987. Challenged for violence,
promoting Satanism, murder, and suicide and deviant behavior.
Leslea. HEATHER HAS TWO
MOMMIES. When Heather
goes to playgroup, at first she feels bad because she has two mothers
and no father, but then she learns that there are lots of different
kinds of families and the most important thing is that all the people
love each other.c1989.Challenged for obscene subject matter and
vulgarity with the message that lesbianism/homosexuality is okay.
Maurice. IN THE NIGHT
KITCHEN. A little boy's
dream-fantasy in which he helps three fat bakers get milk for their cake
batter. . Challenged because the little boy pictures did not
have any clothes on and it pictured his private area.
William, SYLVESTER AND
THE MAGIC PEBBLE. In a
moment of fright Sylvester the donkey asks his magic pebble to turn him
into a rock but then can not hold the pebble to wish himself back to
normal again. . Challenged because all characters are shown
as animals; police are presented as pigs.
ROOMMATE. A young boy
discusses his divorced father's new living situation, in which the
father and his gay roommate share eating, doing chores, playing, loving,
and living. , c1990. Challenged for homosexual themes were
inappropriate for children.
J 612.63 M469w
Peter. WHERE DID I COME
FROM? : THE FACTS OF LIFE WITHOUT ANY NONSENSE AND WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.
Describes the reproductive process from intercourse to birth. 1975, c1973.
Challenged for sex education.
Robie H. IT'S PERFECTLY
NORMAL: A BOOK ABOUT CHANGING BODIES, GROWING UP, SEX, AND SEXUAL HEALTH. Lots
of questions -- What is sex? -- Our bodies -- Puberty --Families and
babies -- Decisions – Staying healthy.c1994. Challenged for being
sexually explicit, pornographic, and to easily accessible to children.
Joanna. ASKING ABOUT SEX AND GROWING UP : A QUESTION-AND-ANSWER BOOK
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS. Uses
a question-and-answer format to present sex information for preteens.
c1988. Challenged for sex education.
Lynda. THE WHAT'S HAPPENING TO MY BODY? BOOK FOR BOYS: A GROWING UP
GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND SONS. Discusses the changes that take place in a
boy's body during puberty, including information on the body's changing
size and shape, the growth spurt, reproductive organs, pubic hair, beards,
pimples, voice changes, wet dreams, and puberty in girls. c1988. Challenged
for sex education, AIDS awareness, and the supernatural.
Shel. A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC:
A collection of humorous
poems and drawings.
c1981. Challenged for promoting disrespect, horror, and violence;
also containing subliminal or underlying messages and anti-parent
Maya. I KNOW WHY THE CAGED
BIRD SINGS. Young Maya
leads a precarious existence in racist, Depression-era Arkansas, where she
is shuttled between her grandmother's and mother's house. She endures to
share her realization in her
address: "In order to lift your voice, you have to lift your
head." [1970, c1969] Challenged for the description of a rape
she suffered as a child.
Lynne Reid. THE INDIAN IN
THE CUPBOARD. A
nine-year-old boy receives a plastic Indian, a cupboard, and a little key
for his birthday and finds himself involved in adventure when the Indian
comes to life in the cupboard and befriends him.
c1981. Challenged for subtle stereotypes inconsistent with district diversity goals.
Helen. LITTLE BLACK SAMBO.
A little boy in India loses his fine new clothes to the tigers, but
while they dispute who is the grandest tiger in the jungle, he takes his
fine clothes back again. . Challenged for its depiction of people of African
Francesca Lia. WEETZIE
BAT. Follows the wild
adventures of Weetzie Bat and her Los Angeles friends, Dirk, Duck, and
My-Secret-Agent-Lover-Man. c1989. Challenged for glorifying
homosexuality, promoting promiscuity and underage drinking and bashing
Judy. ARE YOU THERE GOD?
IT'S ME, MARGARET. Faced
with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a
twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.
 Challenged for sexual grounds including sexual development.
Judy. BLUBBER. 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.  Challenged for offensive language and being unsuited
to age group.
Judy. TIGER EYES.
Resettled in the "Bomb City" with her mother and brother,
Davey Wexler recovers from the shock of her father's death during a holdup
of his 7-Eleven store in Atlantic City. , c1981. Challenged
for violence and could create
unnecessary fears in some young people.
Bradbury, Ray. FAHRENHEIT 451. First published in 1953, this novel illuminates suppression of critical thought and reading. Montag, a regimented fireman in charge of burning the forbidden volumes, meets a revolutionary school teacher who dares to read. Suddenly he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose not only between two women, but between personal safety and intellectual freedom. c1993.
Lewis. ALICE'S ADVENTURES
IN WONDERLAND. By falling
down a rabbit hole, Alice experiences unusual adventures with a variety of
nonsensical characters. c1985.Challenged for portraying animals and
humans on the same level.
Mark. THE ADVENTURES
OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN. The
adventures of a young boy traveling down the Mississippi River with an
escaped slave. c1986 Challenged
for a very low grade of
morality, rough, coarse dialect, systematic use of bad grammar.
Mark. THE ADVENTURES OF
TOM SAWYER. The adventures of a boy growing up in the nineteenth
century in a Mississippi River town, as he plays hookey on an island,
witnesses a crime, hunts for pirates' treasure, and becomes lost in a
cave. [c1931] Challenged for its racially charged language.
Brock. THE GOATS.
Stripped and marooned on a small island by their fellow campers, a
boy and a girl form an uneasy bond that grows into a deep friendship when
they decide to run away and disappear without a trace. c1987. Challenged
for describing the rescue of a naked girl and for offensive and
inappropriate language for seventh graders.
James Lincoln. JUMP SHIP
TO FREEDOM. In 1787 a
fourteen-year-old slave, anxious to buy freedom for himself and his
mother, escapes from his dishonest master and tries to find help in
cashing the soldier's notes received by his father for fighting in the
Revolution. 1987, c1981. Challenged for a racial slur and the main
character questions the intelligence of his own race at the beginning of
James Lincoln. MY BROTHER
SAM IS DEAD. Recounts the
tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son
joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral
in a Tory town.  Challenged for profanity - “bastard,
goddamn, and hell” and violence; also
uses name of God and Jesus in a “vain and profane manner along
with inappropriate sexual preferences.”
Jane Leslie. CRAZY LADY!
As he tries to come to terms with his mother's death, Vernon finds
solace in his growing relationship with the neighborhood outcasts, an
alcoholic and her retarded son. c1993.
Challenged for offensive language.
YP C811 ch
Robert. THE CHOCOLATE WAR;
A NOVEL. A high school
freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the
school's annual fund raising drive and
arousing the wrath of the school bullies. 
Challenged for containing sexual innuendoes, profanity and
Paul Moreaux, the thirteen-year-old son of French Canadian
immigrants, inherits the ability to become invisible, but this power soon
leads to death and destruction. c1988. Challenged for sex and
violence and not being appropriate for middle school students.
Robert. WE ALL FALL DOWN:
A NOVEL. As The Avenger
searches for the teenage boys who trashed a house in his neighborhood,
Buddy, one of the trashers, increases his drinking in order to cope with
his parents' separation and his obsession with the daughter of the owner
of the vandalized house. c1991.Challenged for rape, vulgarity,
alcohol abuse and how to cover up.
Roald. JAMES AND THE GIANT
PEACH, A CHILDREN'S STORY.
Wonderful adventures abound after James escapes from his fearful
aunts by rolling away in a giant peach.  Challenged for use of
a foul word “ass” and parts of the book deal with wine, tobacco, and
sniff and promotes drugs and whiskey; also inappropriate reading material
for young children.
Roald. THE WITCHES.
A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on
witches, together foil a witches' plot to destroy the world's children by
turning them into mice. 1985, c1983. Challenged for enticing
impressionable children into becoming involved in the occult, alleged
violence, did not teach moral values and use of the word “slut”.
Louise. HARRIET THE SPY. The
story about eleven-year old Harriet, who is a spy, plans to be a writer,
and keeps a secret notebook filled with thoughts and notes on her school
mates and people she observes on her after-school "spy route."
However, when her classmates find and read her notebook, their
anger and retaliation, and Harriet's unexpected responses, explode in a
hilarious and , c1964.Challenged for teaching
children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.
Nancy. ANNIE ON MY MIND.
Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at
school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of
people. c1982. Challenged for its depiction of homosexuality.
Jean Craighead. JULIE OF
THE WOLVES. While running
away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl
becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf
pack..  Challenged for socialist, communist, evolutionary, and
GO ASK ALICE. A
fifteen-year-old drug user chronicles her daily struggle to escape the
pull of the drug world.  c1971.Challenged for the treatment of
descriptions of sex, vulgar language, and reference to drugs.
Bette. THE DROWNING OF
STEPHAN JONES. As her
mother battles a citizens' group that wants to ban all
"anti-Christian" literature from the public library, Carla faces
her own battle of torn loyalties when her boyfriend starts persecuting the
homosexual owners of an antiques shop. c1991.Challenged for
portrayals of gays, lesbians and for homosexuality.
Greene, Bette. SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER. Sheltering an escaped German prisoner of war is the beginning of some shattering experiences for a 12-year-old Jewish girl in Arkansas. c1973. Challenged for racism, offensive language and being sexually explicit.
Judith. ORDINARY PEOPLE. The
"ordinary" existence of an upper middle class family is
shattered with the death of the older son and the struggle of the younger
son against guilt and suicide. c1976. Challenged for obscene
language and sexual innuendoes.
Lynn. THE GIVER.
A growing attachment between fifteen-year-old Mary McNeal and her
homeroom teacher tests her character and proves her maturity. c1985.
Challenged for being sexually explicit, occult themes, and
A. M. JACK.
Fifteen-year-old Jack's confused feelings for his father, who
him and his mother four years earlier, are further complicated when he
finds that his father is gay. c1989. Challenged for its rampant
profanity and its negative portrayals of characters.
Harper. TO KILL A
MOCKINGBIRD. A small-town
Southern lawyer loses friends and social position when he defends a black
man unjustly accused of rape, but gains the esteem of his motherless
children. 1982, c1960. Challenged for social gounds.
Madeleine. A WRINKLE IN
TIME. Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly
strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged
in secret work for the government.1973, c1962. Challenged for
sending a mixed signal to children about good and evil. Objections to
listing the name of Jesus Christ together with the names of great artists,
philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders when referring to
defenders of Earth against evil.
Lipsyte, Robert. ONE FAT SUMMER. An overweight fourteen-year-old boy experiences a turning point summer in which he learns to stand up for himself. c1977. Challenged for the description of a teenage boy's masturbation fantasy.
Walter Dean. FALLEN
Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in
the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in
Vietnam. c1988. Challenged for containing violence and profanity.
Phyllis Reynolds. ALL BUT
ALICE. Seventh grader
Alice decides that the only way to stave off only way to stave off
personal and social disasters is to be part of the crowd, especially the
"in" crowd, no matter how boring and, potentially,
for sexual content and being unsuited to the age group.
Phyllis Reynolds. ALICE IN
RAPTURE, SORT OF. The
summer before she enters the seventh grade becomes the summer of Alice's
first boyfriend, and she discovers that love is about the most mixed-up
thing that can possibly happen to you, especially since she has no mother
to go to for advice. c1989. Challenged for sexual content and being
unsuited to the age group.
Phyllis Reynolds. RELUCTANTLY
ALICE. Alice experiences
the joys and embarrassments of seventh grade while advising her father and
older brother on their love
c1991. Challenged for sexual content and being unsuited to the age
Katherine. BRIDGE TO
TERABITHIA. The life of a
ten-year old boy expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who
subsequently meets an untimely death. From his sorrow he learns the
meaning of friendship.c1987. Challenged for offensive language
–“Oh Lord” and “Lord” used as an expletive; deals with sorcery,
and contains subject matter that sets bad examples and gives students
negative views of life.
Katherine. THE GREAT GILLY
eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as
she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly. 1983, c1978. Challenged
for profanity, blasphemy, and obscenities, and gutter language; contains
words “hell” and “damn”.
Robert Newton. A DAY NO
PIGS WOULD DIE. To a
thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a
living, maturity comes early as he learns "doing what's got to be
done," especially regarding his pet pig who cannot produce a litter.
c1972.Challenged for profanit , violence, descriptions of pigs
mating, being slaughtered and a cow giving birth.
Dav. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS
AND THE INVASION OF THE INCREDIBLY NAUGHTY CAFETERIA LADIES FROM OUTER
SPACE: THE THIRD EPIC NOVEL. Only
Captain Underpants can stop the three evil space aliens who have invaded
Jerome Horwitz Elementary School and turned everyone into lunchroom zombie
nerds.c1999. Challenged for being unsuited to age group, as well as
encouraging children to disobey authority.
J. K. HARRY POTTER AND THE
CHAMBER OF SECRETS. When
the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for
Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in
danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.
1999. Challenged for serious tone of death, hate, lack of respect
and sheer evil.
J. K. HARRY POTTER AND THE
GOBLET OF FIRE. Fourteen-year-old
Harry Potter joins the Weasleys at the Quidditch World Cup, then enters
his fourth year at Hogwarts Academy where he is mysteriously entered in an
unusual contest that challenges his wizarding skills, friendships and
character, amid signs that an old enemy is growing stronger. c2000. Challenged
for violence and glorification of witccraft, Satanism, spiritism and
Salinger, J. D. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation c1951. Challenged for its profanity and sexual situations.
J T244ro 1976
Mildred D. ROLL OF
THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY. A
black family living in the South during the 1930's are faced with
prejudice and discrimination which their children don't understand. c1997.Challenged
for insensitivity, racism, and offensive language.
Theodore THE CAY.
When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a
German submarine during World War II, a twelve-year-old white boy, blinded
by a blow on the head, and an old Negro are stranded on a small desert
island in the Caribbean where the boy acquires a new kind of vision,
courage, and love from his old companion.  Challenged for
maligning African Americans.
Laura Ingalls. LITTLE
HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. A
family travels from the big woods of Wisconsin to a new home on the
prairie, where they build a house, meet neighboring Indians, build a well,
and fight a prairie fire. c1953. Challenged
for statements considered derogatory to Native Americans.
In the early twentieth century a young Chinese boy joins his father
in San Francisco and helps him realize his dream of making a flying
machine. c1975. Challenged for encouraging suicide-induced reincarnation.
Paul. THE PIGMAN.
A teenage boy and girl, high school sophomores from unhappy homes,
tell of their bizarre relationship with an old man. c1983.
Herbert N. BANNED IN THE
U.S.A.: A REFERENCE GUIDE TO BOOK CENSORSHIP IN SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC
LIBRARIES. The heart of the book is a “Survey of Banned Books”
revised with annotated entries on the 50 most frequently challenged
books for 1996 through 2000; the Harry Potter series tops the list.
P.R. 025.213 I61 2002
Compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM MANUAL. c2002.
Pat. TEACHING BANNED
BOOKS: 12 GUIDES FOR YOUNG READERS.
The 12 featured books, all challenged at one time or another, are
jumping-off points for rich and engaging discussion among young readers,
their librarians and teachers, and their parents. c2001.
P.R. 303.376 H471no
Heins, Marjorie. NOT IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN: "INDECENCY," CENSORSHIP AND THE INNOCENCE OF YOUTH. Heins explores the fascinating history of "indecency" laws and other restrictions aimed at protecting youth. c2001.
P.R. 379.156 D349wh
DelFattore, Joan. WHAT JOHNNY SHOULDN'T READ: TEXTBOOK CENSORSHIP IN AMERICA. In this lucid, disturbing, and provocative book, DelFattore offers a behind-the-scenes view of the ways in which special interest groups influence the content of textbooks used in public and private schools throughout the country. c1992.
Nicholas J. editor. CENSORED
BOOKS II: CRITICAL VIEWPOINTS, 1985-2000. Presents beautifully reasoned arguments to support
the teaching of a wide range of literature that have been frequently
challenged by would-be censors. c2002.
Donna Reidy. HIT LIST -
FREQUENTLY CHALLENGED BOOKS FOR CHILDREN. An authoritative guide to
the children's books that most frequently raise the ire of school
boards, parents, and special interest groups, resulting in challenges
for public and school libraries. c1996.
Beverley C. HIT LIST FOR
CHILDREN 2: FREQUENTLY
more than 3 dozen “hot button” books, this book presents a who's
who of children's literature writers including Dahl, Allard, Blume,
Rowling, Stine, L'Engle, Lowry, and Naylor. c2002.
Library Association. INTELLECTUAL
FREEDOM MANUAL. This is a must-have guide for developing policy,
responding to censorship challenges, developing a materials selection
program, dealing with pressure groups, and promoting access to
information for all users in the new millennium.
Teri S. HIT LIST FOR
YOUNG ADULTS 2: FREQUENTLY CHALLENGED BOOKS.
Featuring 20 “hot button” books, this book presents a who's
who of young adult writers including Salinger, Cormier, Chbosky, and
Created by Donna Wallach, September 2003; updated September 2006