It’s Banned Books Week! Every year, the national book community celebrates our freedom to read, while calling our attention to the problem of censorship in this country. It’s kind of crazy which books people find controversial. Our beloved Looking for Alaska, by John Green, was one of the top 10 challenged books in 2012.
To celebrate this most important of weeks, we’ve got a list of our favorite banned books we think you should check out. And let us know in the comments if you have a favorite title that was unjustly challenged.
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde
by Mark Twain
There’s so much to love about Huck’s adventures on the Mississippi. Mark Twain’s classic is taught in high schools across the U.S. for a good reason: It’s a timeless story about growth and friendship, race and morality. Plus, it gets better on second and third readings. Trust us on this one.
by J.D. Salinger
Holden Caulfield and his New York shenanigans are definitely controversial. Love him or loathe him, you can’t deny that he’s a very memorable character. Whether or not you relate to his teen angst, we think you should at least have the option to read the book and make that decision for yourself.
by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry has been outspoken over the years about the problems of banning books. We think it’s ironic that people should want to ban her book about a repressive society. Clearly these people don’t get the book’s bigger message. We love The Giver because it’s both entertaining and thought-provoking — and the remaining books in the series are just as gripping.
by Roald Dahl
Yes, it’s true, when we read this book when we were little we were convinced that every old lady in the neighborhood was secretly a witch. Maybe that’s why people want it banned? Because they don’t want readers to figure out they are really witches? Regardless, this is just one of several Roald Dahl books that people have tried to ban over the years. And they wonder why Dahl hated grown-ups so much.
by J.K. Rowling
All of the Harry Potter books have been challenged at one point or another. We cannot figure out why someone would try to ban our favorite series of all-time — especially when you consider that these books have encouraged millions of kids to love reading. Just thinking about a life without Harry and company makes us feel like sobbing.
by Margaret Atwood
Like The Giver, this book is about the dangers of living in a repressive society. This may be our all-time favorite dystopian novel. Seriously, if you love The Hunger Games or Divergent, you should read this classic.
by Stephen Chbosky
There are so many reasons we love this book: it’s realistic, funny, and heart-breaking. Chbosky did an excellent job writing an accurate (if sometimes tragic) account of high school. We think it’s silly for anyone to want to ban a book that’s so realistic – it just makes us feel like they are trying to deny just how sucky high school can really be.
What do you think about our list? Let us know all about your favorite banned books in the comments!