Celebrate the Freedom to Read with Challenged Children’s and Young Adult Titles

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read anything and everything that catches our fancy. This usually happens during the last week of September, and this year it runs from September 27 through October 3 2015. For more information on banned books weeks and challenged books in general, you might want to check out the American Library Association’s dedicated pages on the subject here.

banned1Banned Books Week brings together everyone who loves books, reading, and readers. This includes librarians, book sellers, teachers, and readers of all ages who support the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those that might be uncomfortable or unpopular. To celebrate banned books this year, I am going to read as many of the children’s and young adult books that have faced challenges that I can. This will mean rereading some of my favorites, and reading some books for the first time. I have noted after each book whether it is a young adult book (YA), children’s chapter or poetry book (CB), or picture book (PB). How many of these challenged books have you read and are you surprised by the number of books many consider classics or favorites are on the list?

banned2The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (YA)

The Witches by Roald Dahl (CB)

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (PB)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (YA)

banned10Blubber by Judy Blume (CB)

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (PB)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (YA)

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (CB)

1984 by George Orwell (YA)

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (YA)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (and the rest of the series) by J.K. Rowling (CB)banned14

For even more reading you might want to check out other challenged titles: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (YA), The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson (CB), Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (YA), Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (CB), Deenie by Judy Blume (YA), Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (YA), James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (CB), Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (CB), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (CB), Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (YA), Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (YA), Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher (YA), and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (YA). This is just the tip of the iceberg! For further lists of challenged books, and why they have been challenged visit the ALA’s page of Frequently Challenged Books.

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