Teaching Reading

Banned Books

Banned books are something that have been recently introduced to me. I find it interesting and in a way, rebellious to read a banned book. For this post, I will be talking about what makes a book banned, the most recent banned books, and some surprising banned books.

For a book to be banned, it does not take a lot. What happens is someone, usually a parent or patron, find offensive material in a novel. They find the material so offensive that they do not think it is appropriate for readers. These readers are usually  children or young adults. The following are reasons: offensive language, violence, having or promoting occult themes, promoting homosexuality, racism, sexual education, nudity, and promoting religious viewpoints. If a book gets enough supporters against it, it could be completely removed from school libraries.

Image from saiful bahari

In 2017, there was a list made of the “Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017”. The first of the list is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This resurfaced on the banned book list because of the release of the Netflix series. As a result, it is banned from multiple schools because it discusses suicide. The next book on the list is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Even though this is a National Book Award winner, it is still on the banned book list because of profanity and sexually explicit situations. The third and final book I am going to talk about is Drama by Raina Telgemeier. This graphic novel is a Stonewall Honor Award winner that is banned in school libraries because of the LGBT characters. As I said before, there are 10 books in this list so if you would like to check out the other banned books, the link will be in my “resources” section.

Since I am planning on being an Elementary teacher, I thought it would be interesting to look at some children’s books that are banned. I was surprised to find so many children’s books are banned so I am going to be talking about some that surprised me. The first book I am going to talk about is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This book was banned from a library in Colorado because of its sexists content. The next book is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. This book was banned because of some offensive language. The next book is Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. It was banned because of its profanity, disrespect for adults and religious phrases. The final book I want to talk about is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle. The banning of this book is interesting because it was not banned for the content of the book but for the author. The Texas State Board of Education confused the author, Bill Martin Jr with Bill Martin, a philosopher of a controversial novel. This book is no longer banned.

Overall, it was interesting and surprising to look at the different banned books. I believe it is important to explore different topics however, I do see how parents would not want their children reading some of these books.



Education.com. (2010, May 05). What Makes a Banned Book? Retrieved from https://www.education.com/magazine/article/banned_books/

E. (2018, June 14). Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2017: Resources & Graphics. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/NLW-Top10

K. (2017, July 18). Frequently Challenged Children’s Books. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/childrensbooks


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