Have you Read any Banned Books Lately? Happy Banned Books Week!

As with the last week of September every year, it is Banned Books Week, which is about celebrating the freedom to read. The American Library Association (ALA) compiles a list of the most challenged books every year, from Philip Pullman’s The Dark Materials trilogy to the Gossip Girls series.

The images below are inspired by the occasion. Celebrate by reading something that someone somewhere thinks you shouldn’t!

You might be wondering why you spotted Where’s Waldo in this picture (if you’re lucky – he’s very good at hiding!). According to the ALA, this was one of the most frequently challenged books in the 1990s. Why? Because apparently hiding in those intricate scenes, along with Waldo, was at least one *gasp* bare breast. – mclibrary (CC)

42 of the list of top 100 novels of the 20th century have been banned or challenged. Heart of Darkness is #21. I for one read this one for AP Lit in high school. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was banned in Hunan, China because it “puts animals and humans on the same level.” – mollyjolly (CC)


I rather like the idea of pirates absconding with banned books. Arrrrr, we will liberate your libraries! Or maybe it’s more like Robin Hood. – heidigoseek (CC)


Farenheit 451 is one of the most frequently mentioned during Banned Books Week – probably because challenging this one is so incredibly ironic. Not that that stops it from happening. In fact, as recently as 2006, some parents tried to get the book banned from a 10th grade classroom. – magisterludi (CC)


The ALA lists And Tango Makes Three as one of their most challenged book of the 21st century. Based on the story of two male penguins who formed a couple and raised an egg together, the book has faced a number of requests that it be removed from school libraries on the grounds that it supposedly promotes homosexuality. – mclibrary (CC)


This one makes me kind of sad because it has some of my very favorite books in it. I first read A Wrinkle in Time when I was eight or nine, and I’m pretty sure it solidified my lifetime love of science fiction. Apparently it has been challenged because of references to things like witches and crystal balls, and because it supposedly challenges religious beliefs. – ellenw (CC)


And now, something adorable: a future reader. Considering that so many of the books challenged these days are children’s books, this one shouldn’t have too long to wait! – davidsilver (CC)


Let’s end this with a list of the 11 most challenged books from 2018: