Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Additional Banned Book Resources

The other day, I wrote about three recent banned book victories and promised some additional banned book reading suggestions, so here they are! If you've heard about any other book that has been censored (or attempted to be censored), please do share in the comments. I'm always looking to expand the choices of books to read for my Banned Books Challenge.

1. The ALA has posted their 2013 list of 10 most frequently challenged books. Quite a few have been on previous years' lists, but some are new.

2. The ALA also has more comprehensive, extended yearly lists (as opposed to just their "most frequently challenged" lists). There are 9 different PDFs available for download going back to 2004. I find these very interesting because there is also background information provided about why each book was challenged. I somehow missed these all the other times I've browsed that site!

3. Since I've started reading graphic novels recently, I was wondering which ones may have been banned or challenged. I couldn't find any on the ALA lists, but given their popularity among teenagers and their visual nature, I was certain some titles would have been challenged over the years. Turns out I was right! This GoodReads forum thread has a great list and the gentleman who started the conversation seems to have done his research on the subject, including consulting with the ALA.

4. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel was recently in the news because it was being challenged as a book for COLLEGE students. Yes, you heard that right. Jeepers.

5. Turns out Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis has been challenged and is on this list from GeekSugar. (Adding that to my completed list for the year!)

6. There's a lot of overlap on these graphic novel lists, but The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund website also has a list.

7. I found a great UK site that lists a lot of the same books as the ALA, but there are some additional ones worth noting, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, may he rest in peace. (I am WAY overdue to read that one.)

8. I recently ordered a copy of The House on Mango Street because I realized it is a book I read for a school assignment that I really enjoyed, but don't have a copy of. In the process, I stumbled across this CNN article that discusses its banning from Tucson schools a few years ago that truly baffles me.

9. I've also been reading The Joy Luck Club (another high school re-read) and discovered that one appears on this list from the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.

* * * * *

Honestly, I'm starting to wonder if there are any books that haven't been challenged at some point! For anyone not interested in banned books, I promise this is my last post on the subject for a while :) But I do have a project in the works related to #8 and #9, so stay tuned for that!


  1. I've never seen the extended lists either, but they will be great for my class. Thanks for posting these resources!

    1. You're welcome! I could get lost in those lists -- I just find the whole subject of banned books fascinating.

  2. House on Mango Street is one of my favorite books ever. I don't know why I don't have a copy of it any longer. In fact, when E had to read it in high school, I took it from her and re-read it all in one night.

    1. It is very good -- the edition I got is so pretty, too :) I think when I do re-read it, I will make sure to do it in one sitting as it is fairly short.


I'd love to hear what you think :)