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Banned Books week doesn’t begin until late September, though I thought it would be interesting to see some of the many books that have been banned in certain countries or made legal to buy only for those 18 years and older and to be amused by exactly why they were banned. You’ll be shocked to see some of these book titles on this list!
1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
This classic novel was first released back in December of 1884, though it has been banned an immeasurable amount of times and the reasons have varied. One of the most common reasons is its use of the N-word in the book, which is estimated to be at 219 times.
2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
Malcolm X was a monumental figure in his own right, during the high-rise and violent 60’s where the fight for civil rights was at its peak. He was a prominent spokesperson for the black community and was also an outspoken Muslim during a time when other religions were not as respected. Racial prejudice was the main reason why it was banned soon after its release. It promoted the union of black power during a time when many white Americans did not support this ideal.
3. Looking For Alaska by John Green
Another one of beloved young adult author John Green’s books has joined the banned books wagon, The Fault in Our Stars and you can check out the ridiculous reason behind why here. Looking For Alaska was the first book that was published by Green and as of April 2016 has been challenged to be removed from school libraries because of its “offensive language” and “sexually explicit descriptions.”
4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
So, of course, if Looking For Alaska got banned due to “sexually explicit descriptions” you know that Fifty Shades of Grey had to be on this list. The main reason that this notable erotic novel has been banned is simply because of its explicit sexual themes.
5. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
This young adult novel is a love story surrounding two teenage boys which, in a world that has some people that aren’t jumping at the opportunity to support anyone that is different or a part of the LGBT community, it is clear to see why it has been challenged and banned.
6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This exciting, imaginative literary world was first banned in China and later in different parts of the globe because of the disapproval of talking animals. Some of these people believed that by the animals being able to speak, as humans do, it puts them on the same level of humans which, apparently, is a no-no.
7. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
American Psycho has been a intriguing novel since its release in 1991 because of its psychological nature. The story follows a successful Manhattan business man who also It was challenged and banned because of its “sadistic contents” and was even dropped by its original publisher, Simon & Schuster because of this.
8. Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm really was a novel way ahead of its time with its satirical dark humor surrounding a group of farm animals who rise to dictatorship. It sheds a not so flattering light on the dirty side of government and politics. Russia was among the first to ban it because at the time of its release, in 1945, the Russian Revolution was going on and the characters and events of Animal Farm similar depict those involved in the Revolution. It was also eventually banned in the United States.
9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
It seems that just about every classic that has ever existed has been challenged or banned at some point, and Brave New World is no exception. It was banned because some people thought it contained “too much sexual content” in addition to “a high volume of racially offensive derogatory language and misinformation on Native Americans.”
10. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
This complex popular novel was famously banned in Lebanon because it was viewed as being offensive to all forms of Christianity. People were also upset because in the book, Jesus does in fact get married and fathers a child with Mary Magdalene when strongly contrasts with the traditional Bible teachings.
11. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
You probably read The Diary of a Young Girl chronicling the life Anne Frank, a teenager who kept a diary of her life while hiding for two years from Nazi captivity with her family, at some point in school which makes the main reason why it has been banned in certain schools all the more unfathomable. A select group of parents in Virginia protested for the book to be removed from their children’s reading curriculum because it contains “inappropriate sexual and homosexual themes.”
12. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
This classic falls under the banned category too for its “adult language, frequent sexual references, and violence,” Surprise, surprise.
13. Forever by Judy Blume
Forever follows a teenage girl while she is going through the ups and downs of normal girlhood. Not everyone believes all the details of a young woman’s journey should be so openly talked about, however, and this is why it was banned. Topics such as masturbation, sex, birth control, and menstrual cycles are brought up and this upset some parents.
What are some books that you can’t believe got banned?
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