Ten banned children’s books
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association, and most facts sourced from there as well. Thank you, ALA, for your tireless research, and for fighting against the banning of books. My other source is World.edu, which has some great articles about books that have been banned.
Kids books that get banned upset me the most, I think. Kids don’t see the world the same way adults do, so what we might perceive as offensive or concerning never even crossed their minds. And if you don’t believe me, go watch an old Rugrats cartoon. There are some terribly offensive jokes going on in the background that you did not get as a kid, I’m sure.
I hate anything that limits the scope of positive experiences in childhood. So, here’s a list of books that wouldn’t have been part of anyone’s childhood of some censors had gotten their way.
10- Harry Potter
It is likely not a surprise to anyone that Harry Potter was a highly controversial series even before Dumbledor’s ‘coming out.’ American Christian groups said that it was satanical, and promoted witchcraft.
It also promoted kids reacting to a book like a rock star, waiting for midnight releases at bookstores. Just saying.
9- The Hunger Games
There really isn’t a single Dystopian future book that hasn’t been banned at some point. According to the ALA, Hunger Games was banned because of it’s religious viewpoints, and being unsuitable for the age group.
My daughter’s read it just fine. It encouraged them to become interested in politics, so that they can have a say in what kind of world they live in.
8- The Giver
Once again, Dystopian future. Parents protested themes like infanticide, putting down the elderly, and selective breeding.
So did the main character.
7- Alice in Wonderland
Okay, all drug and pedophile jokes aside, Alice in Wonderland was banned because people thought there were subliminal masturbation fantasies. So, what were they smoking?
It was also banned because of the talking animals, which is apparently a real issue for some people, and it will come up again on this list. I think the real issue was that the Cheshire cat was smarter than the critics.
6- Charlotte’s Web
Once again, banned because of the talking animals. Parents groups called it blasphemous, to insinuate an animal could talk, or have feelings, or be sad when a friend died.
Oh, and the fact that Charlotte dies in the end upset them. Well, that one upset me too. The only spider death I ever cried over.
5- Captain Underpants
Banned because it had offensive language, violence, and being unsuitable for the age group. Captain freaking Underpants. And not only has it been banned, it’s been the most banned book in America two years running! This book ranked higher that Fifty Shades of Grey!
4- Where The Wild Things Are
This book, my favorite picture book as a little kid, was banned because Max threw a tantrum, and that was considered dangerous behavior. It was also banned because some parents thought that a mother depriving her child of food would be too upsetting for young readers.
Anyone who’s read the book knows that Max’s mom put his supper in his room while he was with the Wild Things. I don’t think that anyone who doesn’t have the patience to finish a picture book to see how it ends should be allowed to ban books.
3- The Lorax
My second favorite picture book. Apparently I’ve always been a rebel. A school in California no less banned the book because it ‘unfairly criminalizing the logging industry.’
Well, it was written in a time when the logging industry needed to be criminalized. These days logging companies are required to plant one tree for every one they cut down. Because of public outcry. Probably because people read The Lorax.
2- Winnie The Pooh
Again, banned because of the talking animals. Also, because people were worried that Piglet might offend Muslims.
To be clear, I couldn’t find a single example of an actual Muslim person saying Piglet offended them. People just thought he might, and so Winnie the Pooh was banned.
1- A Light in The Attic
Banned for one poem, How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes. Because it encouraged kids to drop dishes.
I think sometimes people just get board, and need something to be mad about. Either that or trolls have been around way longer than the internet.