January 4, 2009

The Banned or Challenged Books Challenge

This is a challenge that I started for myself. I hate the idea of books being banned, much like any other book lover. So I began a challenge to read 50 of the most commonly challenged and banned books in the world.

For this challenge, all banned and challenged books you've ever read count. The point of it is to read 50 of them, not necessarily 50 new ones. But, of course, if you'd like to choose 50 new ones, then that is wonderful. This is a perpetual challenge and has no end date. If you'd like to join me in this particular challenge, just leave a comment saying you'd like to participate and then a link to where you will show your progress on the challenge. Book reviews are not required, but, of course, accepted. A few short lines on what the book was about and whether you found it worthy of reading in and of itself (as oppose to the singular fact it may be worthy of reading just because it is banned).

Here are a few links to sites about banned and/or challenged books:
Banned Books Online
List of banned books on Wikipedia
Forbidden Library
American Library Association's Banned Book Week Information
Banned Books: How Schools Restrict the Reading of Young People

Here is where I will keep up with my own progress:

1. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (banned in Kentucky)
2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London (banned in former Yugoslavia and in Italy; is a commonly challenged book in U.S.)
3. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (banned in Lebanon and by the Catholic Church)
4.Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
5. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
6. Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence (temporarily banned in U.K. and U.S. for violation of obscenity laws.)
7. 1984 by George Orwell (One of the books I most often quote)
8. Carrie by Stephen King
9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
11. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
12. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
13. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
14. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
16. The Giver by Lois Lowry
17. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
18. The Bible (I have read three-fourths of it. I highlighted every verse I read so I would know what I had not read yet.)
19. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Ironically a novel about book burning and censorship.)
20.The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
21. Little House in the Big Woods (challenged for “fueling the fires of racism”)
22. Little House on the Prairie (challenged due to derogatory remarks about Native Americans)
23. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
24. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (for explicit language)
25. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau (by the federal government in the 1950s)

26. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
27. The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss
28. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
29. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
30. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
31. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
32. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
33. Beloved by Toni Morrison
34. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
35. My Antonia by Willa Cather

List of Participants:


  1. Hi Rebecca, do you, by chance, have a specific link where one can find banned and challenged books? Or would any page I can find on the internet do?
    Either way, I'm in :) (Oh dear, another reading challenge LOL) My post can be found here.

  2. Haha, I know what you mean Kathrin. I have so many challenges, as well! I have a couple of sites I found. I will add them to this post. Thanks for thinking of it! And thanks for joining the challenge! :)

  3. I love this challenge! I will put a post together sometime soon.

  4. Here's a link to my post:


  5. I wish I'd known about this earlier. I would've definitely joined!

    Catcher In The Rye is still one of my all-time favorite books, and I read it over ten years ago for the first time. Read Gatsby this year, and was absolutely blown away.

    Wonder why Lovely Bones is Challenged/Banned!!

  6. I would love to participate!


    Thank you for bringing attention to this, as it does seem that censorship has been on the rise again, which is sad and depressing.

  7. Great idea! And thank you for making it perpetual.

    Count me in, here's my post

  8. Hi, what a great idea! i'm participating!


  9. I am going to do this! It will be my first challenge. I don't blog, but I will write a review in my own book journal (hand written).

  10. I am so glad that I stumbled across this challenge! Here's my sign-up post:


  11. As much as I loathe the very concept of banning books, I do appreciate the side-effect of creating a shopping list of books that I simply *must* read - not just out of spite (although there is a little of that), but because they're usually much more interesting than what we're supposed to read.

    I so need to set aside the time to create a list and join up. :)

  12. Just found this challenge and love the idea!
    Here's My Post


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