List of Banned Books

For almost as long as literature has existed so has the practice of challenging and banning certain books. Here is a list of books that have at some point of time been challenged and banned.
| Saturday, May 02, 2009

Story telling has been an inherent part of human life for a very long time. Stories have allowed humanity to connect with each other and to share experiences. However just as there are individuals who attempt to express themselves through stories, there have been a class of people seeking to prohibit access to this wonderful world that we now call literature. These individuals seek to challenge and ban books that they believe contain offensive and inappropriate matter. Challenged books are those that are usually considered inappropriate and their removal from libraries is requested. Banned books on the other hand are the books that were challenged and have actually been removed from circulation.

Over centuries different books have been challenged and banned for different reasons. Even religious scriptures have had to face ban in the past. Some books were banned because they were anti-establishment or were too critical of the state. At times some books had to face the wrath of individuals because they contained criminal matter while many other books were targeted by religious fundamentalists. Quite a few books were banned because they were deemed sexually explicit, politically or socially inappropriate or immoral, corrupt and even religiously provocative. In the recent past even some children’s books were banned or challenged because they were deemed to contain too much violence. Here is a list of books that had to face ban at some point of time.


  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
  • Alice on the Outside by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • Analects by Confucius.
  • Always Running by Luis Rodriquez
  • Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights by Anonymous
  • Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • American Psycho by Bret EastonEllis
  • Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
  • American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines


  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Bible translation by William Tyndale
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Kneeby Dee Brown
  • Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Born Too Short: The Confessions of an Eighth-Grade Basket Case by Dan Elish
  • Brokeback Mountainby Annie Prouix
  • The Buffalo Tree by Adam Rapp
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin


  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • CanterburyTales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
  • Catcher in the Ryeby J.D. Salinger.
  • The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies by Vito Russo
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
  • Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
  • Choke: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Cracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Wilhelm and Jacob K. Grimm. Translated by Jack Zipes
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • Capital by Karl Marx
  • Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • Chocolate War by Robert Cormier


  • Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galilei Galileo
  • Different Seasons by Stephen King
  • A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
  • Deal With It!: A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a Gurl by Esther Drill
  • Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds
  • Doing It by Melvin Burgess
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
  • Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • Diary by Samuel Pepys
  • Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  • Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck


  • The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
  • Essays by Michel de Montaigne
  • Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
  • East of Edenby John Steinbeck
  • Émile by Jean Jacques Rousseau


  • Fahrenheit 45 by Ray Bradbury
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  • The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
  • Forever by Judy Blume
  • Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes


  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
  • Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  • Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher by M.C. Escher
  • GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel
  • Grendel by John C. Gardner
  • The Guy Book: An Owner's Manual by Mavis Jukes
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.
  • Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais


  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
  • The Homo Handbook: Getting in Touch with Your Inner Homo by Judy Carter
  • The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde
  • History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empireby Edward Gibbon
  • Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • It Stops With Me: Memoir of a Canuck Girl by Charleen Touchette
  • It by Stephen King
  • It's Perfectly Normal: A Book About Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
  • It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie H. Harris
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

[ J]

  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George


  • King Lear by William Shakespeare.
  • The Koran


  • Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
  • The Life and Times of Renoir by Janice Anderson
  • Leaving Disneylandby Alexander Parsons
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy.


  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
  • Metaphysics by Aristotle
  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
  • Moll Flandersby Daniel Defoe
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert


  • The Odyssey by Homer.
  • On the Origin of Species by Charles B. Darwin.
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • The Other Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story by Lisa Westberg Peters
  • Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van TilburgClark


  • ParadiseLost by John Milton
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
  • Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli


  • Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
  • The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll by Jim Miller
  • Red and the Black by Stendhal
  • Red Pony by John Steinbeck


  • The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • Sanctuary by William Faulkner
  • Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
  • Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
  • Satyricon by Petronius
  • Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
  • Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


  • The Talmud by Soncino Pr.
  • The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide by Jeremy Daldry
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • A Time to Kill by John Grisham
  • This Boy's Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff
  • Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
  • Ulysses by James Joyce


  • Vasilissa the Beautiful: Russian Fairy Tales.


  • Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
  • We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
  • Where's Waldo" by Martin Handford
  • The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  • When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins
  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Whistle Me Home by Barbara Wersba
  • Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
  • Women on Top: How Real Life has Changed Women's Fantasies by NancyFriday


Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings by D.T. Suzuki.

Some of the greatest works of literature have been banned in the past. These practices of challenging and banning books that do not suit the sensitivities of certain groups of people causes the general public disservice since people do not get to read some real masterpieces.

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