Well, it’s that time of the year again! Banned Books Week!
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
I pondered about what I wanted to contribute to Banned Books Week. I decided I wanted to do a timeline of Young Adult books that have been banned and challenged. Even to this day, books continue to be banned for ridiculous reasons (which you will see below). It boggles my mind because I’m sure kids have seen and heard a lot worst from movies and music.
These are the young adult novels that have been banned or challenged in the United States. I’ve listed them under the earliest year I could find when they were first banned. I’m well aware that the books might’ve been banned earlier and that there are plenty of YA books I’ve left out, but in the meantime, voila!
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher | When It Happens by Susane Colasanti
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford | Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson | The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones | Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler | Crank by Ellen Hopkins | Echo by Francesca Lia Block
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan | Lush by Natasha Friend
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | TTYL by Lauren Myracle | Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer | The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares | Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar | Looking for Alaska by John Green | The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen | Geography Club by Brent Hartinger | Fat Kid Rules The World by K.L. Going
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison | Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson | The Earth, My Butt & Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier | Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez | Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
The Giver by Lois Lowry | Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling | Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume | Deenie by Judy Blume | Blubber by Judy Blume
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous | Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden | A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney | Alice (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor | Harriet the Spy by Louis Fitzhugh
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz | Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
- This post is dedicated to Claire of Bitches With Books and Kelly of Effortlessly Reading. Without you two forcing me to finish this post, this would’ve been a giant picture of a sad face, tears slowing dripping out of one of the eyes.)
- A BIG THANK YOU TO JENNA (of Jenna Does Books), who helped me with my title. (It was originally wordy and long, but now, it’s straight to the point.)
- I apologize for the lack of high quality for some of these decades. The images scaled down on their own accordance. :( )
Were you surprised by any of the books on this banned/challenged list? Have you read any of them?