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List of Challenged Books to Read for Banned Books Week

List of Challenged Books to Read for Banned Books Week

Stories unite us; books go beyond borders and break barriers. Banned books mean that people—individuals, parents, schools, and groups—censor these titles because they feel the need to protect readers, especially children, from what they consider offensive themes, tropes, or languages. Oftentimes, it is also because of religious and political reasons.

This year, as Fully Booked celebrates Banned Books Week, we focus on the benefits of unrestricted reading and the harms of censorship. Here are some modern and historically challenged book suggestions in celebration of our freedom to read.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

A dystopian novel written in 1985 by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a near-future New England known with a new leadership that has overthrown the United States government. The Republic of Gilead is a strongly patriarchal, totalitarian theonomic state—handmaids, the average women in the society, have no free will or individualism.

Why is The Handmaid’s Tale a banned book?

The Handmaid’s Tale is challenged for its descriptions of sexual encounters, profanity, violence, and for "vulgarity and sexual overtones."

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Since The Kite Runner’s publication in 2003, it has met with numerous challenges. This book is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet invasion. An unusual and powerful novel, The Kite Runner is a sweeping story of family, love, and friendship.

Why is The Kite Runner a banned book?

The Kite Runner is challenged for its offensive language, religious viewpoints, and fear that the novel would inspire terrorism and “promote Islam.”

by George Orwell

George Orwell’s ninth and final book completed in his lifetime is a rare work that offers the author’s vision on the consequences of totalitarianism and a repressive regimentation. 1984 was published in 1949, a work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real.

Why is 1984 a banned book?

1984 is challenged for its social and political themes, as well as for sexual content.

Thes of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

A coming-of-age epistolary novel that is centered on what it’s like to grow up in high school. More than an intimate diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a world of first dates and mixtapes, family dramas, and new friends.

Why is The Perks of Being a Wallflower a banned book?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been challenged at least 11 times since its publication for drugs and alcohol and smoking, offensive language, and homosexuality.

Carrie by Stephen King

A modern classic, Carrie is a horror novel that was first published in 1974. Author Stephen King tells the story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge. With its astounding storytelling, this thriller remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Why is Carrie a banned book?

Carrie is challenged for its violence, cursing, underage sex, and negative view of religion.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is a classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion. Holden Caulfield struggles with growing up and sees everything around him—his parents, school, adults, the society—as meaningless and fake. It’s been lauded as one of Time’s 2005 list of 100 best English-language novels written since 1923 and named as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library and its readers.

Why is The Catcher in the Rye a banned book?

The Catcher in the Rye is challenged for its profanity, obscenity, violence, and sexual content.

Discover more challenged titles on the Fully Booked Banned Books collection. You may also look for your next great read on Fully Booked online.

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