10 popular, banned books

This year (2013), though Fifty Shades of Grey placed at No.4 on the ALA’s challenged books list, a children’s book for bathroom training, The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, topped the list at No. 1, while And Tango Makes Three, a story of a child growing up with two same-sex parents, is one of the most challenged children’s books in history—reminding book lovers everywhere that if there’s one genre of book people scrutinize the most, it’s those meant for children and young adults.

In this list, you’ll find 10 of the most widely banned books, some more recent and some older, that are also the most likely to be removed from school and library shelves.

(Listed in alphabetical order)

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884

The first ban of Mark Twain’s American classic occurred in Concord, MA in 1885. Twain’s book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged today because of its “racial insensitivity,” and because it “perpetuates racism.” Other books with similar challenges based on racial issues include Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell, 1936), and Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852).

2. Beloved, Toni Morrison, 1987

This Pulitzer-prize winning novel by one of the most influential African-American writers is assigned to many high school English students. Again and again, parental complaints are lodged against the book because of its violence, sexual content, and discussion of bestiality.

Meris Stansbury

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