Banned Books are the books that have been censored, removed or restricted in certain countries due to their violence, word usage and ideologies. Banned Book Week started in 1982. It was started by Judith Krug, an activist for the First Amendment. Krug started this as a way to bring awareness to the idea that there should not be a limit on what people read. The books banned in America were mostly banned to protect children from things that are deemed unsuitable for their age group. Banned Book Week is meant to be a time to realize that books should not be censored for their content.
“Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan
“Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan is a story based on true events of two boys who participate in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. The story is narrated by a Greek Chorous of gay men who were lost in the AIDS epidemic. This book was challenged or “banned” because of its LGBTQ+ content. Its first challenger was a parent in Virginia in 2014. This book is important now more than ever due to the rise in knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community. People who are challenging the book did so to prevent young children from being able to access its explicit content.
“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
The book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is about a group of British boys who wind up stranded on an uninhabitable island and their attempts to govern themselves while stuck there. This story made it onto the banned books list because of its offensive language and the implication it has that humans are little more than animals. This book was first challenged by a series of schools in Dallas, Texas in 1974. Adults did not want young children to be exposed to the extreme violence and language of the book. This book is said to be important because it digs into what society would be like with poor leadership.
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell is a book about farm animals who rebel against the farmer to create a place of peace and equality where they can be happy and free. This book was challenged because of its indecent imagery and the fact that some people assumed that Orwell was a communist. This book was first challenged due to a survey taken in Wisconsin in 1963. Orwell mostly wrote this book to criticize communist government systems, which made it banned in a lot of communist countries. This book is said to be important mostly to show how terrible a communist government truly is and why it always fails.
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
The story “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle is a banned book about a girl who travels through space and time to save her father from evil. This book has been challenged it was seen as too complex for children and because it mixes science and religion. This story was first banned in 1962 for its religious attributes. Christians did not like that the book mixed two things that it deemed to not be mixable. The mix of Christianity as a science and science as a way of searching for spirituality did not sit well with some.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is a banned book about a boy who finds out that he is a wizard. Not just a wizard but a very important one who has to go to a school for wizardry and learn magic so that he can defeat the dark wizard who killed his parents. This book has made it into the banned book list because it was seen as a way to conjure evil spirits if read out loud. The series was first challenged by a Nashville, Tennessee Catholic school because the book had the risk of conjuring spirits. The pastor at the school who said this made the executive decision to pull the book from their school libraries without the input of the teachers or parents.