10 Books You Wouldn’t Believe Were Banned
There are definitely times where banning a certain book leaves you with only one question: why? For example, you can look at a book that came out in the early 1900s and see that maybe society wasn’t quite ready for a sexually explicit novel such as Tropic of Cancer. But when some books are banned, it frankly makes most of us want to laugh. Here is a list of 10 banned books that were banned for the weirdest and most ridiculous reasons.
1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Lewis Carroll
This book was banned in China’s Hunan Province because it depicted anthropomorphized animals as being as intelligent as humans… Why?
2. The Bible
The Bible is still banned in North Korea. Many countries have also banned it in several languages. For example, in Spain, Spanish publications of the Bible were banned until as late as the nineteenth century. Spain banned Spanish publications? Hmm…
3. Green Eggs & Ham: Dr. Seuss
This book was banned in China for depicting early Marxism. This ban was finally lifted in 1991.
4. Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? Bill Martin Jr.
This book was banned due to the author’s name. Brown Bear, Brown Bear was banned when The Texas State Board of Education accidentally mixed up its author Bill Martin Jr. with Bill Martin author of Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. Oopsies!
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Roald Dahl
This book was originally banned due to the fact that the depiction of the oompa loompas was seen as racist. Roald Dahl was taken aback by this and changed the description of the oompa loompas in a revised version. But, that wasn’t enough for one Colorado librarian who believed the book “espoused a poor philosophy of life” and said Charlie “had no tremendously positive traits, only an absence of negative ones.” What does that even mean?
6. Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White
In Kansas, Charlotte’s Web was deemed as inappropriate subject matter for children. This book was also removed due to Wilbur, being a pig was seen as potentially offensive to Muslim students.
7. The Giving Tree: Shel Silverstein
When you read why this book was banned please try not to laugh, okay? The Giving Tree was banned because the tree is overly compliant and the boy is demanding and selfish, so it was deemed as sexist.
8. Harriet the Spy: Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet the Spy was challenged in Ohio for teaching children “to lie, spy, back-talk, and curse.” *Insert eye-roll here*
9. Harry Potter: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter was banned all over for promoting godless witchcraft. Yes, let me go get my magic broomstick and fly around with it.
10. The Lorax: Dr. Seuss
The Lorax was banned for being too harsh on the logging industry, but that was Seuss’ intension after all.
So there you have it! 10 utterly outrageous instances of banned lit. Want to learn more about how and when books get banned? Visit The American Library Association website for a complete list of banned and challenged books! Or stop by your local Bookmans and check out our #ArrestedReading Displays! We guarantee you will be shocked by the amount of beloved bedtime stories that have been labeled contraband.
Katy Spratt September 18, 2017 at 9:58 am
Thank you, Charity! This is such a cool anecdote, we love to hear when readers are engaged with our displays. Thank you for supporting local businesses and the right to read! Have a wonderful week and we hope to see you at Bookmans again soon.
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I ended up having a lively and amusing conversation with a couple of other customers today when we all discovered that the Hunger Games were banned books (we were hovering over your “Save a Banned Book table”). The guys asked why it would be banned. My response was something like, “Well, no parent wants their child reading about children being tossed into an arena to fight to the death.” We all giggled and carried on shopping after that.
Love what you guys do with banned books and exposing the sometimes radical reasons why a book would be cut off from the public readership.
A Banned Book Reader,