Many parents visit our stores on the hunt for specific books. Summer reading list, y’all! Some of the books they request can be found in our banned and challenged displays. With school back in full swing and Banned Book Month coinciding, we at Bookmans recommend the following challenged books. Can books really disrupt the world and society? 

i'm with the banned cover image

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This classic still holds a spot in the American Library Association’s (ALA) top ten most challenged and banned books. This novel has challenged for its depiction of violence, offensive language, and racism. 

1984 by George Orwell

This novel has faced fire一literally! It was burned in 1950 Communist Russia and was not allowed back into the country until 1990 after certain parts were edited.  Ironically, one of the reasons 1984 is challenged is because it has been thought to be pro-communist as well as containing “explicit sexual content” and “violent, sexually charged language.”

banned book 1985 by george orwell cover

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Orwell’s allegory satire has been in and out of the challenged booklist for years. Being a satire on communism (specifically in Russia), many communist countries did not want the novel in the hands of their citizens. Then again during WWII for… reasons. Most recently, it saw censorship in the United Arab Emirates for contradicting Islamic values. Talking pigs are, to some, “indecent.”

Lord of the Flies by William Goulding 

This novel pushes everyone’s buttons, apparently. Goulding’s book has seen challenges for years, even here in Arizona. Many say it’s inappropriate due to undertones of racism, its demoralizing tone, and because it contains “profanity, passages about sex, and defamatory statements.

lord of the flies book cover

The Giver by Lois Lowry

A young boy sees past the sameness of society in this dystopian novel. The Giver is no stranger to a ban. It’s “mature themes” of infanticide, euthanasia, sexuality, and sexual awareness are troubling for some.

Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

A ban on Catcher in the Rye stood in the U.S. for two decades since 1961. Though said to be popular amongst teens, CITR is problematic for others. The subjects that “rebellious youths” value are what put it on the ban radar. It includes themes of frustrated sexuality, profanity, and anti-authoritarianism.

banned book catcher in the rye

And that’s our list! If you would like to pick up any of these banned/challenged books up for school or your reading purposes, come into any of Bookmans locations. We can recommend plenty of titles that couldn’t fit onto the list. We would love to help you discover a new literary and censorship-free world!

Written by Sky D. (Customer Service Extraordinaire)