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9 Children’s Books You Never Knew Were Banned

Many books have been, for various and usually far-fetched reasons banned in certain places. While there are a large number of banned books, the most surprising are some of the children’s books on this list. We all agree that this sort of censorship should never be allowed, especially for some of these children’s books. It’s no coincidence that most banned children’s books are classics. 

 

Take some time to revisit your childhood and read these books you loved as a kid, and probably didn’t know were banned.

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 

Alice in Wonderland cover

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, often shortened to Alice in Wonderland, is one of the most popular tales out there. Even if you’ve never read it, you probably know what it’s about. The book was first called into question in the year 1900. In the United States, parents rallied against this book, stating it promotes drug use. Another big objection is the fact that most of the animals can talk, which didn’t sit well with some people. In China it was said that, “Animals should not use human language, and it is disastrous to put animals and human beings on the same level.” Honestly, the Cheshire Cat is my favorite fictional animal, but maybe I’m as crazy as he is.

 

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

 

Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl cover

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You’ve probably read Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl for school. But this book was banned in several places in the United States. In 1982, it was banned in Virginia, and states continued to ban it. Most recently, Michigan banned the book in 2013. Anne shows amazing courage and determination, and after taking my turn at reading her diary, I strove to be like her. Why was this inspirational book banned? It was deemed too depressing. Really? The story of a girl who was trying to evade capture by Nazis is depressing? Color me surprised!

 

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

 

harry potter cover

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Okay, I’ll admit, this one may not be so surprising, but it’s still ridiculous. If you haven’t read these books, you’re one of the few. Harry Potter singlehandedly started the reading craze the same year the first book was published. But the books were also banned since the first book was published in several countries including the United States, Greece, and Bulgaria. Why ban such an important book? Well, naturally, because it promotes witchcraft, sets bad examples, and, oh, has a dark undertone. Sorry, but you’ll never get me to denounce the series that changed my life.

 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

 

The Wizard of Oz cover

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Even if you haven’t read this version of the book, everyone’s experienced some form of The Wizard of Oz. This book was banned because people think it has no value for children today. They also think the book perpetuated cowardice, despite the fact that character afflicted by cowardice isn’t actually cowardly. But this book was first banned because it was deemed “ungodly” for portraying woman in strong leadership roles. That was a scary thing in the United States 1929. Talk about cowards!

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Cover

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Roald Dahl is a very famous author, writing many beloved books, none more than this one. That, however, didn’t stop the United States from trying to ban this book in 1971. Dahl described the fun characters of the Oompa Loompas to be “small, black pygmies.” That was deemed to be racist, which horrified Dahl, who meant no harm. He revised their description, but then the character of Charlie, the kind, generous, brave protagonist, was criticized for having no good qualities at a Colorado school in 1988. If Charlie has no good qualities, then there’s no hope for the rest of us, especially those critics, to be good.

 

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss 

 

Green Eggs and Ham cover

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Dr. Seuss is one of America’s most beloved authors. His books feature funny characters and are written completely in rhyme, delighting kids. However, the People’s Republic of China banned Green Eggs and Ham in 1965 because of accounts of homosexual secudction. Sam-I-Am was also viewed as a minion for temptation, and the book was said to reflect early Marxist ideas. However, when Dr. Seuss died, the ban was supposedly lifted.

 

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

 

Winnie-the-Pooh cover

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This is perhaps one of the most shocking books on this list. Most of us grew up reading  and re-reading Milne’s classic. But remember, talking animals are an insult to God, which put it on the banned list in several countries including Poland and the United States when it first came out. In 2006, Turkey and the UK  banned the book because Piglet could be offensive to Muslims. In 2009, Russia, thanks to someone who owned a Pooh plush with a swastika on its body, banned the book since it was perceived to have Nazi ties. Talk about one person ruining it for everyone. Most of all, parents protested because each of the animal characters perfectly embodied one of the seven deadly sins. 

 

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein 

 

A Light in the Attic Cover

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If you remember Shel Silverstein, you remember he wrote books of silly poetry. I don’t know about you, but he was the reason I gave poetry a chance. This book was banned in the United States because of one specific poem called How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes. The poem says if you drop the dishes on the ground, perhaps you won’t be asked to dry them anymore. Yes, children are impressionable, but few would try this. Talk about far-fetched!

 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr.

 

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See cover

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This book was in every elementary school library for years. How could it not be? It’s a simple, cute book that uses repetition to keep interest. However, for a short period of time in 2010, this book was banned. Why? The Texas Board of Education was eager to ban an author named Bill Martin, who wrote Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. Instead, they accidentally banned Bill Martin Jr., who has no relation to the former, and actually passed away a few years before Bill Martin wrote his Marxism book. See what happens when you jump the gun on censorship?

Featured Image Via The Atlantic