Celebrate Banned Books Week With These Controversial Reads

This week is Banned Books Week, where we shine a light on the books that have been restricted for various reasons based on addressing certain issues, mature content, or perceived mocking of certain beliefs. To celebrate: here is a list of some of the most challenged books currently out there:



1. The Hate U Give


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Angie Thomas’ novel about a black teen who witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend at the hands of a police officer has been banned in several schools. Critics accuse the book of being “anti-cop” due to its themes as well as criticize the profanity used by certain characters.



2. 13 Reasons Why


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The novel that inspired the controversial Netflix series, about a teenage girl’s suicide and the cassette tapes explaining why, has sparked debates on whether or not it addresses mental illness properly or not. Suicide prevention groups in particular, have frequently criticized the book, with some accusing the book of glorifying suicide.



3. Drama


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A graphic novel about a tween working at her middle school’s drama club production crew, this children’s book has been challenged for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters.



4. Captain Underpants


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It might be hard to believe that a book series as silly as this one would be considered too controversial for some, but Dave Pickley’s popular children’s series has been criticized for “encouraging disruptive behavior”. Also, the final book in the series was criticized for featuring a same-sex couple.



5. To Kill A Mockingbird


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An American classic, Harper Lee’s seminal work has been challenged for its graphic violence, discussions about race, and frequent profanity.



6. The Kite Runner


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A critically-acclaimed novel turned into both a movie and a play, Khaled Hosseini’s work about two boys growing up in Afghanistan has been criticized for its portrayal of the Taliban, as well as all the graphic violence that happened during the rise of the Taliban regime.



7. The Harry Potter Series


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Frequently challenged, banned, and burned, J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world has been accused of promoting witchcraft by several religious groups. The most recent complaint has been that the novels feature “real” spells that can actually be cast.


You can read about more banned books here.




Featured Image Via PBS