Banned Books


This page has been archived and is historical.  Links are no longer being updated.

PCC Library supports your freedom to read. Books usually are challenged with the best intentions-to protect others, especially children. Reasons for challenging a book may include the following:

  • is sexually explicit
  • contains offensive language
  • is unsuited to its age group
  • occult theme or promoting the occult or Satan
  • violence
  • promoting homosexuality
  • promoting a religious viewpoint
  • anti-family 

* Books that have appeared on the American Library top 10 challenged list.

Title Author Call Number
Area of Concern
1984 George Orwell 823.912  O79b  1987 Challenged in Jackson County, Florida because the novel is "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter".
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) New Reader Banned by Concord Public Library on grounds of it being "more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people," recently its portrayal of race and word nigger has seen many efforts to remove from school list
Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain 813.4  T83  1985 "Questionable character" of the main character.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland  Lewis Carroll 823.8  C37  1993 Banned in China in 1931 because the talking animals were considered blasphemous to Chinese beliefs. 
All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque 833.912  R46  1982 Banned in Nazi Germany and was among the titles set for public burning in 1933.
America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy In action Jon Stewart 818.5407  S84  2004 Banned by a Mississippi library because it contained images of Supreme Court Justices' faces on naked bodies.
Animal Farm George Orwell 823.912  O79  1946 Banned in the U.S.S.R. for anti-communist themes, in some Islamic nations for "religious reasons".  It was also banned in the U.S.A. for communist material in its introduction, although the book itself was a vicious satire on Stalinism.
Another Country James Baldwin 813.54  B35a  1988 Some schools considered it pornographic.
Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Benjamin Franklin 973.3092  F73  1944 Banned For "social reasons". Copies were "sanitized" by publishers so schools would buy copies of the book.
Awakening, The Kate Chopin 803.4 C56a  1976 Banned for disagreeable glimpses of sensuality and language unfit for publication.
Babbitt Sinclair Lewis 813.52  L45b  1950 Banned For "social reasons".
Beloved Toni Morrison 813.54  M67  1988 Challenged for its language.
Bible, The William Tyndale 220.52034  BIBLE The author partially completed translating the bible into English, was captured, strangled, and burned at the stake (1536) by opponents of the movement to translate the bible into the vernacular. Beginning around 1830, "family friendly" bibles including Noah Webster's version (1833) began to appear which had excised passages considered to be indelicate. 
Black Boy Richard Wright 813.52092  W75  1945 Banned in American schools in the 70's for "obscenity" and "instigating hatred between the races".
Black Like Me John Howard Griffin 975.00496073   G75 1996 Banned for its portrayal of racial tension.
Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya 813.54  A52 1999 Banned for profanity and pagan content.
Bluest Eye, The Toni Morrison 813.54  M67b  1994 Banned for its explicit sexual content.
Brave New World Aldous Huxley 823.912  H89br  [1991?] Banned in Ireland in 1932 for "centering around negative activity" also banned for language and anti-family and anti-Christian.
Burger's Daughter  Nadine Gordimer 823.914  G67b  1980 Banned after the Soweto uprising.
Call of the Wild Jack London 813.52  L66c  1990  Many of Jack London's books were banned in Europe for being "too radical" or having pro-socialist leanings. 
Candide Voltaire 843.5  V65  1975 U.S. Customs seized Harvard-bound copies of Candide. 
Catch-22 Joseph Heller 813.54  H45  1994 Banned for sexual content, depictions of defying authority, profanity, and racially insensitive content.
* Catcher in the Rye, The J.D. Salinger 813.54  S25  1991 Banned for profanity, sexual references and that it "undermines morality". Also called blasphemous by some because of repeated use of the word "goddamn".
* Chocolate War, The Robert Cormier 813.54  C67  1975 Banned for language, depiction of schoolchildren bullying other children and many references to the protagonist pondering about his sexual orientation.
Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau 818.303  T56  1986 Target of successful banning efforts by Joseph McCarthy.
Clan of the Cave Bear  Jean Auel 813.54  A83c  1980 Banned from the Cascade Middle School library at Eugene, Oregon in 1992 for "hardcore graphic sexual content".
Clockwork Orange, A Anthony Burgess 823.914  B87c  1993 Banned from schools for language. 
Cold Mountain Charles Frazier 813.54  C65  1997 Banned on political grounds for sympathetic portrayal of desertion. 
* Color Purple, The Alice Walker 813.54  W35c  1992 Sexually Explicit and offensive language.
Cujo Stephen King 813.54  K56  1981 Banned for subject matter and language. 
Decent of Man, The Charles Darwin 575.8  Darwin Describing how man originated from primates.
Earth's Children (Series) Jean Auel Earth's Children  Banned for sexual references which were described vividly.
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury 813.54  B73f  2003 Copies used in school literature classes were edited to omit the words "hell", "damn", and "abortion". These were called "sanitized" editions and the author was not informed of this process. 
Final Exit Derek Humphry 362.28  H86  1991 Documents suicide techniques and  discusses euthanasia.
Grapes of Wrath, The John Steinbeck 813.52  S74g  1992 Banned for language and depiction of migrant life. It was cited as socialist propaganda. Several months after book's publication, a St. Louis, MO library ordered three copies to be burned for the vulgar words used by its characters. It was also banned in Kansas City and in Oklahoma. To date, it has been challenged or banned in 10 states.
Great Books of the Western World
(English minor poems. Paradise lost. Samson Agonistes. Areopagitica.)
John Milton 821.47  M56  1955 Areopagitica - for plea against censorship. Paradise Lost - for denial of predestination.
Group, The Mary McCarthy 813.54  M33  1963 Banned for sexually outspoken depiction of eight Vassar graduates in the 1930s.
Gulag Archipelago 1918-1986, The Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 365.450947  S65g  1991-1992 Banned in the U.S.S.R. for depicting human rights abuses by the Soviet government, particularly in its justice system and prisons. 
Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets J.K. Rowling 823.914  R69h  1999 Banned for the references to the occult and the demonic attributes of this series - witchcraft, sorcery and rebellion against authority. New Mexico burned the book, and it has also been challenged in 19 states.
Heart of Darkness  Joseph Conrad 823.912  C66h  1981 Banned for the use of the word "nigger" and depictions of graphic violence.
Joy Luck Club, The Amy Tan 813.54  T36  1989 Challenged because of "conflict with the values of community". 
Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy 823.8  H37j  1967 Challenged for child murder and suicide.
July's People Nadine Gordimer 823.914  G67j  1981 Banned in its setting, South Africa.
Kaffir Boy Mark Mathabane 968.00496024  M38  1987 Banned Because of its graphic content of child prostitution.
Lady Chatterley's Lover D.H. Lawrence  823.912 L38 1928 Banned in the U.K. because of explicit sexual content until a celebrated obscenity trial in 1961.
Last Temptation of Christ, The Nikos Kazantzakis 889.3  K39  1988 Banned for religious reasons.
Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman 811.3  W55L 1973 Banned for religious reasons and homoerotic themes.
Like Water for Chocolate Laura Esquirel 863.6  E86l  1992 Contains sexually explicit and inappropriate material.
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov 891.7342  N33l  1955 Banned for sexual themes.
Madame Bovary Gustav Flaubert 843.8  F53  1985 Formerly banned in France for political reasons and sexual content.
Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov 891.73  B85  1985 Not published until after the author's death because of censorship in Russia.
Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler 943.086  H57  2004 Banned for racist material.
Moll Flanders Daniel Defoe E-book Banned for sexual situations.
* My Sister's Keeper Jodi Picoult PICOULT 2009 Banned for sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, religious viewpoint, drugs, suicide, and violence.
Native Son Richard Wright 813.54  W75  1940 Banned for violence and rape.
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell 823.912  O79n  1992 Challenged in 1981, Jackson County of Florida on the founds that the book was "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter".
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck STEINBEC  1992 Banned for using offensive language, racism and violence.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey 813.54  K48o  1976 Banned for its close look into an all male asylum. The book showed the corrupt application of inflexible systems of social, medical or legal controls over the human mind. 
Ordinary People Judith Guest 813.54  G94  1976 Banned for teenaged suicide.
Origin of Species Charles Darwin 575.0162  D37 1990 Banned for illustrating the concept of evolution.
* Perks of Being A Wallflower, The Stephen Chbosky CHBOSKY 1999 Banned for homosexuality, sexually explicit, anti-family, offensive language, religious viewpoint, drugs, and suicide.
Rainbow Boys Alex Sanchez 813.6  S26r  2001 Banned because of gay content and pervasively vulgar.
Rights of Man, The Thomas Paine 320  P35  1995 Banned in the U.K. and its author prosecuted for treason of its seditious content.
Sanctuary William Faulkner 813.52  F39s  1958 Banned for sexuality and violence.
Scarlet Letter, The  Nathaniel Hawthorne 813.3  H38b  1986 Banned by religious clergy for its adultery theme.
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut 813.54  V66k  1990 Banned for foul language and promoting deviant sexual behavior.
Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson 813.54  G87  1994 Banned by the Modesto, California city council from the schools because of "objectionable content".
Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence 823.912  L38s  1913 Banned for sexuality themes.
Thousand Acres, A Jane Smiley 813.54 S65t 1992 Banned because the wealthy Iowa farmer in this story is a pedophile.
* To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee 813.54  L44t  1999 Challenged for racial slurs, racism, offensive language.
Ulysses James Joyce  823.912  J69u  1961 Banned in the United States until 1933 because it was considered impossible to read and obscene.
Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe 813.3  S76  1981 Banned in Southern U.S. states as anti-slavery propaganda and for negative depiction of slave-owners; banned in czarist Russia; banned in Waukegan, Illinois (1984) for undesirable racial language.
Women in Love D.H. Lawrence 823.912  L38w  1967 Banned for sexuality.