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It’s officially Banned Books Week (Sept 28-Oct 3) and I always think of the books that have ended up on the banned/challenged lists that I’ve read and enjoyed around this time. I’ve never been censored in what I could and couldn’t read since my parents are both readers themselves. To my parents, the fact that my sister and I had caught the reading bug growing up was all the reason of allowing us to read any books we wanted, given the subject matter. Both my sister and I were reading adult thriller/horror novels by high school. Here are a list of banned/challenged books that I enjoyed. Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or if you want to read any of the titles.
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling always made the banned list every year when I was a kid reading them as a new book was published every year to two years. I fell in love with this franchise, as well as further in love with reading, when I read the first book in fifth grade (1999).
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is such a marvelous read with strong trigger warnings of alcoholism, sex education, and violence. I read this in my Adolescent Lit course in uni and enjoyed it. It was real and the characters were multi-dimensional.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is banned for homosexuality, alcoholism/drug addiction, sexually explicit, offensive language, and “date rape and masturbation.” If you’re a fan of John Green, then you should read this novel, especially if you enjoyed Green’s Looking for Alaska (which has also been challenged and banned in multiple schools in the U.S.).
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher was challenged in 2012. I enjoyed this novel so much. Trigger warning for suicide. It’s about a girl who commits suicide and leaves tapes to all the people that had a hand in why she chose to commit suicide through recording those reasons why.
- The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the banned/challenged classics. Basically when you put magic/sorcery in a novel/series, then the super religious church-goers will argue that it encourages the practice of dark magic/wiccan. Such a load of bologna. I love this books so much. Hands down the best high fantasy series I’ve read.