Compiled by Laci Sutton / Managing Editor-Content
Title: Where The Wild Things Are
Author: Maurice Sendak
Year Released: 1963
Where has it been banned/challenged? Mostly in the southern parts of the U.S.
Reason for ban/challenge: The book’s supernatural themes raised concerns in parents. They also felt the illustrations promoted witchcraft. Some even said they thought it could be psychologically damaging to young children, instilling fear of abandonment.
Title: Harriet the Spy
Author: Louise Fitzhugh
Year Released: 1964
Where has it been banned/challenged? Southern U.S.
Reason for ban/challenge: Adults felt the book set a bad example by encouraging children to spy on others, lie and talk back/disrespect their parents.
Title: Where’s Waldo?
Author: Martin Hanford
Year Released: 1987
Where has it been banned/challenged? Several schools across the country, and some prisons in Texas.
Reason for ban/challenge: A drawing of a woman sunbathing topless was hidden in the corner of one of the illustrations.
Title: Captain Underpants (series)
Author: Dav Pilkey
Year Released: 1997
Where has it been banned/challenged? A Michigan elementary school, among others across the U.S.
Reason for ban/challenge: Crude language, violence and some cases also challenged due to the possibility of the main character being gay.
Title: Gossip Girl (series)
Author: Cecily Von Ziegesar
Year Released: 2002
Where has it been banned/challenged? Initially, a Florida public library challenged the book in 2008 with others following their lead.
Reason for ban/challenged: There are mentions of underage drinking and alcohol use, drug use, violence, and sexual content.
Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Year Released: 1985
Where has it been banned/challenged? Portugal, Spain, and several public libraries and schools (mostly in the southern U.S.)
Reason for ban/challenge: Some found it degrading to the Christian and Islamic religions, in addition to the vulgarity and sexual overtones.
Title: The Hunger Games (series)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Year Released: 2008
Where has it been banned/challenged? Several public schools across the U.S.
Reason for ban/challenge: Anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitivity, offensive language, cult-like behavior and violence. Parents said it caused their children nightmares and felt it encouraged violent and murderous acts.
Title: Of Mice and Men
Author: John Stienbeck
Year Released: 1937
Where has it been banned/challenged?: Ireland and several schools and libraries in the U.S.
Reason for ban/challenge: Vulgarity, racism, homosexual overtones and the poor treatment of women.