Books were banned from the times when the printing press was invented. Books were once burned to keep them away from the public. According to American Library Association, almost 11,3400 are challenged. In 2016, 323 books were challenged.
Banned book week is the annual event, celebrating the freedom to read. It is celebrated during the last week of September. There are many famous books that have been banned in many parts of the world. Here is the list of top ten banned books
1. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland is one of the most popular books. The book has been translated into many languages. However, Lewis Carroll was facing controversy since it was written. The book has been banned in many parts of the world for promoting the drug use. It was earlier banned in China for depicting talking animals and showing that humans and animals are on the same level.
2. Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell revolves around the theme of power and corruption. George Orwell wrote the book in form of allegory.It’s believed that the characters of the book represent the political leaders of Russia during the times when Russia was falling apart.George Orwell wrote the book during the world war 2 and the book was banned in USSR and other communist countries during the world war. In 2002 the book was banned in UAE for showing the picture of pigs and alcoholic drinks which is against the Islamic and Arab values.
3. Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
Who could have ever thought that the best-selling novel would be ban in some parts of the world? Harry Potter is one of the favorite series of book lovers. The book has been translated into 68 languages and sold over 400 million copies worldwide
However, many parents found it unsuitable for young adults. In many Catholic schools of Massachusetts, harry potter series was banned. The school authorities believed that it was too dark and scary for the young children. In UAE, Harry Potter series was banned for portraying supernatural things.
4. The Witches by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl has written the many creative books, which are “Charlie and the chocolate factory”, “Matilda”, “The BFG” etc.
The Witches by Roald Dahl was banned in many libraries of England for promoting witchcraft, racism, alcohol, and drug use. Despite so much criticism, the book won many awards in the UK.
5. The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
Khalid Hoessini is one of the famous best-selling authors of New York Times. He has written three novels which are well received by the readers. All of his novels are based in Afghanistan and portrays the pain of immigrants, women in Afghanistan and Taliban forces.
In 2008, Khalid Hosseini’s debut novel “The Kite Runner” was listed among the top ten frequently challenged books. It was banned in many school libraries. The offensive language and sexual harassment portrayed in the novel was the reason that it was banned in many school libraries. The film adaptation of the book was also banned in Afghanistan.
6. The fault in our stars by John Green
John Green is one of the famous writers of the young adult genre. He has written many books like “Paper Towns”, “The Abundance of Katherine”, “Looking for Alaska” and much more.
One of the best popular Y.A novel “The fault in our stars” was banned in many schools for promoting sexual scenes. The Riverside unified school district removed the copies of “The fault in our stars” from middle school libraries. John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” and “Paper Towns” was also banned for the same reason.
7. The famous five by Enid Blyton
Enid Blyton wrote over 800 books and her books are translated into 90 languages. She has written many popular books like Noddy, The Famous Five, Secret Seven and her books sold over 600 copies worldwide.
Enid Blyton’s “The famous five” was banned by BBC for thirty years due to lack of literary values. It was also banned in many school libraries in the UK for portraying gender inequality in her books.
8. Not without my daughter by Betty Mahmoody
Not without my daughter is the real-life story of Betty and her daughter Mahtob. The book reveals the male dominance in the Iranian society. Betty Mahmoody reveals how she and her daughter escapes from her evil husband. The book has been banned by the Iranian government. The film adaptation of the book is banned in 10 middle east countries.
9. The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The debut novel by Stephen Chbosky is one of the popular Y.A. reads. However, the parents and librarians didn’t seem to like it much and challenged the book. The book addresses the incidents of rape, drug, mental issues, abortion etc. It is because of this reason that it was banned in many school libraries and nobody cared about the story.
10. Fifty shades trilogy by E.L James
The fifty shades trilogy, one of the best-selling erotic novels was removed from many schools and public libraries for featuring sadistic material and pornography. Libraries in Florida removed all the copies of fifty shades trilogy. The Middle East countries also banned the selling of fifty shades trilogy.