Family · Just my Thoughts

Banned Books Week

September 24th was the beginning of Banned Books Week. This annual event is aimed at celebrating freedom of speech. The reason I write about this is because you and I have probably read a banned book. I know I have and am pretty sure you have also.


As I look over a list of 50 banned books, I am laughing as I know that the ones I have listed below were read by my children in public school.

The Handmaid’s Tale  by Margaret Atwood

Native Son by Richard Wright

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Animal Farm by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

These were taken from a list of 50 banned books that everyone should read (here). On this list were also about ten additional books, not counting the Harry Potter books as we have read all and seen the films, that myself or one of my children  has read.


My point is we cannot allow someone else to make decisions about what is to be read by others. I should be able to choose what I read. I do think parents should exercise some discretion based on the age of their children but by the time a child is 15, most should be able to make their own choices.

5 thoughts on “Banned Books Week

  1. I read 11 of these in public school! And many more from the full list you linked to. James and the Giant peach was clearly a younger book, I think I read Anne Frank in middle school, and the rest were read in grades 10+ …when I think we were old enough to deal with reading them. I was not scarred by any of the books I read in high school from this banned list! Kite Runner did have some graphic parts (I read it a couple years ago) but that wasn’t the sole focus of the book. I wonder what books *are* allowed since so many of the books I read have been banned.

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