40 Banned Books to Read at Your Own Risk

Banned Books Awareness Week is a time to celebrate our intellectual freedom by reading books that others have deemed unacceptable for certain people to read.  Reasons books get banned or challenged (which means someone wants the book banned from a school or library, but the request was denied) vary from “unacceptable sexual content “and “excessive violence” to “animals don’t talk” and “the book is a real downer.”

Now, if you are anything like me, you will want to stick it to Big Brother and read as many banned & challenged books as you can, but what if you don’t know what books have been banned?  Don’t worry.  We polled our 3,000 Bibliomaniacs to let us know what their favorite banned books are.  So without further ado, here are 40 Banned [or challenged] Books to Read at Your Own Risk.

1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, 3) Slaughterhouse-Five by KurtVonnegut, 4) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 5) Lord of the Flies by William Golding, 6) Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 7) 1984 by George Orwell 8) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, 9) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, 10) My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara, 11) Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, 12) The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, 13) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, 14) The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, 15) The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, 16) Animal Farm by George Orwell, 17) The Color Purple by Alice Walker, 18) Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, 19) Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, 20) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 21) The Rabbits’ Wedding by Garth Williams, 22) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, 23) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 24) Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman, 25) Inventing Witchcraft: A Case Study in the Creation of a New Religion by Aidan A. Kelly, 26) Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, 27) The Trial by Franz Kafka, 28) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, 29) Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford, 30) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, 31) The Devil in the Drain by Daniel Pinkwater, 32) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, 33) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, 34) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, 35) Hey Dollface by Deborah Hautzig, 36) Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden, 37) The Giver by Lois Lowry, 38) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, 39) James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, 40) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

So, did you discover that you have already read some dangerous books?  If you would like to know more about banned and challenged books and why they cause controversy, check out this ALA list.

You can find these and more banned & challenged books at your local HPB because we sell anything ever printed or recorded. Always remember to speak freely, write candidly and read endlessly.

Julie is Production Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

“Read the Movie” during Teen Read Week

October 16-22 is Teen Read Week, which is a literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)  and the American Library Association (ALA). To help celebrate this week, I want to encourage teens to “Read the Movie.”  Below are my recommendations of great books that have been turned into entertaining movies (which you’ve probably already seen).

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Made into the wonderful Dreamworks movie, this book is a wonder in itself, and besides the names, and Hiccup’s facetious attitude about the place he lives, the stories are completely different.  In this book, everyone has a dragon, and Hiccup’s first task, in order to make him a man in the eyes of his village, is to catch a dragon. His second task is to train it.  However, dragons are not so easy to train, and the only training manual that his village has consists of only one page that says “Yell at them, the louder, the better.”  Not being much of a yeller, Hiccup has to figure out a different way to train his dragon, pass his manhood test and save the day.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Though I never miss a Brendan Fraser movie, I’m glad I did not miss this book either, for the movie did use a lot of creative license in the screenplay. The book is told through the eyes of Meggie, whose father, a bookbinder, goes on the run from an evil man named Capricorn for reasons he will not explain. When her father gets kidnapped, Meggie must learn to trust an aunt she doesn’t like and a strange man named Dustfinger who betrayed her father, in order to save her father and save the book that Capricorn wants so desperately to get his hands on. She soon learns that her father has the ability to literally bring the story to life whenever he reads out loud. This adventure story is as much about the love of books as it is the actual adventure, with quotes from different books to begin each chapter and quaint illustrations to end it.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
While the movie is good, the book holds so much more and is an epic tale reminiscent of J.R.R. Tolkien. While Eragon is out hunting one day, a great explosion scares away his prey, but leaves a smooth blue and white stone, which he tries to sell a couple of times with no luck. Finally one night, the stone hatches, and out pops a dragon.  Suddenly, Eragon finds himself being chased across the empire with a magic-wielding, sword-fighting storyteller, who knows more about what’s going on than he is willing to tell. This book caused me to cry at least twice and the dialogue (especially where Brom was concerned) had me laughing numerous times.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I know. I know. Who hasn’t read Twilight? Well, it’s time to pull it out and read it again. It’s October. Halloween is getting close. What a perfect time to read a love story about a “vegetarian” vampire (or so the other vampires call the Cullens) who can read minds, and the new girl in town who doesn’t know how good she smells. Though at times Meyers sentence structure can have you reading a sentence more than once to make sure you understand what she’s saying, the story sucks you in until you wonder things like, “How normal is my mind?” and “That guy over there is pretty pale.  I wonder if he’s a vampire.”  This was a book I could not put down. And though I haven’t watched any of the Twilight movies yet (Vampire movies have always freaked me out a bit), I may have to rent them this Halloween, provided I don’t have to watch them alone.

My point is don’t be content to just watch the movie. You never know what you might be missing. Read the book. Don’t forget to check out the winners of the YALSA Top Ten: Inkheark, Eragon and Twilight have all been on this list at one time. So, what is your favorite book that has been made into a movie?

— Julie

Banned Books Posters + T-Shirts Round-Up

Censorship is not a thing of the past. You might be surprised to learn that more than 11,000 books have been banned or challenged since 1982 and 348 reported in 2010. Banned Books Awareness Week (BBAW) is an annual event when we, the community of employees and customers at Half Price Books, celebrate our First Amendment rights. Alongside the American Library Association and booklovers everywhere, we celebrate our freedom to read. As part of this, posters and T-shirts are designed each year. Here’s a round-up of some of our favorites.

 

Support the imaginative and courageous authors of all books, including those that open our eyes to controversial topics. Exercise your First Amendment rights this week by reading a banned or challenged book. And encourage others to build libraries, not bonfires.

Put on your favorite “Banned Books” T-shirt this week and join us! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the virtual rally happening online. Make a comment below telling us how you joined the First Amendment Rights Rally before 3 p.m. CST on Thursday, September 29 and enter to win a free HPB Banned Books tee. Winner will be randomly selected.

— Meredith

 

UPDATE: Congratulations to our random winner, Jackie Fender. You’ve won your very own HPB Banned Books T-Shirt. Drop us a note at besocial@hpb.com to claim your prize! This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated.