Banned Books Week 2013: Favorite Banned Books

Since I shared my reasons for loving banned books week on Monday, I thought I’d share my most loved banned books today. There’s nothing that makes teens want to read books more than them being banned — luckily for them there are some real winners!

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

1. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: Who doesn’t love a true crime novel? The only thing that makes this one better is that it’s written in Capote’s perfect prose. This book was challenged in Savannah, GA, when parents complained about the violence in the novel. My take? A lot less violent than some episodes of Criminal Minds or CSI!

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies


2. Lord of the Flies by William Holding: It’s always fun when they try to ban a Nobel Prize Winner, isn’t it? My first foray into Lord of the Flies went pretty terribly — I certainly didn’t want to spend a whole semester talking about survival skills. Once I realized its value as a picture of deconstructed society, I fell in love. This book has the opportunity to grab all the teens who loved The Hunger Games or Matched, but in certain counties students never get the chance. It’s been challenged for profanity, violence and statements defaming God. My take? It’s a great representation of what happens when teenagers are left to build their own world and is a great stepping stone for post-apocalyptic YA fans. The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches

3. The Witches by Roald Dahl: Witches who aren’t at Hogwarts? Say it isn’t so! Roald Dahl is a genius and this book has to be my favorite of his many amazing offerings. It’s been challenged because it portrays women in a negative light…or maybe just because it has supernatural elements. My take? It’s a beautifully written book, perfect for those kids who just don’t buy into the Harry Potter mania.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

      A Wrinkle in Time


4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: If I could go back and read anything over again for the first time, it might just be Madeline L’Engle’s books. A Wrinkle in Time was the first “big kid book” to which my second-grade teacher introduced me. Some might say I was a little too young to experience the tesseract, but sitting in that reading circle listening to Meg’s adventure is one of my fondest memories. People have tried to ban A Wrinkle in Time for everything from being pro-Communist to having a female lead character. My take? Pick up a copy for every child you know…and then go grab one for yourself.

Fahrenheit 451by Ray Bradbury

      Fahrenheit 451     

5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: For the uninitiated 451 degrees is the temperature at which paper burns, making this just about the most ironic challenge ever. Bradbury shows us a world where books have been removed and the media is controlled by the government. Spookily familiar during banned books week, no? People have challenged Fahrenheit 451 for its foul language since the main characters mention hell a lot. My take? If you haven’t ever read Bradbury’s book, now is the time. It shows what could happen when a society censors the arts or defunds libraries.

Of course, this list could’ve continued for ages. I love The Handmaid’s Tale, Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter and many others just as much as the titles above.

Are you as outrages as I am that these books are being banned?

If You Liked Beauty Queens by Libba Bray….

Try These Titles!

The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber, on her Way to Botany Bay by L.A. Meyer

As the new captain of the Lorelei Lee, Jacky Faber can’t wait to live an exciting life on the high seas. But when’s she is arrested and put on a ship headed for the prisoner’s island of Australia, Jacky gets a very different adventure than she expected.

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Briony Larkin has two secrets: she’s a witch and she is the reason her sister Rose became ill. Filled with twists and turns at ever page, this magical story will have you wondering what happens next.

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Cat’s friends mean everything to her, so when one of them is attacked for being himself she resolves to find out who is responsible. The down-to-earth writing and no-nonsense plot are sure to leave you wanting more.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Drawing has always been a part of Lina’s life but when Soviet’s forcer her family out of their home and into a Siberian work camp, her life may depend on it. Follow Lina as she tries to make sense of family, art and life in the midst of World War II.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

When Ralph, Piggy and their friends survive a tragic plane-crash, they must find a way to survive on a remote island with no supplies, or adults. Things go from bad to worse as the boys slowly forget what it’s like to live in society.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Tally Youngblood has always dreamed of her sixteenth birthday when she can finally become pretty and move to New Pretty Town. When Tally’s new friend tells her about the other consequences of the surgery, Tally is forced to choose between what is right and what is easy.

Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright

Carlos Duarte is not your typical high school student, for starters he’s fashionable, on trend and already has his dream job as a makeup artist. Can Carlos survive the cutthroat world of NYC makeup

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Hannah has committed a crime but not just any crime, a crime that is bad enough to have her skin melachromed. Walking around with red skin is bad enough, but when she finds out the government wants her dead she must join the Resistance and fight.

Alphas by Lisi Harrison

Invites to the exclusive Alpha Academy only go to the prettiest, most popular girls and Skye Hamilton finally scored a spot. Testing her physical, mental and emotional limits, Skye soon finds out that being the most popular isn’t enough.

Pageant Perfect Crime by Carolyn Keene

Girl Detective Nancy Drew is hot on the trail of a shoplifter when she finds out that the culprit may be in a local beauty pageant. Determined to solve the mystery, Nancy enrolls in the Miss Pretty Face River Heights Beauty Pageant. Follow Nancy as she tries to solve the case, compete in a pageant and keep her boyfriend!


If you missed the trailer for Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, check it out here.