5 Most Common Reasons for Banning Books

5 Most Common Reasons for Banning Books

By Elizabeth Lee , Sep 25th 2014

Schools and communities have challenged and banned books for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons might surprise you! Let's take a look at the most commonly cited cases for challenging books and the titles that have been challenged due to those reasons.

1. Sexually explicit material, cited 92 times since 2013

banned books

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

2. Offensive language, cited 73 times since 2013

books banned from schools

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

3.  Unsuited for age group, cited 67 times since 2013

books banned from school

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

4. Violence, cited 49 times since 2013

banned books
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Bone (series) by Jeff Smith

5. Religious viewpoint, cited 22 times since 2013

books banned
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Other reasons cited in book challenges include nudity, racism, homosexuality and cultural insensitivity. Huffington Post also notes that out of all the book challenge reasons since 2013, none cited technical errors. Do you think books with controversial topics should be banned from schools and public bookshelves? Is it better to censor books instead of removing them completely? Share your thoughts!


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