What Children's Books Are Banned (6 Classic Examples)

There will always be a list of publications prohibited from schools and academic institutions. In this post, we go over what children's books are banned and why.

Some books make us uneasy and have been determined not "suitable" for minors. But who makes this decision? What topics do we consider "inappropriate" for children and young people? Death? Suicide? Genocide? State offenses? Sexuality? Adultery? What about racism? What about religion? What is yes and what is no? and why is that?

Book censorship ranges from public burnings in dictatorships to annual lists of "not recommended" books published by schools, churches, and parent organizations. Some books have even been banned from owning in private libraries or for personal use.

When it comes to children's books that are banned, we must look at these publications through the eyes of parents, teachers, and reading promoters, and ask ourselves, "Is this appropriate for kids?"

6 Children's Books That Are Banned

A title, phrase, or theme reveals an era's fears and prejudices. Here are a few books we've read as part of the Vasconcelos Library's Prohibited Books Reading Circle.

  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll

Some people are troubled by Carroll's celebrated work and its little-read but a fantastic sequel. He was accused of promoting drug use in the United States, criticized in China for reducing man to the level of beasts, and ostracized during his lifetime for some of his own misunderstood behavior.

  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding

The book has been pulled from some shelves due to the violence, murders, and cruelty that develop among a group of children and young people left alone on an island. Fear of the unknown and abandonment lead to savagery and despair here. This novel inspired Maze Runner: Run or Die.

  • The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

Considered by some to be a "cursed book" and one of the twentieth century's most significant works. J.D. Salinger has been implicated in at least five homicides or attempted homicides. The most well-known is that of John Lennon, whose murderer, Mark David Chapman, was a fan of the book and had it with him when he shot the musician. Others have been frightened by his irreverent and sexual language.

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  • Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift

It was published in 1726 and offended many people because it satirized the monarchy and politics of the time, for which the author was labeled a misanthrope. Gulliver, for example, urinates on a Lilliputian palace at one point in the novel; at another, he meets the "yahoo" (he coined that term), a grotesque human who is less civilized than a horse.

  • The Call of the Wild, Jack London

They claimed it promoted too many liberal ideas, such as mercenary and individualistic competition. Others perceived it as inciting rebellion, violence, and "communism." They also claimed that it was "unsuitable for children or young ladies" and that its author was a bad person.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain                 

Racist and vulgar, many critics regard this as Twain's masterpiece, a great story of growth and travel. However, it is still prohibited in schools because it contains phrases such as "Jim, the black man, had a white soul," rather than accepting these statements tas evidence of racism and slavery in American history.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

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