American Library Association’s 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books 1990-2000

When I saw some of the titles on the list of censored books below, I just shook my head in amazement.  Are you kidding me?  I feel sorry for the children and adults who are trying to stop OTHERS from reading these great works of literature.

Now I’m not saying that because a book title is mentioned here it IS a great work of literature.  There are two that pop out at me that would NOT fit in that category in MY opinion.    However, I wouldn’t tell anyone else they couldn’t or shouldn’t read them. 

Some of my favorite books are on this list.  Thank goodness for the English teachers in my past who shared some of them with me.   When my son was in first and second grade he read every book by Roald Dahl.   These books are what turned him on to reading.  

I’m guessing How to Read Fried Worms is on there because some terrified Mommy thinks her kid will try to eat one.  (Sigh)  And if someone refuses to have Mark Twain on the book shelf . . . it’s sad.  Dialogue.  Dialogue.  Dialogue about what was acceptable back those days and what is acceptable now.  We can learn about our past and our future by discussion and comparison.

There are tons of non-reading kids who would never have opened a book willingly if it had not been for the Goosebump series.  Not to even mention Harry PotterJK turned on adults to reading too because of her series!

The Stupids?  If you haven’t read The Stupids, no matter what age you are, go out immediately to your independent bookstore and buy this series!  Or go to the library and check them out.  They are hysterical!

I happen to know that author Chris Crutcher has saved many lives by his books.  Kids NEED his books.  When you are drowning with problems you have to read about kids like you.  Don’t parents get it?  You don’t want to feel like you are alone.  Crutcher is a school therapist and teacher and he is threatened with all sorts of ridiculousness just because adults are afraid of what they don’t understand.  Fear will do all sorts of weird things to you.  Like make you be afraid of what your kids will read.

There is a lot of hate in the world because of fear.  People fear and hate what they do not know.  So of course we need books about subjects that are different from the norm.  Just because you accept people who live other lifestyles doesn’t mean your child will change overnight and decide to live in another lifestyle. 

Just this very weekend a good friend told me I had to Read Pillars of the Earth.   This bit of serendipity that means I have to go get it now

And if you are afraid, remember that you get to have a dialogue with your child as he or she reads.  This is the most fun and interesting part of reading! 

I used to tease my son about this.  “Tofer, this is why I had a kid.  So we could read and talk books!” 

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books: 1990–2000

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz

Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling

Forever by Judy Blume

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Giver by Lois Lowry

It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine

A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Sex by Madonna

Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein

Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry

The Goats by Brock Cole Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane

Blubber by Judy Blume Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam

We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier

Final Exit by Derek Humphry

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard

Deenie by Judy Blume

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden

The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar

Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)

Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole

Cujo by Stephen King

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell

Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy

Ordinary People by Judith Guest American

Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly

Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher

Fade by Robert Cormier

 Guess What? by Mem Fox

The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Native Son by Richard Wright

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday Curses,

Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen

Jack by A.M. Homes Bless Me,

Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya

Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle

Carrie by Stephen King Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer

Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge Family

Secrets by Norma Klein

Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole

The Dead Zone by Stephen King

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Always Running by Luis Rodriguez

Private Parts by Howard Stern

Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Running Loose by Chris Crutcher

Sex Education by Jenny Davis

The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene

Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts

The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney

Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Writing Prompts:

1.  What is your favorite book on this list?  Why is it your favorite?

2.  Write about censorship and your feelings about it.

3.  Have you or any of your books, thoughts, or feelings ever been censored?  How?  What happened? 

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No Responses to “American Library Association’s 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books 1990-2000”

  1. Martin Beristain says:

    Isn’t amazing that in 2010 there is such a thing as banned books, its so sad. Freedom is so precious, we must never allow these fools from taking control. Ban Books, what next?

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