Complete book list

Book Cover for A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

ISBN: 9780141192369
Available in Paperback

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess


Burgess's vision of a horrifying dystopian near-future. A Clockwork Orange also contains an experiment in language: Burgess creates a new speech that is the teenage slang of the not-too-distant London. This thought-provoking book was withdrawn from some US schools on grounds of immorality - it was thought to contain too much sexual violence. Stanley Kubrick's film caused even greater furore and shocks audiences to this day. So put it in your soomka, droogs, this book is horrorshow. Contains ultraviolence.

Book Cover for The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

ISBN: 9780141039824
Available in Paperback

The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank


An enduring story of a young girl's enforced imprisonment during her formative years. Her moving account is as popular today as when it was originally published and has been tranlsated into 50 languages. The book was banned in the Lebanon as it was deemed to portray Jews in too favourable a light.

Book Cover for The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

ISBN: 978-0312270827
Available in Paperback

The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie

Picador; 1st Picador USA Ed edition (December 1, 2000)

This is Rushdie's fourth novel and it has attracted controversy since its publication in 1988. The book was banned in India and burned in the UK. "I selected the Satanic Verses because when it was released it was seen as very controversial in the Islamic world, and Islamic extremists threatened to kill Rushdie." Greg, North Yorkshire Libraries

Book Cover for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

ISBN: 978-0199536559
Available in Paperback

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

Oxford paperback

Huck Finn has been banned at various times; sometimes for its left wing associations, sometimes (mistakenly) for its RIGHT! It has come in for a lot of criticism in recent years because it makes frequent use of the word "nigger", (by both black and white characters in the book) and the casual observer might mistake this for racism on the authors part. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, as Mark Twain's whole tenor is anti-slavery and anti-racist. The word "nigger" in the context of mid 19th Century Mississippi was simply the vernacular for "Negro". Twain was a close personal friend of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was cited by President Lincoln as one of the prime movers in the anti slavery movement.

Book Cover for  Lysistrata by  Aristophanes

ISBN: 978-0140448146
Available in Paperback

Lysistrata - Aristophanes


Banned in the US in 1873, and in Greece by the Nazis in 1942, and by the military junta in 1967. Lysistrata is an account of one woman's mission to end The Peloponnesian War - she convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace. If only all the wars could be solved by a sex strike...

Book Cover for  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

ISBN: 978-0099512073
Available in Paperback

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

Vintage Classics

Alice was banned in the province of Hunan, China (1931) for the portraying animals acting on the same level as humans. "This is a well know and well loved classic. I chose it because it makes people think about the ideas of freedom of speech and censorship if such an innocent children's book could be banned." Ruth, North Yorkshire.

Book Cover for  Animal Farm by George Orwell

ISBN: 978-0141036137
Available in Paperback

Animal Farm - George Orwell


This book powerfully demonstrates the importance of democracy and freedom of speech. It is still relevant today with its tale of corruption and misinformation in a worker's revolution that goes wrong. In the 1940s, Allied forces found the book critical of the USSR, and therefore considered too controversial to print during wartime. A play of Animal Farm was banned in Kenya in 1991, because of its criticism of corrupt leaders. In 2002 it was banned in schools in the United Arab Emirates.

Book Cover for The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

ISBN: 9780099740919
Available in Paperback

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood


A dystopian fictional world where women's only function is to breed. It was no.37 on the American Library Association's 100 most frequently challenged books 1990 - 2000 - challenged because it was claimed to be anti-Christian and pornographic.

Book Cover for  July's People by Nadine Gordimer

ISBN: 9780747578383
Available in Paperback

July's People - Nadine Gordimer

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

The book is about a white family living in South Africa who suddenly find themselves in a new South Africa where the blacks have taken over and they are forced to flee their house in the face of violence. In their flight they end up in the village of their one-time servant and end up living with him and his family in the village. "The plot of the book is interesting in its role reversal of black/white South Africans and the upstairs/downstairs dichotomy. I also enjoyed the open ending of the book and how the characters never truly became comfortable within their new roles in the new black South Africa and the fact that it seemed that even the black South Africans prefered the seeming stability of white ownership and rule." Marie, Lambeth Libraries The book was banned in South Africa before the Apartheid as the government felt that it predicted accurately what might happen to South Africa.

Book Cover for  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

ISBN: 978 0 09 949694 6
Available in Paperback

All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Remarque


Banned in Nazi Germany for portraying the Wehrmacht (German military forces) in a bad light. A sad and brilliant book - fully deserving its classic status - the story is told from the perspective of a young German at the time of the First World War.

Book Cover for  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling

ISBN: 9780747532743
Available in Paperback

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J K Rowling


The first of the hugely successful Harry Potter series, in which Harry discovers he's a wizard, and enrols in Hogwarts School of Withcraft and Wizardry. It was banned and burned in many US states for promoting witchcraft, and also banned in some Christian schools in the UK. Maybe they didn't realise it is just a story.

Book Cover for  Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence

ISBN: 9781604599510
Available in Paperback

Lady Chatterley's Lover - D. H. Lawrence


Perhaps the most famous of Lawrence's novels, the 1928 Lady Chatterley's Lover is no longer distinguished for the once shockingly explicit treatment of its subject matter - the adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the gamekeeper who works for the estate owned by her husband. Now that we're used to reading about sex, and seeing it in the movies, it's apparent that the novel is memorable for better reasons: namely, Lawrence's masterful and lyrical writing, and a story that takes us bodily into the world of its characters. When the full unexpurgated edition was published by Penguin Books in Britain in 1960, the trial of Penguin under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 was a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law.

Book Cover for  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

ISBN: 978-0140449129
Available in Paperback

Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

Penguin Classics

Banned in 1857 for its portrayal of adultery, the novel traces the story of Emma Bovary, a provincial doctor's wife, and her unsuccessful affairs. "I love this book, even if Victorian England didn't! I think it's really interesting how Emma's reading of sensational novels is somehow implicated in her downfall!" Rachel, Bexley Libraries

Book Cover for  Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin

ISBN: 9780141185910
Available in Paperback

Go Tell It On The Mountain - James Baldwin


This semi-autobiographical novel by James Baldwin was published in 1953 and is acknowledged to be a classic of African-American literature. It examines the role of the Christian Church in the lives of African-Americans, both as a source of repression and moral hypocrisy and as a source of inspiration and community. It was censored in the U.S. because of recurring themes of sex, profanity and violence.

Book Cover for The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

ISBN: 9780552159715
Available in Paperback

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown


If you have been living under a stone since 2003, you may have missed the phenomenon that is The Da Vinci Code. This mystery-detective novel follows symbologist Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder at the Louvre, and discover a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus Christ of Nazareth having been married to Mary Magdalene. The book has been criticized for its historical and scientific inaccuracy. It has been denounced by many Christian denominations as an attack on the Roman Catholic Church, and Christian leaders in the Lebanon went so far as to ban it.

Book Cover for  Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

ISBN: 0007115199
Available in Paperback

Naked Lunch - William Burroughs


The loose collection of 'routines', as Burroughs describes the sections of text that comprise Naked Lunch, are narrated by the junkie, William Lee. The routines are meant to be able to be read in any order, and the narrative (there isn't really a plot to speak of) unfolds in the US, Mexico and Tangier. Due to its obscene language and extremely controversial subject matter concerning drug addiction this book was banned in many regions of the US.

Book Cover for The Communist Manifesto by  Marx and Engels

ISBN: 0141018933
Available in Paperback

The Communist Manifesto - Marx and Engels


The Manifesto was issued by Marx in 1848, and is regarded as founding document of Communism. Since its publication this book has been banned, burned and censored in many capitalist countries because of its political content.

Book Cover for  Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

ISBN: 9780007204465
Available in Paperback

Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller

Harper Perrenial

Tropic of Cancer combines fiction and autobiography as it tells the story of Miller's life as a struggling writer in Paris. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Michael Musmanno wrote that Tropic of Cancer is "not a book. It is a cesspool, an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity." It was banned in the UK and the USA for its explicit nature.

Book Cover for  For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemmingway

ISBN: 9780099908609
Available in Paperback

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemmingway


The New York Times called it 'The best book Hemingway has written'. This evocation of the pride and the tragedy of the civil war that tore Spain apart tells the story of a young American volunteer who is sent blow up a bridge behind the lines of Franco's army. In the mountains he finds the dangers and the intense comradeship of war - and he discovers Maria. This book was banned in Spain during Franco's rule due to its pro-Republican views.

Book Cover for The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

ISBN: 9780571135394
Available in Paperback

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera


This philosophical novel centres around the lives of a man and two women in 1968 Prague. This thought provoking book was banned in Kundera's home county of Czechoslovakia until 1989 due to its depiction of life under Communist rule.

Book Cover for  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

ISBN: 9780099419785
Available in Paperback

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee


Pulitzer Prize winner, To Kill A Mockingbird addresses themes of racial injustice and the destruction of innocence, set in America's deep south. This book is a classic which is frequently taught in schools and is also frequently censored due to the racial issues with which it deals and its stereotypical portrayal of a black character.

Book Cover for The Dark by John McGahern

ISBN: 9780571225675
Available in Paperback

The Dark - John McGahern


Set in the rural north west of Ireland, The Dark concerns itself with themes of adolescence and guilty sexuality. It was banned in Ireland for its alleged pornographic content and suggestions of sexual abuse by the clergy, and The Dark also led to McGahern being dismissed from his job as a teacher.

Book Cover for  Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

ISBN: 9780141036144
Available in Paperback

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell


Published in 1945, it was banned in the USSR until the 1980s for its allegorical depiction of the rise and fall of socialism and Stalin's totalitarian regime. Ironically it was also banned in the US for having communist text in the introduction.

Book Cover for  Beloved by Toni Morrison

ISBN: 9780099511656
Available in Paperback

Beloved - Toni Morrison


Toni Morrison's novel about the slave trade may have won both the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize, but this has not prevented it from being censored in various schools in the US. Reason cited: the book's use of extreme language.

Book Cover for  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

ISBN: 9780141023496
Available in Paperback

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov


Narrated by the central character, Humbert Humbert, Lolita tells the story of his obsession and sexual involvement with the 12-year-old daughter of his landlady. This book was turned down by four publishers due to obscenity before it was published in 1955. It was subsequently banned in the UK, copies of it being seized as they arrived in the country. It was also banned in France for two years as well as in Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa.

Book Cover for  Last Exit to Brooklyn by Herbert  Selby

ISBN: 9780714531298
Available in Paperback

Last Exit to Brooklyn - Herbert Selby

Marion Boyars

Banned in Britain in 1967 due to its depiction of homosexuality, prostitution, drug-taking and sexual perversion, the judge at the trial said that women in particular would be embarrassed to read it! The novel has become a cult classic because of its harsh, uncompromising look at lower class Brooklyn in the 1950s.

Book Cover for The  Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

ISBN: 9780140455465
Available in Paperback

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov


The Devil and his retinue arrive in Soviet Moscow and all sorts of trouble ensue. This satire on Soviet society was banned in the USSR until 1973.

Book Cover for The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

ISBN: 9780140439120
Available in Paperback

The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin

Penguin classics

This book challenged many of the deeply held beliefs in the Western world by introducing the theory of evolution. It was banned for a time at Trinity College, Cambridge where Darwin was a student.

Book Cover for  American Psycho by Bret Easton  Ellis

ISBN: 9780330448017
Available in Paperback

American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis


The original publishers of this book dropped it and the New York Times urged people not to buy it because of its extreme violence. In Germany, Australia and New Zealand it was shrink wrapped and sold to over 18s only.

Book Cover for The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

ISBN: 978-0860682547
Available in Paperback

The Well of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall


Published by Radclyffe Hall herself in 1928, it was immediately banned in the UK due to its lesbian theme and was allowed in the United States only after a long court battle. The book depicts the story of an upperclass woman, Stephen Gordon, whose homosexuality (or 'inversion' as it was then termed) is apparent from an early age.

Book Cover for  Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Available in Paperback

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Dell Publishing

Historically, it has always been controversial and subject to censorship, for its language, sexual and irreligious themes, use of outdated terms now deemed offensive and for its criticism of US forces during WWII. It has been a regular title on the US Most Banned Books list for years and no doubt will continue to be.

Book Cover for  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

ISBN: 978-0099518471
Available in Paperback

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

Vintage Classics

Far in the future, the World Controllers have finally created the ideal society. Man is bred and conditioned from conception in laboratories to be content with his pre-destined role in society. 'Equally a denunciation of capitalism and communism, so far as they discourage man from thinking freely, Brave New World is one of the most important books to have been published since the war.' Daily Telegraph Brave New World was banned in Ireland in 1932, mainly due to its depiction of drugs, sexuality and suicide.

Book Cover for  Ulysses by James Joyce

ISBN: 978-1840226355
Available in Paperback

Ulysses - James Joyce

Wordsworth Classics

Ulysses follows its central character, Leopold Boom, around Dublin during an ordinary day - 16 June 1904. It is one of the most highly regarded English-language novels of the 20th century, and was banned in the UK on obscenity grounds until the 1930s.

Book Cover for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum

ISBN: 978-0140621679
Available in Paperback

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L Frank Baum

Penguin Classics

Timeless children's classic about Dorothy, Toto, and the friends they make in Oz. This book has been banned by many libraries in different American states for different reasons - in the South because of witches being referred to as 'good' and under McCarthyism for its perceived socialist values.

Book Cover for  Forever by Judy Blume

ISBN: 978-0330397803
Available in Paperback

Forever - Judy Blume

Macmillan Children's Books

Blume's 1975 novel tackles themes of teenage sexuality head on. One of the most frequently challenged books in the US because of the use of suggestive language, the detailed depiction of sex, and because her teenage character, Katherine, goes on the pill. "This is the first book I read simply because it had been 'banned'!" - Maarya, Newham Libraries.

Book Cover for  Persepolis by Marjan Satrapi

ISBN: 009952399X
Available in Paperback

Persepolis - Marjan Satrapi


Oliver at ARTICLE 19 recommends Marjan Satrapi's book 'Persepolis': "It has become a hit everywhere in the world except Iran where it is banned. Readers of the book may also like to read Azar Nafisi's 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' which is banned in Iran too."

Book Cover for  Interventions by Noam Chomsky

Available in Paperback

Interventions - Noam Chomsky


The book, an anthology of Chomsky's writing, was prevented from circulation by the library at Guantanamo Bay prison camp. A US defense department spokesman did not specify why the book was rejected, but a slip accompanying the returned book said it had been included among categories of books banned from the Guantanamo Bay prison library: i.e thsoe that promoted “Anti-American, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Western” ideology, literature on “military topics,” and works that portray “excessive graphic violence” and “sexual dysfunctions.”

Book Cover for  And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

ISBN: 978-1847381484
Available in Paperback

And Tango Makes Three - Justin Richardson

Simon & Schuster’s Children’s UK

The book was banned by schools and libraries in the US in 2009 yet based on a true story of two gay penguins hatching an egg in New York’s Central Park Zoo. School authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina, Shiloh, Illinois, Loudoun, Virginia and Chico, California all banned the book. The American Library Association reports that And Tango Makes Three was the most challenged book of 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the single most banned book of 2009 in the US.

Book Cover for The Proof of the Honey by Salwa al-Neimi

Available in Paperback

The Proof of the Honey - Salwa al-Neimi

Europa Editions

The book has been banned in Oman and other Arab states for its account of an Arab woman’s sexual encounters and her philosophy of love. It presents a view of the world and Arab womanhood very different from the silent, veiled stereotype.

Book Cover for The Country Girls by Edna  O'Brien

ISBN: 9780752881164
Available in Paperback

The Country Girls - Edna O'Brien

Orion Publishing Co.

The Country Girls, published in 1960 by Hutchinson, London, was the first novel by Edna O’Brien and the first of her trilogy of the same title (also including The Lonely Girl, later called Girl with Green Eyes, and Girls in Their Married Bliss). It was banned in her native Ireland for its sexual content. Altogether, six of her novels were banned there, and sometimes burnt. But her work has always had both big sales and critical acclamation for the lyricism and unflinching nature of her writing, especially about women’s lives and loves, as well as her comedy.

Book Cover for  Wild Pigeon by Nurmuhemmet Yasin

ISBN: 978-3837041422
Available in Paperback

Wild Pigeon - Nurmuhemmet Yasin

Books on Demand Gmbh (Sep 2008)

This is an allegorical story of a young pigeon who is the son of a dead king. One day the pigeon takes a journey looking for a new home for his flock, when he is trapped by humans. Instead of giving up his freedom, he chooses to die. Yasin first published his short story in the bi-monthly Uighur-language Kashgar Literature Journal, issue No. 5, November 2004. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for "inciting Uighur separatism" for the publication of the book. Chinese authorities consider the story to be a tacit criticism of their government in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, and therefore banned the book.

Book Cover for  Spoils of War by John  Tirman

ISBN: 975-8242-107
Hardback Only

Spoils of War - John Tirman


In 2005-06 Fatih Taş, the owner of Aram publishing house, was charged with insulting the Turkish military and the memory of Atatürk, for his publication of a translation of a 1997 book by John Tirman, entitled: “Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America’s Arms”. In “Spoils of War”, Tirman criticises US foreign policy for having militarised the US allies in the Middle East by selling them weapons, and thus preventing them from carrying on domestic democratic reforms. According to the author, the Turkish military used these weapons against the Kurds in the 1990s, thereby in his views committing human rights violations on a massive scale.

Book Cover for  Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody

ISBN: 9780552152167
Available in Paperback

Not Without My Daughter - Betty Mahmoody


A harrowing but inspiring true story of an American woman who was kept virtual prisoner when her Iranian husband took her on holiday to visit his homeland. The tale of her escape in both print and film were subsequently banned by the Iranian government.

Book Cover for  Catch 22 by Joseph  Heller

ISBN: 9780099477310
Available in Paperback

Catch 22 - Joseph Heller


Catch 22 highlights the absurdity of war as the main protagonist, a pilot, is presented with two differing scenarios with regard to his mental state - both of which mean he has to continue fighting... The popular satirical novel is full of black humour and pathos but was banned in a number of US schools due to offensive language.

Book Cover for The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

ISBN: 0140292926
Available in Paperback

The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck


The Grapes of Wrath focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers in the Great Depression. It follows them as they are driven from their home in Oklahoma by drought, hardship, and changes in the agriculture. They set out for California along with thousands of other "Okies" in search of land, jobs and dignity. When it was published in 1939, this book was banned and burned in many places in the US for its social and political views. "Steinbeck is one of my favourite authors and this is perhaps his best known work. It seems incredible that some wanted to ban such a great classic for political reasons, and therefore it is a very good example of the need to resist the banning of books." Karl, Brent Libraries, Arts & Heritage.

Book Cover for  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander  Solzhenitsyn

ISBN: 978-0141184746
Available in Paperback

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Penguin Classics

The story is set in a Soviet labour camp in the 1950s, and describes a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. Banned in the USSR for political reasons. The author was sent into exile.

Book Cover for The Gulf Between Us by Geraldine Bedell

ISBN: 0141038608
Available in Paperback

The Gulf Between Us - Geraldine Bedell


Geraldine Bedell's book The Gulf Between Us was greeted with enthusiasm by organisers of the first International Festival of Literature in Dubai because of its setting in the Middle East. But the mood changed swiftly when they discovered a gay character, and the book was banned.

Book Cover for  Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

ISBN: 9780140366846
Available in Paperback

Black Beauty - Anna Sewell


With more than fifty million copies sold worldwide, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time. It extols the virtues of kindness and respect. It was banned by the South African government during the Apartheid era because of the word 'Black' in the title.

Book Cover for The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen  Chbosky

ISBN: 9781847394071
Available in Paperback

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

Pocket Books

Charlie, our narrator, describes scenes from his life in a series of letters to an anonymous person. This book was banned in the USA for reasons of: homosexuality, sexually explicit, anti-family, offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, drugs and suicide. Gosh.

Book Cover for  We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

ISBN: 978-0140185850
Available in Paperback

We - Yevgeny Zamyatin

Penguin (UK)

D-503, a resident of One State, lives with his fellow citizens in condition of 'mathematically infallible happiness'. When he decides to keep a journal, we are taken with him on a journey into forbidden realms of love and rebellion. This dystopian novel and satire on state control was banned on its publication in Russia in 1921 for political reasons.

Book Cover for A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

ISBN: 9780552993692
Available in Paperback

A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

Black Swan

Banned in some US states for its views on religion and criticism of the US government for the Vietnam War & Iran-Contra. This book tells the story of John Wheelwright and his friend Owen Meany growing up together in a small town in New England, in the 1950s and 60s. Its a mystical book - Meany believes he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom - but full of comedy. Essential banned reading!

Book Cover for  I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

ISBN: 9780860685111
Available in Paperback

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou


This is the first book in a six-volume autobiographical series about the life of African-American author and poet, Maya Angelou. It has been banned in some US schools and libraries on grounds of pornography & violence.

Book Cover for  Blankets by Craig Thompson

ISBN: 9781891830433
Available in Paperback

Blankets - Craig Thompson

Top Shelf Productions

Temporarily banned from a library in Missouri along with "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel after they were both accused of being pornographic. The original letter of complaint asked the question: "Does this community want our public library to continue to use tax dollars to purchase pornography?" the ban was quickly overturned after The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the National Coalition Against Censorship wrote a rousing statement of support for the two authors and their critically acclaimed books.

Book Cover for  Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

ISBN: 9780224080514
Available in Paperback

Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic - Alison Bechdel

Mariner Books

Temporarily banned from a library in Missouri along with "Blankets" by Craig Thompson after they were both accused of being pornographic. The original letter of complaint asked the question: "Does this community want our public library to continue to use tax dollars to purchase pornography?" The ban was quickly overturned after The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the National Coalition Against Censorship wrote a rousing statement of support for the two authors and their critically acclaimed books.

Book Cover for  Death Note 1 by Tsugumi Ohba

ISBN: 9781421501680
Available in Paperback

Death Note 1 - Tsugumi Ohba

Viz Media

This Japanese manga series created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and artist Takeshi Obata was banned in several Chinese cities including Beijing. The official reason given for the ban was to protect the "physical and mental health" of students from horror material that "misleads innocent children and distorts their mind and spirit."

Book Cover for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

ISBN: 9780099540892
Available in Paperback

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain

Vintage classics

Alongside Huckleberry Finn, this book has attracted controversy for its use of racially charged language. In fact, this novel of a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River not only raised important questions of racial inequality that are still with us today, but revolutionised modern American story telling into the bargain.

Book Cover for An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

ISBN: 978-0451527707
Available in Paperback

An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser

Signet Classics

Dreiser's best work looks at the dark side of American life and the the failings of the American dream. Our protagonist, Clyde Griffiths, tries to escape his destiny, but ultimately sacrifices everything in his desperate quest for success. Banned in Boston in 1927, and burned by the Nazis in Germany in 1933 for "dealing with low love affairs."

Book Cover for  Angus, thongs and full frontal snogging by Louise Rennison

ISBN: 978-0439993968
Available in Paperback

Angus, thongs and full frontal snogging - Louise Rennison


"Her dad's got the mentality of a Teletubby (only not so developed). Her cat, Angus, is trying to eat the poodle next door. And her best friend thinks she looks like an alien -- just because she accidentally shaved off her eyebrows. Ergghhhlack. Still, add a little boy-stalking, teacher-baiting, and full-frontal snogging with a Sex God, and Georgia's year just might turn out to be the most fabbitty fab fab ever!" The first in the hugely popular Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, its frank discussion of boys, and references to lesbianism, pornography and erections have made Angus... a target for censorship in US schools.

Book Cover for  Areopagitica by John Milton

ISBN: 9781409917601
Available in Paperback

Areopagitica - John Milton

Dodo Press

Areopagitica is among history's most influential and impassioned philosophical defences of the principle of a right to freedom of speech and expression. Little suprise, then, that Areopagitica was banned under the very act it rallied against in the midst of the English Civil War.

Book Cover for  As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

ISBN: 978-0099479314
Available in Paperback

As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner


As I Lay Dying is regularly cited as being one of the great works of 20th century American fiction. The book is narrated by 15 different characters over 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honour her wish to be buried in the town of Jefferson. It has been banned and challenged by numerous schools in Kentucky and Maryland for reference to masturbation and abortion and questioning the existence of god.

Book Cover for The Awakening by Kate Chopin

ISBN: 978-0099540779
Available in Paperback

The Awakening - Kate Chopin


This seminal work of early feminism centers around Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the social attitudes of the southern US states in the 1900s. It faced challenges from the moment of its release in the US, due in part to its treatment of gender roles, but also for its depiction of female sexuality.

Book Cover for  Blubber by Judy Blume

ISBN: 978-0330398053
Available in Paperback

Blubber - Judy Blume

Macmillan Children's Books

Linda is overweight so is called “Blubber” by her classmates. Alliances shift accompanied by abuse and bullying. The author based the book on her own experience but some felt the behaviour shown towards Linda is excessive and likely to back-fire. There were also complaints about the use of terms such as “bitch”, “chink” and “ass”.

Book Cover for  Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan

ISBN: 978-0099706502
Available in Paperback

Borstal Boy - Brendan Behan

Arena Books

It is believed that the Irish Censorship of Publications Board banned the novel in 1958 due to adolescent sexuality, questionable language, and critiques of Irish republicanism, social attitudes and the Catholic Church. The censorship board was never asked to explain its decision.

Book Cover for  Burger's Daughter by Nadine Gordimer

ISBN: 978-0747549796
Available in Paperback

Burger's Daughter - Nadine Gordimer


Banned in South Africa in July, 1979 for going against the government's racial policies; the ban was reversed in October of the same year. Burger's Daughter tells the story of white anti-apartheid activists in South Africa seeking to overthrow the South African government.

Book Cover for  Candide by Francois Voltaire

ISBN: 978-0140455106
Available in Paperback

Candide - Francois Voltaire


Voltaire satirizes various religious and philosophical viewpoints in his 1759 novel, Candide. It was banned shortly after its publication by the Grand Council of Geneva and the administrators of Paris. In 1762 it was listed in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the Roman Catholic Church's list of prohibited books. Despite this - or because of it? - it became a best seller. Bannings of the book lasted into the 20th century.

Book Cover for The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

ISBN: 978-0140424386
Available in Paperback

The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer


The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly in verse, although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. It has attracted controversy due to its religious commentary, and was prohibited for sale in the United States due to sexual situations and swearing. It continues to be abridged for content and language across the United States.

Book Cover for  Carrie by Stephen  King

ISBN: 978-0340951415
Available in Paperback

Carrie - Stephen King


Stephen King's first published novel tells the story of Carrie, a shy high-school girl, who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who tease her. A number of US schools took exception to its references to underage sex and violence. use of swearing, and its controversial treatment of religion.

Book Cover for The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

ISBN: 978-0241950432
Available in Paperback

The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger


The story of the frustrated and confused Holden Caulfield has been banned by many schools and libraries since its publication in 1951. The censorship primarily stems from the book's profanity and sexual references. It's also commonly under fire for its perceived immorality. Throughout the novel, the protagonist drinks, smokes and engages in many other forms of questionable behaviour. Naughty boy.

Book Cover for  Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

ISBN: 978-0141189345
Available in Paperback

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut


Like many Vonnegut novels, Cat's Cradle tackles numerous issues, such as the nuclear arms race and religion. In 1972, the Strongsville, Ohio School Board banned the book without stating an official reason. Notes from the meeting include references to the book as 'completely sick' and 'garbage.' However, this ban was overturned in 1976.

Book Cover for The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

ISBN: 978-0141312514
Available in Paperback

The Chocolate War - Robert Cormier


Considered to be one of the best ever young adult novels, it comes fourth in America’s list of banned books 1990-2000. Dealing with high school gang culture, the main challenges were on the grounds of sexual content, violence and bad language. One school board noted the instances of causes for concern: “For Christ’s sake, bastard (24), Jesus (numerous), Christ (numerous), goddamn (10), hell (numerous), son of a bitch (4), shit/bullshit (5), queer, homo, fairy, etc.”. While arguing the book should not be in the library, the school accepted it could be easily bought in any local book shop, which might have suggested that banning the book was pointless.

Book Cover for The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

ISBN: 978-0753818923
Available in Paperback

The Colour Purple - Alice Walker


The Colour Purple received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but that hasn't stopped it being a target for censors. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. It was banned in a Californian School for its troubling ideas about race relations, God and sexuality, and its violent content.

Book Cover for  Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite

ISBN: 978-1555831189
Available in Paperback

Daddy's Roommate - Michael Willhoite

Alyson Publications

Ranked number 2 in the 1990-1999 most challenged books in the USA for its portrayal of a gay couple one of whom is the father of the boy they look after, the book featured in the 2008 US Presidential Election when it was revealed Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin had tried to get the book removed from a local library.

Book Cover for The Dark by John McGahern

ISBN: 978-0571225675
Available in Paperback

The Dark - John McGahern


Set in the rural north west of Ireland, The Dark concerns itself with themes of adolescence and guilty sexuality. It was banned for its alleged pornographic content and suggestions of sexual abuse by the clergy.

Book Cover for  Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

ISBN: 978-0141182742
Available in Paperback

Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller


Miller's 1949 play examines and attacks the notion of the American Dream. In this Pullitzer Prize winner, he accuses America of selling a false myth built around capitalist materialism, and in so doing attracted the attention of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. However, it is on charges of profanity that the play has been banned in some US schools, and due to Miller's campaigning for the freedom of dissident writers that it was banned, along with the rest of his work, in the USSR in 1969.

Book Cover for  Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

ISBN: 978-0099448426
Available in Paperback

Dr Zhivago - Boris Pasternak


Most people think of Doctor Zhivago as a love story. But this sweeping epic tells us much about the Russian revolution and its aftermath. It was banned in the USSR until 1988 for its underlying criticism of the Bolshevik party.

Book Cover for  Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland

ISBN: 978-1840224177
Available in Paperback

Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure - John Cleland

Wordsworth Classics

Fanny Hill has been frequently banned and prosecuted for its obscene content. This classic of erotic literature tells the saucy story of Fanny Hill and her adventures as a prostitute in 18th century London.

Book Cover for  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

ISBN: 978-0006546061
Available in Paperback

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury


This is a book about censorship, set in a future where fireman are employed to burn books which are considered to cause depression. Ironically it was banned in an American school during Banned Books Week for it’s explicit language and questionable themes .

Book Cover for A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway

ISBN: 978-0099273974
Available in Paperback

A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway


This semi-autobiographical novel, Hemingway's bleakest, depicts events of the Italian campaigns in the First World War. The author's linguistic and sexual frankness caused it to be banned in Boston in its first serialization in Scribner's Magazine.

Book Cover for The First Circle by Alexandr  Solzhenitsyn

ISBN: 978-0061479014
Available in Paperback

The First Circle - Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Harper Perrenial

The First Circle was banned in the Soviet Union for the negative portrayal of Joseph Stalin. In this highly autobiographical novel, Solzhenitsyn depicts the lives of the occupants of a sharashka (a R&D bureau made of gulag inmates) in the Moscow suburbs. Many of the prisoners are technicians or academics who have been arrested in Stalin's purges following the Second World War.

Book Cover for  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

ISBN: 978-0099512042
Available in Paperback

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley


Mary Shelley's classic 1818 book details a man obsessed with creating life through the reanimation of dead tissue. He succeeds, only to be haunted and tormented by his grotesque creation. Over the past two centuries, the book has been banned for being indecent, objectionable and obscene. Christian groups have protested the book, claiming that it's in conflict with the principles of their faith.

Book Cover for  Germinal by Emile Zola

ISBN: 978-1840226188
Available in Paperback

Germinal - Emile Zola

Wordsworth Classics

A book about the conditions of mines in northeast France and dealing with the social concerns of the working class, for which it was seen as radical for the time of its publication in 1885. It was attacked by right-wing groups for inciting revolution and the Vatican made it prohibited reading for Catholics.

Book Cover for  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchel

ISBN: 978-0330323499
Available in Paperback

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchel

Pan Books

Everyone's heard of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, surely? But whilst this book and the film it spawned have become a world-wide best sellers, the novel has also been banned in the past in various US states for containing racist language.

Book Cover for The Gulag Archipelago by Alexandr  Solzhenitsyn

ISBN: 978-0061253713
Available in Paperback

The Gulag Archipelago - Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Harper Perrenial

In this three-volume book, the author uses eyewitness testimony, primary research material, and his own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labour camp to inform the reader about the Soviet forced labour and concentration camp system. Banned in the Soviet Union because it went against the image the Soviet Government tried to project of itself and its policies. However, it was available to the public in the Soviet Union since at least the 1980s, and in 2009, the Education Ministry of Russia added The Gulag Archipelago to the curriculum for high-school students.

Book Cover for  Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

ISBN: 978-0007333868
Available in Paperback

Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh


Harriet keeps a notebook containing scathing assessments of those around her. Her nanny tells her that “Sometimes you have to lie. But to yourself you must always tell the truth" and objections were made to US schools on the grounds that the book encouraged children to lie, disobey authority, talk back and use foul language. The fact that Harriet later repents her behaviour went unnoticed.

Book Cover for  Heart of Darkness by Joseph  Conrad

ISBN: 978-0099511540
Available in Paperback

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad


In Heart of Darkness, Conrad seeks to expose the dark side of Belgian colonisation of the Congo, by focusing on one of the largest acts of genocide commited up to that time. Its violent content, and use of the word 'nigger' have seen it banned from many US schools.

Book Cover for  Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

ISBN: 978-1555835439
Available in Paperback

Heather Has Two Mommies - Leslea Newman

Alyson Publications

The book not only attempts to normalize gay parenting but also describes how the biological mother gets impregnated from donated sperm. It was this and the use of words such as vagina, sperm and womb that some found unacceptable and the book has been challenged repeatedly in the US.

Book Cover for  His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

ISBN: 978-1407109428
Available in Paperback

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman


This much lauded trilogy, full of references to and inspired by a range of literary classics, has been criticised mostly in the USA for its apparent attack on the church and religion in general, and Pullman does admit the books are about “the killing of God”. To add to the books’ controversial nature, passages alluding to the sexual awakening of its main female character, Lyra, have been removed in some editions.

Book Cover for The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

ISBN: 978-0552995887
Available in Paperback

The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende

Black Swan

Allende's debut novel was an instant best-seller on its publication in 1982. It tells the story of the Trueba family spanning four generations, and traces the post-colonial social and political upheavals of the Latin American country in which they live. Although it has been used in the curriculum of schools around the world since its publication, it has nevertheless been banned in several US schools for its frank treatment of sexual themes.

Book Cover for  Howl by Allen Ginsberg

ISBN: 978-0141190167
Available in Paperback

Howl - Allen Ginsberg


Howl is considered to be one of the great works of the Beat Generation. However, copies of the first edition were seized by San Francisco Customs for obscenity in March 1957. Obscenity charges were dismissed after trial.

Book Cover for  In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

ISBN: 978-0141182575
Available in Paperback

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote


In Cold Blood is regarded by critics as a pioneering work of the true crime genre. On hearing of a horrific quadruple murder in Kansas in 1959, Truman Capote and his friend and fellow writer Harper Lee, set out to interview local residents and investigators. Banned from a Georgia school in 2000 due to a parent's complaints of sex, violence, and profanity.

Book Cover for  In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

ISBN: 978-0099417477
Available in Paperback

In The Night Kitchen - Maurice Sendak

Red Fox

Sendak upset many adults with his tale of how a small child loses his pyjamas and spends much of the story naked. Apart from revealing his penis and testicles, some have read references to sex into other images such as free-flowing milky fluids, and a giant (phallic) milk bottle. The book constantly features in lists of most banned books, with some American parents drawing clothing on the child. Sendak was bemused by the controversy, stating that the child, Mickey, was nude to avoid getting his clothes dirty.

Book Cover for  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

ISBN: 978-0141184425
Available in Paperback

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison


Ellison's novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, and the reformist racial policies of Booker T. Washington, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity. Its use of profanity, violence and sexual imagery led to parents of some US school children to request its removal from their libraries.

Book Cover for The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

ISBN: 978-0140390315
Available in Paperback

The Jungle - Upton Sinclair


Sinclair's portrayal of the poverty and hopelessness of immigrants working in the American meatpacking industry of the early 20th century sought to expose the corruption of those in power at the time. Instead, it seemed to draw more attention to food safety standards than to the plight of the workers. It was banned in Yugoslavia, burned in Nazi Germany for its socialist themes, yet banned in East Germany in 1956 for being incompatible with Communisim.

Book Cover for  King & King by Linda da Haan

ISBN: 978-1582460611
Available in Paperback

King & King - Linda da Haan

Tricycle Press

A modern fairy tale with a difference. Having turned down every princess paraded before him, the prince falls in love with another prince and the story ends with them kissing. In the USA, the book was taken to court but the judge dismissed the case, saying "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation”. A sequel, in which the happy couple adopts an orphaned girl, also not surprisingly, caused controversy.

Book Cover for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

ISBN: 978-0747566533
Available in Paperback

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini


This tale of young people growing up through turbulent times in Afghanistan, with its coverage of paedophilia, rape, Nazism and sadism and strong language thrown in for good measure – all taking place in a Muslim country - was bound to create controversy. Its portrayal of characters from particular Afghan ethnic groups caused the film adaptation to be banned on the grounds that racial violence might ensue.

Book Cover for A Light in The Attic by Shel Silverstein

ISBN: 978-1846143854
Available in Paperback

A Light in The Attic - Shel Silverstein

Particular Books

This collection of poetry was challenged mainly due to two of its poems. "How Not To Have to Dry the Dishes" was said to encourage messiness and disobedience while "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony" was objected to because it describes the death of a girl after her parents refuse to buy her a pony. The ever-popular reasons for challenges - supernatural, demons, devils and ghosts – were also voiced.

Book Cover for  Lord of the Flies by William Golding

ISBN: 978-0571191475
Available in Paperback

Lord of the Flies - William Golding


Despite widespread acclaim and popularity, Lord of the Flies has been banned for a plethora of reasons. Many critics complain about violence, language, sexuality and racism. Others accuse the novel of attacks on religion, the disabled and women.

Book Cover for The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

ISBN: 978-0261102385
Available in Paperback

The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien


Tolkien's epic fantasy trilogy follows good and evil forces in pursuit of a magical ring. The book has been banned as 'satanic' in some areas and was even burned by members of a church in New Mexico in 2001. The controversy is ironic, though, as Tolkien was a devout Christian and many scholars note Christian themes in his work.

Book Cover for The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

ISBN: 978-1840224313
Available in Paperback

The Merchant of Venice - William Shakespeare

Wordsworth Classics

Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, agrees to lend Antonio, a Venetian merchant, three thousand ducats so that his friend Bassanio can afford to court his love, Portia. However, Shylock has one condition: should the loan go unpaid, he will be entitled to a pound of Antonio's own flesh. This Shakespearean play has raised controversy since its publication, and has been banned from numerous US classrooms in the last century for promoting anti-semitism.

Book Cover for The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

ISBN: 978-0749399535
Available in Paperback

The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka


Metamorphosis was banned by both the Soviet and Nazi regimes. Kafka's story is of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetlelike insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. It was banned in the Soviet Union for being both decadent and despairing.

Book Cover for  Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

ISBN: 978-1853260735
Available in Paperback

Moll Flanders - Daniel Defoe

Wordsworth Classics

Defoe's 1722 novel of an irrepressible woman leading a desperate life was banned for lewdness and indecency because it's a novel full of adultery and prostitution. What's ironic about this is that Defoe left out the dirtiest of details to make sure he would stay out of jail once Moll Flanders was published.

Book Cover for  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

ISBN: 978-0141185101
Available in Paperback

Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck


Offensive and vulgar language; profanity; racism; sexism; promoting euthanasia and being anti-business are all accusations brought against this American classic, and it is often on the American list of the most censored books in schools.

Book Cover for  One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

ISBN: 978-0141187884
Available in Paperback

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey


One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was challenged and banned by a number of US schools in the 70s and 80s for being pornographic, for glorifying criminal activity, and for promoting 'secular humanism'. This is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy - immortalised on film by Jack Nicholson - the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her.

Book Cover for  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

ISBN: 978-0141032436
Available in Paperback

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez


One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of a mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Despite winning the Nobel Prize for literature, a number of US schools had it excluded from their curricula.

Book Cover for  Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

ISBN: 978-1405247399
Available in Paperback

Rich and Mad - William Nicholson

Egmont Books Ltd

This tale “about first love, first sex, and everything in between” saw the author have his invite to talk to the students at Manchester High School for Girls withdrawn. The Head Teacher considered the book’s themes to be “inappropriate”, although the author believed it was the prospect of dealing with irate parents that had influenced the Head more.

Book Cover for The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

ISBN: 978-0486408934
Available in Paperback

The Rights of Man - Thomas Paine


The Rights of Man proposes that popular political revolution is permissable when a government does not safeguard its people, their natural rights, and their national interests. It was banned in the UK, and the author was charged with treason for supporting the French Revolution, and later banned in Tsarist Russia after the Decembrist revolt.

Book Cover for  Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl

ISBN: 978-0141501758
Available in Paperback

Revolting Rhymes - Roald Dahl


Roald Dahl's parody of classic children's fairy tales replaces the traditional 'happy ever afters' with something else altogether... most of the characters meet gruesome endings (although the seven jockeys befriended by Snow White become millionaires through gambling). Unsurprisingly it regularly features on the American Library Association's list of banned and challenged books.

Book Cover for  Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence

ISBN: 978-0099540755
Available in Paperback

Sons and Lovers - DH Lawrence


Lawrence tells the tale of Paul Morel and his Oedipal relationship with his mother. Essentially, Sons and Lovers explores the universal themes of family, love and the bonds of relationships.

Book Cover for  Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

ISBN: 978-0812967067
Available in Paperback

Tarzan of the Apes - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Modern Library

Banned from some US schools because Tarzan was 'living in sin' with Jane, this is Edgar Rice Burrough's story of the boy raised by apes after the death of his parents. Fantastically successful, the novel spawned two dozen sequels, plus film and comic book adaptations.

Book Cover for  Tintin in the Congo by  Herge

ISBN: 978-1405220989
Available in Paperback

Tintin in the Congo - Herge

Egmont Books Ltd

Herge rejected accusations of racism by claiming he was simply portraying the naïve, colonialist views of the time. But the African characters seemed to have exaggerated physiognomies and to be ignorant. The book has been redrawn over the years but challenges to bookshops and libraries still occur. Borders moved its copies to the adult section prompting sales to grow to the point where it was their fifth highest selling title. Depictions of a hunted rhinoceros being blown up were also removed.

Book Cover for  Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

ISBN: 978-1840224023
Available in Paperback

Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe

Wordsworth Classics

Banned in the southern United States during the Civil War due to its anti-slavery content, and also in 1852, in Russia under the reign of Nicholas I due to the idea of equality it presented. It was also felt that it "undermined religious ideals."

Book Cover for  Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

ISBN: 978-0140432084
Available in Paperback

Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith


Banned in the UK and France for criticizing Mercantilism. Banned in communist nations for its capitalist content.

Book Cover for  Where Willy Went by Nicholas Allen

ISBN: 978-0091892951
Available in Paperback

Where Willy Went - Nicholas Allen


A picture book that shows, albeit in a humorous way (the sperms wear swimming goggles), how human conception takes place. It is ironic that the author is a strong Christian but still found his book challenged. Not everyone objected. One online review read “I learned a lot from this book” – this came from a 22 year-old. Perhaps he should have read a book like this when he was younger.

Book Cover for  Wild Swans by Jung Chan

ISBN: 978-0007176151
Available in Paperback

Wild Swans - Jung Chan

Harper Perrenial

This memoir covers 3 generations of a Chinese family. Published in 1991 it proved to be hugely popular in the Western world and received critical acclaim but is still banned in China.

© 2010 - 2011. Banned Books is a London Libraries / Stellar Libraries campaign. Website by Codeface