A list of banned and challenged books

The Forbiden Library is a list of books that for various reasons, most laughable, have been banned and/or challenged. This is such a good idea. A wonderful way to remind people to read more than what we are recomended or told. Also a excellent example of why information, contained in books and elsewhere, is power. Why else would people ban a book if they didn’t fear its power?

Q. What’s the difference between “banned” and “challenged”?

A. “Banned” means that the book was successfully removed. “Challenged” means that the book was objected to, and may or may not have been removed.

The books listed on my site were all challenged on some grounds by groups who wished to impose restrictions on them. Some were removed from reading lists, some were removed from school or public libraries, some were burned in bonfires. I do not claim that all of the books in my list are for the same age group, nor do I believe they are all equally suitable for academic reading lists. I merely report documented challenges to books, and in some cases poke fun at the rationale used by those who object to the works mentioned.

I put the website together because I did not find any of the specific rationale for challenging the works I list compelling in any way. In fact, many of the reasons were quite humorous. I believe that books, and children, are individuals, and none deserve to be labelled.

“If your library is not ‘unsafe’, it probably isn’t doing its job.”
— John Berry, Iii, Library Journal, October 1999

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