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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Banned Children's Books

You've probably heard of most of these titles and even read some of them as a child, but did you know that they've all been banned or challenged? This Banned Books Week (Sept. 25-Oct. 1), check them out for yourself and see whether you agree with the reasons somebody somewhere wanted to pull them from school and public library shelves. Follow the links to find the books in FCPL's catalog.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Banned in Kansas in 2006 because censors considered talking animals an “insult to God.”

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Challenged for portraying witches and witchcraft in a positive light. 

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Challenged by the Illinois Police Association (1977) and banned in parts of the U.S., because the police officers in the story are depicted as pigs. 

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Banned from a public library in Colorado (1988) because it was allegedly “sexist.” Challenged by several schools for “criminaliz[ing] the foresting agency.”

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Challenged in 1990 in the Howard County, MD School System for "graphic violence, mysticism and gore."


The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Banned in a California school district in 1989 because it "criminalized the foresting industry."

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

One of the first American picture books to feature an African American protagonist, this book was initially challenged by those who felt Keats (a white man) did not have the right to create a black character.

T'was the Night Before Christmas by  Clement Clarke Moore

Self-published author, Pamela McColl edited the classic and removed all references to smoking from the story.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Banned in most southern states immediately following its 1963 publication, because it features “witchcraft and supernatural events.”

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Banned in 2006 throughout parts of the U.S., because censors considered talking animals an “insult to God.” Banned by several institutions in Turkey and the UK with the claim that the character of Piglet is offensive to Muslims. Other institutions have argued the book revolves around Nazism.

(Information adapted from Wayne State College's Banned Books-Children's Literature-LibGuides.)

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