The Most Commonly Banned Books

The Most Commonly Banned Books

If there's anything that some of literature's greatest authors have in common, it's this: all have been challenged or banned in school libraries. According to the American Library Association (ALA), classics like "The Great Gatsby," "Catcher in the Rye," and "The Color Purple" have all faced frequent challenges. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom keeps extensive records of book challenges as part of their fight for the right to read, and even celebrates Banned Books Week at the start of every school year. From the looks of the list it appears that there's one universal truth: when authors get challenged, they're in remarkable company.

The Most Surprising Banned Books

We're not talking "50 Shades of Grey." You'll never believe these seemingly innocent books (the dictionary?!?) that have been banned.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Since 1990, the American Library Association has received reports of more than 18,000 attempts to ban books from schools and libraries. (0:19)

  • 2

    Between 1976 and 1987, the American Heritage Dictionary was removed from schools in three states due to "objectionable language." (1:28)

  • 3

    Judy Bloom is one of the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st century. (2:41)

10 Banned Children's Books

These popular kids' stories by renowned authors (think A.A. Milne) have been banned in schools.

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Judy Blume: Facing Constant Challenge

The legendary young adult author is one of the most frequently banned or challenged writers of all-time.

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The Most Banned Series: Harry Potter

From 2000-2009, the Harry Potter series was the single most challenged in schools. Here are 11 facts about the series that book banners love to hate.

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