Banned Book Week

bannedbooksPass the word!

Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

Banned Book Week Proclamation

[one short note: this is a USA Banned Book List – I have no idea if ‘banned’ books exist in the Netherlands1 at the moment – after all freedom of speech is not just an ‘american’ thing!]

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–20002
[I have read all books in bold]

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
    3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  3. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
    5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  4. Forever by Judy Blume
  5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  6. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  7. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  8. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
    13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  10. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
    16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
  11. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
    18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  12. Sex by Madonna
    20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  13. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  14. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  15. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  16. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  17. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  18. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
    27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  19. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  20. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  21. The Goats by Brock Cole
  22. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  23. Blubber by Judy Blume
  24. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  25. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  26. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  27. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
    37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  28. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
    39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  29. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
    41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  30. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  31. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  32. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  33. Deenie by Judy Blume
  34. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  35. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  36. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  37. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  38. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
    52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  39. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  40. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  41. Cujo by Stephen King
    56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  42. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  43. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  44. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
    60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  45. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  46. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  47. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  48. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  49. Fade by Robert Cormier
  50. Guess What? by Mem Fox
    67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  51. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  52. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt V
    70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  53. Native Son by Richard Wright
  54. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  55. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  56. Jack by A.M. Homes
  57. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
    76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle [in Dutch]
  58. Carrie by Stephen King
  59. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  60. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  61. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  62. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  63. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  64. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
    84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  65. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  66. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  67. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  68. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
    90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman [very un-PC] [read in Dutch] 91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett [actually one of my all time favorite books]
  69. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  70. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  71. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  72. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  73. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  74. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  75. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  76. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  77. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier


  1. drukpersvrijheid, beperkt door ‘t Plakkaat van 1723, toch altijd zeer groot ten tijde van de Republiek. Censuur onder Napoleon; zie daar . Vrijheid van drukpers zeer beperkt onder Willem I; zie Van der Straeten . Drukpersvervolgingen ± 1820, opnieuw 1828. Nog in ‘t zelfde jaar moest de Regering de intrekking van de Perswet voorstellen; afgekondigd 16 Mei 1829. Nieuwe drukperswetten voorgesteld 11 Dec. 1829, begeleid door een uitvoerige Koninklijke boodschap, in het Noorden toegejuicht als mannelijke daad tegen de ‘Jezuïeten’ en ‘Jacobijnen’ van het Z. Toegezonden aan de rechters en de andere ambtenaren, die binnen 48 uur hun instemming betuigen moesten. De wet, zij het ontdaan van de scherpste bepaling, aangenomen met 93-12 stemmen; 1830. A.J. Servaas van Rooyen schreef 1896 over Verboden boeken in de 18e eeuw, 2 delen. W.G.C. Knuttel gaf een beredeneerde catalogus uit van Verboden boeken in de Republiek, 1914. In 1947 Vrijheid en onvrijheid in de Republiek, door H.A.E. van Gelder. Daarop volgde Mw. M.E. Kronenberg met Verboden Boeken in de Hervormingstijd in de Patria-reeks.
  2. Out of 6,364 challenges reported to or recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, as compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association. (See Background Information: 1990–2000 under The Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000.) The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom does not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges. Research suggests that for each challenge reported there are as many as four or five which go unreported.