Challenged Books of the 1990s

Recently, I came across the American Library Association’s (ALA) list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of the 1990s. The list is worth perusing, even if you’re only scanning for the kids’ books.
Here’s a few challenged books I find noteworthy, all of which I’ve read and many of which I’ve taught:
• Katherine Paterson—one of my favourite young adult authors—has two spots: Bridge to Terabithia at #8, and The Great Gilly Hopkins at #20.
• Lois Lowry’s the Giver—not a great surprise—sits at #11.
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George appears at #32—this one I find particularly mystifying.
Harry Potter—no real surprise—sits at #48.
Judy Blume has four spots on the list and Mark Twain has two, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.
And in case you don’t look through the entire list, these children’s and young adult books share a spot on the same list with books such as Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies, by Nancy Friday, and The Dead Zone, by Stephen King. This isn’t a comment on either Friday or King—just some additional perspective.
The point, people challenge books for many reasons, many of which are petty, unthinking, homophobic, or racist. If anything, a list of challenge books will provide you with some interesting summer reading.

2 thoughts on “Challenged Books of the 1990s”

  1. I always enjoy postings that give me lists of novels and find this one especially intriguing. I’ve read quite a few of these as in one of my previous lives was a grade 6 teacher and liked to keep current on what my students might be reading. The printed page offers a safe place for children and young adults to encounter life as it is lived.

    1. Graham. Thanks for the comment. I did not know you taught grade 6 at one point. Yes, this is a great reading list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *