Banned Books Month

Article by marycatherine

September is Banned Books Month, that special time of year when I say “They banned WHAT?” at least 5 times a day. We love this month at Brazos, because it gives us a chance to highlight the dangers of censorship and the--sometimes ridiculous--lengths to which people will go to ban not only books, but ideas. It’s especially close to my heart, because I believe so strongly in the importance of letting children read widely and ask questions, rather than “protecting” them from complex ideas. 

 

Here are descriptions of five of my personal favorites, alongside a full list of banned books for kids that we’re featuring this month. For all these selections, come check out our Banned Books displays in the store! Be a rebel...read a banned book! 

Speak Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780312674397
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Square Fish - May 10th, 2011

This is easily one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. I encountered this book when I was fourteen and in some ways, haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It is frequently banned because it depicts the rape of a fourteen year old girl at a party, which is deemed too serious for teens. The scenes are emotional, without question, but it is these very scenes that make the book vital for teenagers of all genders. 


Eleanor & Park Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250012579
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 26th, 2013

ELEANOR AND PARK was challenged in a Minnesota school district last year after the content was deemed vulgar, and book riddled with profanity. They went so far as to cancel Rowell’s visit to their school to speak with the students about her work. This is another cherished favorite of mine, and while there are instances of profanity or harsh language, it’s intricately part of the story. The moments in which it occurs are painful and the starkness of the language communicates that beautifully. 


Green Eggs and Ham Cover Image
By Seuss
$9.99
ISBN: 9780394800165
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Children's Books - August 12th, 1960

I will not read it, Sam-I-Am! Believe it or not, this classic was banned in Maoist China for its depiction of early Marxism. I kid you not. Lest you think the US is immune to such anti-Seussism, YERTLE THE TURTLE and THE LORAX have both been banned in our fair land.


A Wrinkle in Time Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780312367541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - May 1st, 2007

A WRINKLE IN TIME is an interesting case, as people have found myriad reasons to ban it since its publication in 1963. Especially throughout the 60s and 70s, some argued that it was “too Christian,” others that it’s “not Christian enough.” For some it was a pro-Communist text, others Satanist, a New Age text, or some kind of magic propaganda. Why were people so afraid of this book? Let’s all read it and discuss, hm? (See what I did there?)


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780140384512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - November 27th, 2001

Banned for its realistic portrayal of the struggles nine-year-old Cassie’s sharecropping family faces in 1933 Mississippi, this book is undoubtedly intense. It is one of the most regularly challenged books because of charged racial language and violence. Both are certainly there, but that’s the point! I vividly remember reading it in the fifth grade and having so many questions about the really terrible things happening in this book. It was a transformative reading experience and a powerful way for me to learn about the lives of children in these devastating circumstances.


Just Listen Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780142410974
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - February 28th, 2008

Little Brother Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780765323118
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - April 13th, 2010

Crank Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781442471818
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - August 6th, 2013

Glass Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781442471825
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - August 6th, 2013

Strega Nona Cover Image
By Tomie dePaola, Tomie dePaola (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780671666064
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 3rd, 1979

Where the Wild Things Are Cover Image
By Maurice Sendak, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9780060254926
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - December 26th, 2012

The Lorax Cover Image
By Seuss
$16.99
ISBN: 9780394823379
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Children's Books - August 12th, 1971

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Cover Image
By Seuss
$16.99
ISBN: 9780394800875
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - April 12th, 1958

Staff Pick Logo
James and the Giant Peach Cover Image
By Roald Dahl, Aimee Bender (Introduction by), Jordan Crane (Illustrator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143106340
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 30th, 2011

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Cover Image
By Roald Dahl, Ivan Brunetti (Illustrator), Lev Grossman (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143106333
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 30th, 2011

Bridge to Terabithia Cover Image
By Katherine Paterson, Donna Diamond (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780064401845
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - May 2nd, 2017

The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780375823459
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 10th, 2002

Charlotte's Web Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780061124952
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - April 10th, 2012

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble Cover Image
By William Steig, William Steig (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781416902065
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 1st, 2005

Go Ask Alice Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781416914631
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - December 1st, 2005

The Little Black Book for Girlz: A Book on Healthy Sexuality Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781550379549
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Annick Press - September 1st, 2006

It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health Cover Image
By Robie H. Harris, Michael Emberley (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780763668723
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - August 8th, 2014

It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families Cover Image
By Robie H. Harris, Michael Emberley (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780763668747
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - August 8th, 2014

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Cover Image
By Mark Twain, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481403757
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - July 1st, 2014

The Face on the Milk Carton Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780385742382
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - May 22nd, 2012

Reluctantly Alice Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9781442423619
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - May 3rd, 2011

Alice in Rapture, Sort of Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9781442423626
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - May 3rd, 2011

The Agony of Alice Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9781442423633
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - May 3rd, 2011

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