According to the American Library Association, Banned Books Week is intended as a reminder of the freedom to read, and to explore many points of view, including those that may be unorthodox, unpopular or offensive to some.

Sept. 23, 2002

When Sex Won't Sell

Kurt Vonnegut. Credit: Rosemary Carroll. Courtesy www.vonnegut.com

Maurice Freedman, president of the American Library Association, says sexual content has most often caused books to be banned, followed by politics and offensive language. He discusses works from Madonna's Sex to Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

 
June 15, 2001

Bloomsday Be Damned

James Joyce

James Joyce's Ulysses, among the best-known works of world literature, was banned in Britain from 1922-1936. One man is giving up on trying to read the dense novel.

 
June 30, 2000

Secret 'Dangers' of Kiddie Lit

Detail from 'The Cat in the Hat'

Tongue firmly in cheek, commentator Lenore Skenazy finds grounds to ban The Cat in the Hat for its disrespect of authority, Winnie the Pooh for its promotion of juvenile delinquency, and Clifford the Big Red Dog for idealizing communism.

 


   
   
   
null


 

10 Most Challenged Books, 1990-2000

  • Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  • Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  • Forever by Judy Blume
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Source: The American Library's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000'

 
 

About NPR Replay

Replay mines some of our favorite stories from the NPR archives. A new edition appears weekly.

To listen to additional NPR stories, visit our advanced search page. Many shows have seven years of archived material.

 

Browse Topics

Services

Programs

PBS logo