7 of Our Favorite Banned Books

  • September 23, 2014

The Independent loves all banned books on principle alone. Still, in honor of Banned Books Week, here are seven that deserve special mention.


  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury must have laughed out loud at the perfect symmetry of people wanting to ban his marvelous book about a dystopian society that burns all of its books.

  2. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. There’s an excellent scene in this book about the march of exhausted pilgrims and the husband of one of them trying to coax her into his air-conditioned Mercedes. Amid flights of passionate intensity, Rushdie always has a down-to-earth character re-establishing reality. Would that the fanatics who wanted his head had his sense of humor.

  3. Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle. If anyone knows why this gorgeously illustrated, plainspoken picture book raised some folks’ hackles, please explain it to us.

  4. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz. In the 1990s, this was apparently the most frequently banned book (or series). Fortunately, the lightly gruesome stories about body parts cooked up for supper or the undead cavorting among the living remained popular. Plus, that song, “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout ...” is just so catchy!

  5. Forever by Judy Blume. No, it’s not the world’s finest novel, but for generations of teenage (and tween-age) girls, it was the first honest telling of how the road to womanhood can be as exhilarating as it is mine-laden.

  6. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. A clear-eyed account of the futility, randomness, and barbarism of war ends up being blacklisted because it’s “too controversial”? So it goes.

  7. Carrie by Stephen King. This book’s only crime? Exposing proms for the hell they are. (Powder-blue cummerbund, anyone?) The pig’s blood was just a little creative license.

Which banned books do you think everyone should read? Tell us about them in the comments section below!


 

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