SparkNotes Blog

8 Books You Won’t Believe Got Banned

Good, important books get banned all the time. It’s dumb, sure, but unfortunately it’s nothing new. For instance, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that The Catcher in the Rye has been banned for being “obscene,” that Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret has been banned for talking about periods, and that The Diary of Anne Frank has been banned for being sexually explicit as well as “a real downer.” (Those are the ACTUAL WORDS SOMEONE USED TO DESCRIBE THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK.) Schools have even censored Fahrenheit 451, a book about the dangers of censorship, proving once and for all that irony can be lost on anyone.

But there are books you expect to be banned, and then there are books whose banned status might surprise you.