15 Classic Children’s Books That Have Been Banned In America

I was surprised at this banned book list. Some of these didn’t make sense to me.

15 Classic Children’s Books That Have Been Banned In America

1. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford

When: 1987
Why: The book was banned and then reprinted because it originally showcased a topless beachgoer (not like anyone could find her if they tried, though).

Where's Waldo? by Martin Handford

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

When: 1988
Why: Everyone’s favorite childhood book was banned from a public library in Colorado because it was considered “sexist.” It was also challenged by several schools because it “criminalized the foresting agency.”

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

3. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

When: 2006
Why: Talking animals are somehow considered an “insult to god,” resulting in this book’s banning throughout random parts of the United States. Several institutions in Turkey and the UK have also banned the book, claiming that the character of Piglet is offensive to Muslims. Other institutions claim that the book revolves around Nazism.

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Image by Leon Neal / Getty Images

4. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

When: 1999
Why: The book was banned from an elementary School in Texas because it included the word “ass.”

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

5. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

When: 1983
Why: The book was banned from several schools for being “a bad example for children.” It was also challenged for teaching “children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.”

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

6. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

When: 2010
Why: Forget anti-semitism; the 50th Anniversary “Definitive Edition’” was insteadbanned by a Virginia school because of its “sexual content and homosexual themes.” Additionally, the book was previously banned by several schools in the United States because it was “too depressing.” Most recently, in May of 2013, a Michigan mom tried to get the book banned due to its “pornographic tendencies.”

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

7. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

When: 1996
Why: The book was banned from several classrooms in Pennsylvania on accounts of “profanity, disrespect for adults, and an elaborate fantasy world that might lead to confusion.” The book has also been banned by other schools for its use of the phrases “Oh Lord” and “Lord.”

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

8. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

When: 2006
Why: Similar to Winnie-the-Pooh, this book was banned in Kansas because talking animals are considered an “insult to god.”

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

9. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

When: 1900
Why: Apparently there are references to sexual fantasies and masturbation in this book, resulting in its ban from classrooms in New Hampshire. Since this original banning, the book has been challenged by thousands of other institutions, most famously in the 1960s in fear that it would promote drug use to children.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

When: 1963
Why: The book was primarily banned in most southern states immediately following its publication, and it has since been challenged due to the fact that it promotes “witchcraft and supernatural events.”

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

11. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

When: 1989
Why: A California school district banned the book and claimed that it “criminalized the foresting industry” and would thus persuade children against logging.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

12. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

When: “Until as recently as 1991”
Why: Remember that time when Sam I Am tried to seduce his friend? Me neither. But the book was banned in California on accounts of “homosexual seduction.” It was also banned in China for “early Marxism” from 1965 until Dr. Seuss’ death in 1991.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

13. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

When: 1988
Why: A Colorado library banned the book because it embraced a “poor philosophy of life.” Additionally, since its publication in 1964, the book was under fire for comparing the Oompa Loompas to Africans. The characters’ descriptions were later changed in an edited version in 1988.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

14. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

When: 1928
Why: All public libraries in Chicago banned the book because of its “ungodly” influence “for depicting women in strong leadership roles.” In 1957, the Detroit Public Library banned the book for having “no value for children of today.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Source: webcitation.org  /  via: blog.firstbook.org

15. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.

When: 2010
Why: The Texas State Board of Education briefly banned this picture book after confusing its author, Bill Martin, Jr., with philosopher Bill Martin, author of ‘Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.’

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.

BONUS: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

When: 2010
Why: The 10th edition was banned in several classrooms in California because it included the definition for “oral sex.”

BONUS: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Via: npr.org

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